I am scared. I am so scared because New York City is now the hotbed for the coronavirus disease, or Covid-19, in the United States. As of March 26, there have been 82,135 cases and 1,195 deaths recorded across the country, with 365 dead in the city and cases rising to 23,000. I had goosebumps after Mayor Bill de Blasio suggested, if the situation is not remedied, around four million New Yorkers could be infected.
The United States has eclipsed Italy, which hogged headlines for other a month.
What is scarier is that Queens, where I live, is the city’s epicenter.
Another reason to tremble is Elmhurst Hospital, the local facility that I wrote about in my previous column, is the focal point for the “apocalypse” after recording the highest number of Covid-19 patients and seeing a death toll rise over the past week.
The coronavirus tends to spread in densely-populated area, as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo pointed out, “That spatial closeness makes us vulnerable.” Complying by “stay-at-home” rules is urgent.
According to the 2010 census, New York City has an average of just over 27,000 people per square mile－more than double the density of Chicago and Philadelphia, and more than three times the density of Los Angeles. At all times of day, New Yorkers pack together on the subway, bump into each other on sidewalks, brush knees at bars and restaurants, live in crowded apartment buildings, and squeeze past each other on stairs or into elevators.
“We’re used to crowds,” de Blasio said. “We’re used to lines; we’re used to being close together.”
New York City is also the most populated city in the US with over eight million inhabitants. The number of coronavirus cases also reflects the city’s size.
According to Weill Cornell Medical College professor, Dr. Kent Sepkowitz, “The state will likely lead the country in coronavirus cases even if its infection rate per person is not the highest.”
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The US Department of Labor’s unemployment insurance program, a joint state-federal program that provides cash benefits to those eligible, is intended for those who become unemployed by no fault of their own and meet certain eligibility requirements.
In addition, the coronavirus relief package, which dramatically expands unemployment insurance for the jobless during the outbreak, seeks to ease the suffering imposed by the crisis as unemployment claims shattered records.
The $2 trillion bill creates two main categories of benefits. Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which covers people who are unable to work because of the coronavirus, including independent contractors, gig workers, sick people, and those caring for loved ones during the outbreak. The second program provides an extra $600 per week over the next four months for those out of work and earning jobless benefits in their state.
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To show that the world was made of particles a million times smaller than objects visible to the naked eye was so difficult that their existence was not established beyond reasonable doubt until the end of the nineteenth century.
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Many products can cause air pollution within the home including modern cleaners, which contain strong chemicals. Make sure to ventilate the home well, ensuring a “through-flow” of air to help reduce pollution levels and encourage good ventilation.
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The human body requires at least one gallon of water a day. If stocking up on emergency supplies, bear in mind that plastic bottles are said to leach chemicals into the water if left for a length of time.
Save space and the environment by stocking up on water filters instead.
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Alex P. Vidal, who is based in New York City, used to be the editor for two local dailies in Iloilo./WDJ