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Tag: social distancing

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.

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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

JONES BEACH BIKEWAY at Cedar Creek Park by Toni Hoyos, The New York Extra, theNYextra.com

The Jones Beach bikeway less commonly know as the Ellen Farrant Memorial Bikeway is a well paved path that can be accessed from Cedar Creek Park off of Merrick Road in Seaford. It parallels the Wantagh Parkway and to the east are waterways, marshes and beautiful scenery. A little past Zach’s Bay it runs into the Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway. It is the premiere South Shore multi use trail on Long Island. Favored by walkers, joggers, rollerbladers and bicyclists alike. An ideal outdoor place felt to be “safe” for those activities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Battisti family, from left to right ,daughter, Valentina, mom, Antonella, dad, Dr.Renato Battisti and son, Pietro from Westbury N.Y. enjoy the afternoon on the Jones Beach bike path getting some “immune” enhancing exercise. Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
Chris Di Santo, left, with his friend , by the famous bronze statue of a cyclist, wearing a mask says, Its his first time here but he ” feels safe as long as he wears a mask” Neil Miller/The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020
Richard Argentina with daughter Taylor, and friends Daniela Battisiti and Olivia Brill ran 10 miles of the path today. Neil Miller/The New York extra/TheNYExtra.com copyright 2020

Now as the weather warms people want to be outside enjoying, looking for ways to participate in fun/healthy activities while practicing social distancing. The sun was shining, it was a little breezy, a lovely, comfortable day for a bike ride, skate or a run and the people were out there taking advantage of the opportunity! Many were masked, family groups usually not, certainly sufficient space to feel “safe”.

The Ocean Parkway Coastal Greenway past Tobay Beach is currently under construction to expand to Captree State Park. There will be new bike parking areas at Gilgo Beach, Cedar Beach Marina and Captree. Also many new plantings along the way, and several shaded rest stops. It is expected to be completed by summer 2021.

So grab your rollerblades, sneakers or bike, throw on a mask and have some responsible distancing exercise and fun! Stay well and be safe.

MAY’S AWAKENING AMIDST COVID-19 PANDEMIC by Toni Hoyos, The New York Extra, TheNYExtra.com

The first weekend of May has arrived blessing us with lovely weather and bringing with it hope for better times. Hope for a more “normal” existence, hope that the coronavirus will abate and let us live again. The beautiful weather brought the people outside, to the beaches, the parks, around the neighborhoods or anywhere besides their home where they could be out yet still feel safe.

Noontime Saturday May 8, 2020 Jones Beach field 6 closed at about 50% capacity. Town of Babylon Cedar Beach had about 20 cars in the parking lot. A family was set up in the sand with chairs, blankets, food and fun games for the kids, others were close to shore safely apart. Tobay Beach open to Town of Oyster Bay residents only had around 50 cars in their parking lot along with a food truck selling goodies! The bike path that runs besides Wantagh and Ocean parkways had people walking, biking and skating, enough space for everyone, some masked, some not but all looking happy to be out and about.

Sunday at Eisenhower Park, East Meadow, all parking fields were utilized. People were out doing the same, families were biking, picnicking, playing various games and some sporting activities. There was even a larger family group, all were masked and spread apart having fun celebrating someone’s birthday. Many older couples, masked, enjoyed a peaceful walk through the park.

Wow Lowe’s home improvement store in Hicksville was super busy! Customers were purchasing their spring and summer needs, including lawn and yard care, gardening, flowers, plants, vegetables, Barbeques, pavers etc. preparing for summer. The cool thing was Lowe’s abided by the rules, masked employees maintained social distancing on lines both in and out of the store. At one point the line in the parking lot had about 50 customers on it, all wore their masks and were keeping apart from one another. Timing of when to enter was controlled by employees who kept track of the occupancy.

If you took a walk around your neighborhood you could smell the wood burning in fire pits, the aroma of yummy burgers and steaks cooking on the barbeque, you could actually hear sounds of fun, of laughter, of life. There wasn’t that eerie quietness of the past several weeks. The world is eager to awake and smell the roses, but do so in a safe manner. Regardless of the conflicting information concerning COVID-19, the reality is the coronavirus is highly contagious. It can be deadly to those with underlying health issues and to those age 70 and above, of course there are always exceptions to the rules. The scary part, of those who tested positive about half were asymptomatic. This is a new learning experience for all of us and yes, we want to move forward, but we must not let foolishness and selfishness override our own health or the safety of those near and dear to us. The world is hopeful, ready to awaken, to seize the day, but we must do so in a manner which is suitable for the well being and protection of us all.

SOCIAL DISTANCING by Toni Hoyos /The New York Extra/TheNYExtra.com

AN OBSERVATION ON COMPLIANCE OR DEFIANCE

Maintaining a distance of at least 6 ft between each other,,,something we are not used to doing, something that is not our norm but something that is mandated due to the coronavirus pandemic. Something we all must heed in order to flatten the curve, help prevent a breakdown of our healthcare system and keep ourselves and others safe. This is serious business , have Long Islanders rose to the challenge?

On my strolls throughout various Nassau county parks most everyone seemed to be upholding the distance directive. Families with children were together while keeping away from others. Couples out walking, those on bicycles all seemed to be allowing space for each other while trying to be “normal” in an “abnormal” situation.

I encountered more of the same compliance in assorted supermarkets. Many people darned masks and gloves. A few like myself also had Lysol wipes on hand to clean the shopping cart (a very hot commodity at the moment). For the most part everyone was respectful of keeping their distance in the aisles, waiting on line and not encroaching on someone while they were shopping in a certain area.

I did however find those defying the rule in a certain store on Old Country Road in Plainview. I do not know if it was cultural or just plain disregard for others. I do know it was very uncomfortable to witness, unsafe and just stupid. I did hear someone mention the 6 foot distance but no one moved. I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

This is a difficult scary time for all of us but we must join together for the good of everyone. Practice social distancing, be respectful of others and keep ourselves and loved ones SAFE. If we don’t it will get much worse before it gets better.

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.