Two Years of the Pandemic in New York, Step by Awful Step – The New York Times

If a fellow New Yorker had told you on March 1, 2020, what the next two years held for the city, you would not have believed it.
The governor of New York said that day that there would be “community spread” of the new disease but that there was “no reason for concern.” The mayor said that the virus “could be anywhere” but told us to go about our normal lives. It sounded reasonable.
The rate at which disaster ensued was in every sense of the word breathtaking. A mighty city silenced. Thousands dying alone. Bodies stacked in freezer trucks. Half a million people out of work.
Two years and 40,000 deaths later, there remain rips and rifts in the social fabric that have not been repaired and may not be for a while. Something has been lost, some kind of trust perhaps. Time has been lost, definitely. And yet the dire predictions of a city damaged beyond repair proved wrong.
As Plague Year 3 dawns, infection rates have plummeted. But the arrival of a new subvariant is also a reminder that the pandemic is not over. We know that there is no going back to “before.” Too much has happened. That shore is too distant.
A Manhattan woman, believed to have contracted the coronavirus traveling in Iran, isolates at her home after testing positive at a hospital.
Infection spreads in a family in Westchester County, the first clear path of the virus in New York.
James Keivom for The New York Times
A 65-year-old man dies in Rockland County.
The governor bans most gatherings of more than 500 people. Broadway closes.
Dave Sanders for The New York Times
“Flatten the curve. Why do you want to flatten the curve? Because the curve is not a curve. The curve is a wave and the wave could break on the hospital system. That is what they are talking about the curve. If you have too high a number of people sick at the same time, when they descend on the hospital system you will overwhelm the hospital system.”
Cindy Schultz for The New York Times
The governor orders nonessential workplaces to close and bans “nonessential gatherings of any size for any reason.”
Hospitals run out of personal protective equipment. Nurses and other front-line medical personnel use trash bags as gowns.
In the richest city in the richest country in the world, this is how nurses are already being forced to protect themselves from coronavirus — with garbage bags #CoronavirusNewYork
A Navy hospital ship with a crew of 1,200 docks at Pier 90 on the Hudson River. Its mission is not to treat Covid patients but to relieve other hospitals overrun by the virus.
Chang W. Lee/The New York Times
Medical staff at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens are overwhelmed. During one resident’s shift, she performed chest compressions on three dying coronavirus patients. The hospital is quickly filling with Covid-19 cases.
Restaurants have closed their dining rooms and are limited to takeout, but are also given permission to sell to-go alcoholic beverages.
Owing to his well-received and comforting daily briefings, the governor becomes an object of admiration. Soon Ellen DeGeneres, Trevor Noah and Stephen Colbert jump on the bandwagon.
I am a Cuomosexual.
Sarah Blesener for The New York Times
According to The New York Times’s Wirecutter, the answer is probably maybe.
The city’s highest single-day death toll from the virus.
The clapping and clanging of pots and pans becomes a safe and cathartic way for New Yorkers to show solidarity with overwhelmed front-line workers.
Victor J. Blue for The New York Times
Dozens of decomposing bodies are found in trucks at a Brooklyn funeral home.
Jonah Markowitz for The New York Times
Hilary Swift for The New York Times
Hilary Swift for The New York Times
Todd Heisler/The New York Times
When a Health Department epidemiologist swabs Mr. Cuomo’s nose during his daily news conference, the governor gives the comment as the cameras roll. A hint of sexual harassment allegations to come.
With the arrival of warm weather, Domino Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, paints large circles on its lawn six feet apart.
Hilary Swift for The New York Times
With the city largely free of traffic for the first time in more than a century, New Yorkers are suddenly aware of the great migration.
Since the beginning of the pandemic, this is the first day that no one is believed to have died of the disease in New York City.
After months in which restaurants were strictly takeout, the city allows outdoor dining.
Amr Alfiky/The New York Times
Amr Alfiky/The New York Times
With budget cuts and overwhelming demand for outdoor space, Prospect Park and other green spaces are filled with trash.
Sarah Stacke for The New York Times
Nearly 500 mayoral staff members are required to take an unpaid week off. The symbolic move, which would yield $860,000 in anticipated savings, was seen as a possible precursor to similar maneuvers to cut the budget.
Todd Heisler/The New York Times
Victor J. Blue for The New York Times
Trying to slow a mounting second wave of the virus, the governor bars indoor dining at all New York City restaurants.
Sandra Lindsay, a nurse at a Queens hospital, becomes the first American to get the shot.
Pool photo by Mark Lennihan
The state attorney general, Letitia James, issues a report charging that the Cuomo administration undercounted Covid-related deaths of state nursing home residents by the thousands.
Anna Watts for The New York Times
Just a week later, the vaccine opens up to those 16 and older.
James Estrin/The New York Times
How “feeling blah” came to be the enduring feeling of living through a pandemic.
The mayor’s promise of a summer to remember brought hope after more than a year of restrictions.
James Estrin/The New York Times
Elizabeth D. Herman for The New York Times
Amir Hamja for The New York Times
“The Delta variant is more aggressive and much more transmissible than previously circulating strains,” said Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Fueled by the Delta variant, daily coronavirus case counts double from 200 to more than 400 in a matter of weeks.
“Given the circumstances, the best way I can help now is if I step aside and let government get back to governing,” Mr. Cuomo said. “And therefore, that’s what I’ll do.” The lieutenant governor, Kathy Hochul, succeeds him.

Caitlin Ochs/Reuters
All counties in New York City are considered “high transmission.”
In the middle of Barry Manilow’s “Can’t Live Without You,” lightning brings the concert to an early end, and thousands are told to find shelter.
“Hadestown” and “Waitress” are the first Broadway musicals to reopen.
Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for The New York Times
Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for The New York Times
Jutharat Pinyodoonyachet for The New York Times
Governor Hochul declares state of emergency in anticipation.
“Waitress” and “Thoughts of a Colored Man” close permanently, while other shows like “Hamilton” are forced to shut down temporarily because of cast and crew infections.
More than one-third — 34.8 percent — of all Covid tests are positive this week.
Victor J. Blue for The New York Times
Average daily number of new cases over past seven days is 43,760.
For the first time in nearly two years, schoolchildren are permitted to attend class without face masks.
Brittainy Newman for The New York Times
New Yorkers will still be required to wear masks in a number of settings, including on the subway and in taxis. Masks and proof of vaccination are still required at Broadway shows through April 30, and individual business owners may continue to require either as they see fit.
Brittainy Newman for The New York Times
Designed by Umi Syam. Produced by Wm. Ferguson, Jeffrey Furticella, Andrew Hinderaker, Hilary Howard, Andy Newman, and Kayne Rogers.


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