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Category: Editorial

Remember This Day And Guidelines Of A Pandemic

This Memorial Day is different as we honor those who served this country and became our fallen heroes. The Coronavirus pandemic has caused the difference.  

Richard Mancuso/The New York Extra/copyright 2020

This columnist roamed around the Pelham Bay community of the Bronx this holiday weekend. There were hardly any American flags in front of homes that are usually evident . Many stores remained closed and the few open used the social distancing guidelines that are the new norm.

Honestly, and to get the point across, people can be ignorant in regard to the meaning of this holiday. Observing social distancing guidelines and wearing that protective face covering to them is denial that we are still in a crisis.

Memorial Day, and those without a backyard have not got the message and ignore social distancing. They congregate outside and in front of buildings.They ignore the safety guidelines which can only lead to more speculation that COVID-19 will not go away.

They seem to ignore that we are in a pandemic. They seem to ignore that we are in a global health crisis. New York City, the Bronx in particular, remains an epicenter.

Numbers may be on the decline but we are still in this. We should be observing the guidelines that have been asked by health and government officials.. 

Pelham Bay Park is a popular spot. They congregate there. Yes, it is difficult to stay in isolation with partial openings occurring in counties of New York, though, this does not define the ignorance of those who ignore the guidelines to stay safe and prevent the spread of COVID-19 to others.

Which brings to a thought about Memorial Day. Yes, it is different this year. Ceremonies to honor those who were brave and sacrificed for this country are few.  Baseball, the national pastime, we are without this Memorial Day. 

But we can pause for a moment and honor those on this day.  

Back in February, and before the norm of our nation changed, yours truly visited Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. On the hilltop viewed the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We viewed in the distance of the Capitol Building.

We walked  up and down the paths, observing the many white gravesites all in consecutive rows. It provided a perspective and always will of those who were brave and sacrificed for our freedom,

The message here is not to forget what this day is about. The other is to have respect for the American flag, regardless of what political affiliation you have. 

And to respect those near you by continuing to obey the guidelines of social distancing and safety.  Remember we are in this together and this Coronavirus pandemic is far from over.

Comment: Ring786@aol.com  Twitter@Ring786  Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso

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Sailing on Uncharted Waters

Decision making in the Age of Corona Virus. An Editorial by Neil Miller, Publisher, The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com, Editing by Toni Hoyos

What to do? And who to believe? That’s the dilemma everyone is faced with from “The News Media” concerning the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s one view, and an opposite view. And then there’s a 3rd view that says both are wrong!

Where are the days of Walter Cronkite, Huntley/Brinkley and Harry Reasoner? Some are too young to remember these giants of TV journalism of the post Golden Age of Television, but these announcers/writers brought believability to their craft every night, they were trusted and respected by their viewers.

Now we are faced with “The New Age” of not only news media, but an explosion of personal communication via Facebook, U tube and other social media sources, that lets everyone have a place at the table.

What a wonderful world we live in, where you can instantly share photos, videos, live events, and personal views! As we know, sadly, ever since the inception over 30 yrs ago of compuserve prodigy and other services, the negative and potentially evil side of these great tools exist.

Today, this resource is even more important as everyone is saturated with a unending stream of information leading to mental and emotional overload. Polls, graphs, press conferences etc. pass by our lives each and every day overloading us with content. And then, there is the real problem being fed to us, mass information, disinformation, conspiracy theories and every variation in between. Some of it is reliable some not.

We are faced with anti-vaxxers, scam cures, the the possible over reaching actions of local and Federal spokes people. And perhaps, most sinister, are those, inside and outside our nation, that would sow discord amongst us with wrong and scary details.

What to do? We are faced with facts, depending how you look at it that are either responsible or detrimental to our county. Specifically, we are going to have to deal with the great desire to reopen our society in regards to work and play. Dealing with the fringe elements of either side of the political spectrum is what has to be avoided, and common sense needs to prevail.

All over the nation, businesses are closed and need to reopen. All over the nation, people need to return to their lives, regarding schools, restaurants, music and sports venues. Once again using common sense precautions.

We can expect another wave this winter, and by then we need to have in place, not a cure, but a method to contain the deadly effects of the virus. Until then we need to move as a people, to find a quicker, but still a proper way to a more open way of life. We CANNOT bang the drums to regain our lost freedoms without the right way of proceeding, but we also CANNOT sacrifice any more time, money and emotion staying in the same place. Protect the sick, the elderly and those at risk, and let us return to the life we love.

Pandemic Notebook: Social Distancing And Restaurants

It all depends on numbers. All of the COVID-19 reports of declines in hospital admissions, unfortunate deaths, and testing are all a matter of listening and understanding what they are informing on a daily basis.

But face the facts here. The Coronavirus and this pandemic are far from over. We are not out of the woods here or there. We are in a crisis of epic proportions with an economy that has declined to almost depression numbers. 

A President in the White House says, we will recover and be stronger. In the meantime, you and I, victims of this ugly pandemic are finding ways to make ends meet. 

And with a majority of states, if not all, slowly opening to some normalcy by Friday, we must keep in mind that health and safety are still a priority. To  prevent a further spread of the virus, as all reports do indicate, the guidelines for safety should still be obeyed. 

Because a second wave is bound to occur, again from reports of the medical professionals, we must not let down our guard and continue to be  on the side of caution.

Sports is no exception. And they can talk all they want about opening the stadiums and venues, and with no fans in attendance, but safety is still an issue for the players and personnel,  That matter is a main issue for Major League Baseball. 

Players and owners are reviewing the protocols as to how baseball can resume and gain some revenue that has been lost with their billion dollar industry.

So we are as a society with the Memorial Day weekend only days away looking at being conscious of safety? Take a look and examine how social distancing and wearing proper face protection is not a part of the norm for many.

My friends and neighbors are in denial about a pandemic that still exists. They are watching the reports and see a public around the country that are ignoring guidelines.

And with New York City, epicenter of this virus, and still in that shutdown, many are ignoring the guidelines.  Nearby suburbanites are also under the impression that the country needs to open. They, too, also ignore the guidelines with social distancing and not wearing face protection .

Up in Putnam County this past weekend, a vicinity where many city dwellers have relocated, near the town of Mahopac, the boats were on the water. There was minimal social distancing and those walking in town were a few without face protection.

No different in the Bronx. Social distancing and no protective masks to cover the nose and mouth areas that are contributing factors to this pandemic when it comes to the spread of COVID-19.

The New York City website, NYC.gov, has a daily and updated listing by zip code of areas and numbers of those tested and infected with the virus. 

Numbers do tell the story here. Despite what is heard, there is a minimal decline in cases though the hospital admissions are on a decline. Though, regardless of what numbers are saying, people are not abiding by the guidelines.

So as a general rule, journalists and citizen in good standing, it is noticed here that the general public wants to see their lives return to normal and many are in denial. They are not helping the situation and increasing the probability of the Coronavirus spread by ignoring the safety guidelines.

My friends this is not over. Despite what you hear about the declining number of cases and deaths, we are still in a pandemic and a health crisis that will not conclude if guidelines are ignored. 

 This writer wears a mask in public, on the sidewalk, in a car, at a store, and continues that social distancing  There is no need to be ignorant. No need to spread the virus to others as one ignores the guidelines. 

We have learned that this Coronavirus is a secret enemy. It has no friends even for the healthy one that claims to be virus free. 

There is no need to congregate in numbers, and if that cabin fever is at a pitch do go out and be safe. Follow the guidelines and stop the ignorance.

We learn from following and covering sports to observe guidelines and it’s all done for a reason to keep things in control.

We must follow those guidelines as this global pandemic is far from over. Be safe. Wear the gloves, masks, and most of all continue to practice that rule of social distancing. 

RESTAURANTS FOR SOME HAD A MODEL: There are many establishments in the food and restaurant industry thay may not recover from the closures and financial losses of this pandemic with or without the assistance from government programs.

Many continued to remain open with takeout and deliveries to make ends meet.  Though, with openings coming slowly, and not with normalcy, that conscious part of the public still has safety concerns and also eating out is not in their economic means.

Those establishments with gates over their property may never see another customer and that is unfortunate. 

A local diner in the Bronx, one that is always full to capacity, is limited to deliveries and very few of the essential staff remain on a limited payroll.

“I don’t see how we can continue to be a fixture in the community anytime soon and we do care about our regular customers,” said the owner of this establishment who requested not to be named.

Though deliveries from the menu have been consistent they don’t envision any sense of normalcy for a long time.

“It will take me years to recover from this and I can see us closing the doors for good and very soon,” one of the owners said.

Yes, the local diner and restaurant, the one out of the neighborhood are a part of the norm and could be different for those that remain open. Social distancing and wearing that face protection will be the new norm when sitting down for a drink or dinner.

Though, some had a model in place for an eventual pandemic or crisis, and others have learned to stay open with take out and deliveries on a day-by-day basis.

“You had to learn on the fly,” said Vito Russo co-owner of Gilligan’s Clam Bar & Grill up in Pomona, New York. 

He said it’s a learning process. The establishment employed a staff of 40 and that has been reduced by half. Russo, like many that have remained open for takeouts and delivery, does hope to reopen soon with a reduction in seating and following the social distancing guidelines 

He has followed the necessary guidelines and continues to do a significant take out business, though the financial losses are no different from the others. 

“You had to follow market trends and as things started to disappear on the shelf  you  had to prepare with what was on longer available,” Russo said.

Time will tell where this goes. But, as the number of restaurant owners said, don’t expect a normal dining experience in New York when visiting establishments that are planning to reopen.

Remember all: Stay safe and follow the guidelines. We are all in this together.


Comment: Ring786@aol.com  Twitter@Ring786 Facebook.com/Rich Mancuso

China, Deceit, Disease and Death, Part 3 by Neil Miller The New York Extra,TheNYExtra.com, additional reporting and editing by Toni Hoyos

On March 5, I published the 1st of 3 articles concerning the COVID -19 catastrophe, for which I was universally condemned for being racist and a xenophobe. Although my language in the first post was harsh, the points that I wrote seem to be accepted more widely now by everyday readers as since portrayed by the mainstream media. As time has progressed recent articles by the NY Times, USA Today and Yahoo News all agree with my thoughts. Please see the attached links to their stories.

Today as the virus ravages the world, it’s time for everyone all over the globe to rethink its economic, social, and governmental ties to the RED Chinese leadership. If you clearly look at their actions, you can only come to the conclusion that the Chinese seek to dominate, not cooperate with the world in their monetary policies. We should rethink the global supply lines and become more self sufficient and self reliant as a nation.

Furthermore the UN and other world bodies should investigate to see if the Chinese and their lack of actions led us to the place we are today. The largest compensation should be paid by the Chinese to the countries most affected by this pandemic. Perhaps, in our case, funding to the treasury to help pay for direct payments to the US citizens.

There’s no doubt of who the villain is and has been in the past! Let’s call out the Communist Chinese and make them pay!

A Holiday Prayer, by Neil Miller, The New York Extra,TheNYExtra.com, additional reporting and editing by Toni Hoyos

As the spring holiday season approaches, we as a community need to give thanks for the blessings we have, even in this time of peril.

The covid-19 pandemic has swept across the globe sparing little in it’s path. The where, whys and hows of it’s origin and how it’s being handled should be put aside for the present time so that we may survive and thrive after this darkness.

As a Jew, this season brings thoughts of the last plague in Egypt, death surrounded the Hebrew slaves yet God spared them as the Angel of Death passed over their homes.. This thought is inescapable, as much as Easter, when Christ rose from the dead and was resurrected to new life, we should all look forward to the day of release, and celebrate a new spiritual life, with more love, tolerance and understanding.

So, when all our favorite restaurants, clubs and music venues return, and the time to rejoice has come, remember as we have that first meal, drink or dance, lets all thank God for the gifts of life.

Covid-19 on Long Island

The things that have to be done to protect Long Islanders by Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

As the 2nd week of the pandemic effects Long Island, it’s time to demand from our representatives that these following items become law to protect the welfare of ourselves and family.

#1 An immediate halt of real estate taxes until the crisis is over.

#2 The guarantee of utilities, gas, electric, cell service and cable service for all, until the end of the crisis.

#3 A plan by the state and federal government to fund an emergency food plan so that families food needs are met.

#4 Planned shopping days for communities so that everyone gets a fair share of goods, with limits on items per visit.

#5 An immediate halt on all payments of car loans, credit card bills and insurance payments for 90 days without penalty.

These items are of the utmost importance to the wellbeing of the Island and Nation until the crisis of covid -19 ends.

Made In China, Part 2 Deceit, Disease, and Death

Paying the price.A Deal with the Devil. How corporate greed, profits, and Chinese manipulative practices, endangers the security of our country and the world.An Editorial by Neil Miller/Publisher,The New York Extra/ TheNYExtra.com.With additional reporting and editing by Toni Hoyos.

As our country grapples with the Chinese virus pandemic, it’s time to stop avoiding blame of the Communist Chinese government, and time to examine some of the events that have led us to this point.

Specifically, it is the worlds acceptance in succumbing to the lure of cheap and inferior products of drugs, steel and other essential goods. This has amounted to a “Deal with the Devil”. They say money is the root of all evil, well then we have pimped ourselves to China all in the name of big business and money , to a country that manufactures our medicines, antibiotics and the raw materials needed to make medicines. 81% of the API (active pharmaceutical ingredients) are said to come from China. A Dept of Commerce study found 97% of all antibiotics in the US came from China. China’s poor quality control, substandard doses and low budget for research and development lead to major concerns over the safety and efficacy of these medications. Unfortunately fraud and manipulation of quality data is still widespread. Corporate profits and stock indexes came before national security and health.This is only one example of how Communist China works.

By outsourcing these important goods, not only have we put our American workforce in dire jeopardy, we have also allowed our country to be open for possible blackmail by the Communist Chinese if we act against their purposes.

With the ” one world ” scenarios, and the influence of the Chinese in our economic, educational and cultural world, it leaves us open to spies in our midst. Just last week a Harvard professor was arrested for lying to the government and Harvard about his involvement in a Chinese program for which he was paid for . There were also ties to a Bio lab, in of all places Wuhan,China. Also arrested were 2 Chinese nationals, one an officer in the Chinese army, the other charged with attempting to smuggle 21 vials of biological research out of the US to China. What the Chinese can’t buy with money they try to steal in regards to sensitive research and development.

This brings up the point of the source of the current pandemic, the 2nd major killer virus exported from China . Sars, and now Chinese coronavirus. They started with ties to bats that crossed over to other animals, then to humans. The current virus is the same. As noted in the 1st part of this series, the current food practices of some Chinese, caused the explosion of the current plague.

I have been accused of being a racist and a xenophobe. I am neither, and admire the work ethic, intelligence and contributions of Chinese Americans. Their dedication to family values that they bring to our way of life as Americans is admirable. We all reject racism of ethnic backround, color, religion and country of origin. However the facts are inescapable. There are many ideas how the virus came to be in the Wuhan wet market. Some say it was a natural transmission between infected animals, some say there’s a more sinister reason.

Several rumors have it, that the Wuhan super lab had an accident and it leaked out. Another rumor has it that lab animals infected with disease were sold by lab staff for money to local food vendors. Neither of these have been proven one way or the other by the Communist Chinese. In fact,the words of doctors and researchers were stifled in order to prevent another horrible Chinese embarrassment.

Whatever the truth is, and hopefully after this catastrophe there will be a world wide police inquiry, the one thing we can be certain of is this, the customs of the local Chinese population, along with the fact that the Chinese government never closed these markets nor helped to change their cultural food habits, has led directly to this 3rd , and most deadly outbreak.

How long will it take to confront the Communist Chinese government, with total world outrage, to end these pandemics? The answer is” Our Deal with the Devil” stops us. It is time to exorcise the demon, and make him repay the world for the deceit, disease and death it has brought to the world, and to retake our economic independence back.

The Killer among us, lack of Moral ,common sense and responsible actions endanger us all on Long Island

An editorial by Neil Miller,publisher,The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

Ok guys, I like my drink and a dance as well as the next person, but it’s time to cut the crap and start acting like the adults we are. The lack of common sense actions of those on Long Island threatens the old and at risk in our population.

We have all read on line, and in conversations, “I’m going to live my life and to Hell with Corona Virus!” , it is a recipe for disaster for us all. We need to give up our entertainment pleasures for 2-3 weeks to, “flatten the curve”, so we all don’t become geometric carriers that infect our people.

By failing to do so, we jeopardize our mothers, fathers, the old and compromised in our community. And here’s the punch line, CAN YOU LIVE WITH YOURSELF, KNOWING YOUR A PARTNER IN MURDER? Long Island it’s YOUR turn to save a life. Stay out of the bars, the movies, theatres, clubs, restaurants or any large gathering place. Keep your children at home. Be safe and healthy, Neil Miller ,publisher, The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com.

ESCAPING COVID19: SHIELDED FOR A DAY

A FEEL SAFE HAVEN By Toni Hoyos, Editorial Advisor, TheNew York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

Video of visitors to Jones Beach State Park 03/15/2020 Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

Blue skies, sunshine, mild temps and low winds, the perfect winter day for a stroll on the boardwalk at Jones Beach State Park. An ideal place to walk, see the ocean, feel the sun on your face breathe fresh air and feel shielded from coronavirus. At least that was the general consensus among those walking the boardwalk.

Ginger Bonner,a Bellmore N.Y. resident, At Field 6 Boardwalk, Jones Beach State Park, 03/15/2020 / Neil Miller/The NewYork Extra/TheNYExtra.com/copyright 2020

Ginger Bonner from Bellmore felt the boardwalk was a “Corona Free” place” and expressed her feelings about the coronavirus pandemic had changed “I’m not the same person I was last week” and now she wasn’t taking it so lightly.

Field 6 parking lot was full on this beautiful Sunday. Families, couples, bicyclists, kids on scooters, all were out on the boardwalk holding hands, talking and smiling. The outdoor open area was one where you could breathe freely and feel secure.

Alison Lubell, Manhattan, and James Hammond, London England, at Field 6 ,Jones Beach State Park, 03/15/2020 /Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com /copyright 2020

Manhattan resident Alison Lubell was happy to be out on this “gorgeous and beautiful day” and felt people needed to be “aware and responsible”. James Hammond hailing from London England felt the situation was “fanned 80% by the media and 20% concern” he said “being on the boardwalk sure beat the subway crowds” which he found to be terrifying.

Jones Beach video of Alison Lubell and James Hammond /Neil Miller/ The New york Extra/TheNYExtra.com/copyright 2020

Tony and Pat Brinkmann of Sayville were enjoying the “fresh air and sunshine”. Tony expressed he felt it was a safe environment and that’s why they came today, there was “plenty of open space to not be crowed by people”.

Tony and Pat Brinkmann from Sayville N.Y. at The Field 6 Boardwalk ,Jones Beach State Park, Neil Miller/The NewYork Extra/TheNYExtra.com /copyright 2020

Video of Tony and Pat Brinkmann, at Jones Beach Boardwalk 03/15/2020 Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com /copyright 2020
Video of Ginger Bonner,Bellmore N.Y. Jones Beach State Park Boardwalk ,03/15/2020 Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

The coming weeks will tell what lies ahead concerning Covid19. In the meantime the smart and responsible thing to do is limit your exposure, the tried and true method of wash your hands don’t touch your face and social distancing. This is for the good of all and will help prevent what could have a devastating effect on our healthcare system. The opportunity to be outside on this beautiful day yet feel safe was one many of us took today.

COVID-19 CAN STEAL OUR SPORTS BUT NOT OUR SOULS

ROBBINS NEST

By Lenn Robbins/An editorial by The New York Extra,Editor – in- Chief

COVID-19 is a thief.

It has no conscience, no empathy. It will steal the most precious heirlooms – family and health – if we allow it.

Already it has stolen all of our spring conference tournaments, the NBA, the NHL, Spring Training, and pushed back Opening Day, soccer and tennis matches. You name a sporting event, chances are it’s gone for the foreseeable future.

New York, NY. Thursday, March 12, 2020. Big East commissioner Val Ackerman announces the cancellation of the Big East Tournament during halftime of the St. John’s-Creighton game. St. John’s vs. Creighton at Madison Square Garden.

“I’ve got to tell you, it breaks my heart,” Big East commissioner Val Ackerman said Thursday after canceling her conference tournament midway through the St. John’s-Creighton game. “This is the greatest college basketball tournament ever. But we respect the decision of authorities. We’re very mindful about what’s happening nationally. We do not want to be imprudent as it relates to the safety of our participants and our fans.

New York, NY. Thursday, March 12, 2020. Nick Rutherford of St. John’s drives to the basket while defended by Jett Canfield (10) and Mitchell Ballock of Creighton. St. John’s vs. Creighton at Madison Square Garden.

“And it’s terrifying, frankly, what’s evolving here as the science and the assessments of the science are progressing. And I don’t think any of us know what’s going to happen tomorrow.”

We don’t.

It was disheartening to turn on the TV at 7:00 p.m. and not to choose between the ACC and Big East tournaments.

It was jarring to receive texts from my Rutgers students asking what would comprise the midterm exam now that there is no Selection Sunday to cover.

It was surreal walking into my CVS and seeing empty shelves where there had once been five brands of toilet paper.

And yet all of us can be the lucky ones.

As I passed a neighborhood schoolyard, I saw a father and his junior high school aged daughter shooting hoops. A couple of friends played ping pong. A group of grade school kids played pickup basketball. Couples and families and friends strolled to the rhythm of their own laughter.

It is not the fault of COVID-19 that we have been increasingly isolated by the greatest communication tool in history – the Smartphone.

It is not the fault of COVID-19 that streaming has replaced conversation at the dinner table.

It is not the fault of COVID-19 that texting is replacing talking as the favorite means of communication for teenagers.

COVID-19 can push us further apart or we choose to draw closer together.

We can mourn the loss of sports, or we can try to help low-wage workers whose income is dependent on taking tickets or serving hot dogs or cleaning arenas.

We can mourn a spring without NCAA and conference tournaments, or we can support all of the seniors who will miss a chance to make a priceless memorial.

We can the mourn the possibility that we might have witnessed the end of some of our favorite professional athlete’s career or we can hold on to the memory of the joy they provided.

This is what we can make sure COVID-19 doesn’t take. As social animals, we need each other. We need compassion and empathy. We might not be able to congregate in large numbers but we can offer large and open hearts.

Many around the world have lost friends and family. COVID-19 will take more lives. It will take more sports. But it can’t take our souls. That’s worth any sacrifice we have to make.