New York is the epicenter of the United States’ COVID-19 cases, with over 200,000 confirmed cases and over 11,000 deaths. Because of these staggering numbers, N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo is implementing an order requiring all residents of the state to wear masks when in public, come Friday, April 17. Even more staggering, people haven’t acquired enough common sense to wear a mask in New York despite everything we’ve been reading about and seeing in the news.
According to The New York Times, Gov. Cuomo discussed the new rules during his daily briefing in Albany on Wednesday.
“All people in public must have a mask or nose covering, mouth and nose cover, and they must wear it in a situation where you cannot or are not maintaining social distancing,” he said. This means masks are to be worn while using public transit, in grocery stores and on crowded sidewalks.
Again, this should be common sense.
“Stopping the spread is everything,” Cuomo continues. “How can you not wear a mask when you’re going to come close to a person...You’re now at an intersection and there are people at the intersection and you’re going to be in proximity to other people? Put the mask on.” If you don’t have a hospital mask (and not many people do), a bandana or scarf will do, says the Governor.
NYC is considering issuing “civil penalties” to people who don’t wear masks in public, but Cuomo ensures that there will be no jail time. (But hey, scare tactics can be useful). Similar actions have taken place in New Jersey, another state with a wildly high COVID-19 infection rate. Per the report, “signs have popped up at stores throughout New Jersey warning customers that they will not be allowed in unless they cover their faces. Some stores have taken a stronger stance, asking people without coverings to leave.”
As a Jersey native, I love to see this.
It appears, however, that things are slowly but surely turning around in New York. Per The Times, on Tuesday, it was reported that the three-day average of the number of hospital patients with COVID-19 in the state fell for the first time since the virus started spreading.
That’s nice, but judging by the maskless social-distanceless mini block parties that occur outside my window in NYC every time there’s a beautiful sunny day, the Empire State still has a long way to go.