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APOCALYPSE HERE:

Grim Reaping: To help Brooklyn deal with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a refrigerated truck is used as a temporary morgue at The Brooklyn Hospital Center in Fort Greene. In a statement, the hospital said, “The unprecedented crisis calls for extraordinary measures ... to accommodate the tragic spike in deaths, placing a strain on the entire system of care from hospitals to funeral homes.” As of Wednesday night, New York City - the epicenter of the world crisis – nears 1,400 coronavirus deaths. Photo: © Vanessa Carvalho/ZUMA Wire)

Life’s Changed in Brooklyn and Everywhere Else …

In New York City these days, there are no bustling crowds, no standing-room-only on the subway.  Plenty of seats because most everyone is doing the right thing, staying home.  Waiting on a line spacing 6 ft apart to enter the supermarket.  Everyone wearing masks moving through the aisles.   I never thought to see this in the United States.  This could only happen someplace else. Never here. 

As the death toll mounts, now projected to be 2,000 a day across the country, the reality is seeking in… However, we can control our space, by staying away from people and by actively protecting ourselves, and those few we have around us.

This always happened someplace else. Never here. It was a sudden pang of heartbreak. As the death toll mounts, now projected to be 2,000/day across the country, the reality keeps sinking in.

However, we can control the virus, by staying away from people and by actively protecting ourselves, and those few we have around us.
As we said in the March 5, issue on “Coronavirus and Hand Awareness” wash your hands throughout the day and “be aware of everything touched and gently assume everyone’s a carrier.” Always carry sanitizer with you and use it after every time your hands touch anything.
Remember your wallet, pants pocket and purse are transfer points for money, credit cards and home to whatever virus they may have picked up being handled or touched on a machine. Again, carry hand sanitizer.

Do not touch your face! It is the areas around the eyes nose and mouth that provide entry for the virus. Do these things and the odds swing in your favor and in the favor of everyone else.

The Good News
There are groups forming and local businesses showing the community’s support and love for the healthcare professionals who are literally putting their lives and the lives and well-being of their families at risk, to help the sick and to save us all in a time of pandemic.
The Soul Food Kitchen at Kingston and Dean has been sending hundreds of no-holds-barred lunches to Interfaith Medical Center and Rick’s Lobster House on Flatbush Avenue near Kings Plaza has also been sending boxed lunches.

Groups of neighbors have come together to support the community and the healthcare workers. Bedstuystrong.com is one and Brooklyn For Life is another. The Go Fund Me page for Brooklyn for Life has raised over $54,000 and is providing 600 meals/day for Brooklyn Hospital staff. And Bedstuystrong.com is a group of neighbors who take lists and bring food they pay for themselves.

In addition to the expressions of love and admiration the community is giving, our health care workers, taking casualties on the frontlines of a war, should have their paychecks matched by the federal government and file as serving in a combat zone for tax purposes.

And the folks in our part of Clinton Hill have been obeying the social distance mandate. I saw it being enforced on St. James Pl. between Gates and Fulton. Two people sitting down and two stopping to talk, and a police loudspeaker blared words to the effect of break it up. You know it’s bad when white people talking on a block with multi-million-dollar homes are being told to move along and the corner stoop where a group of young men are usually found is suddenly empty.

At his Tuesday briefing, Dr. Fauci said the models of the expected disease progress are based on the data they have today. And according to their data project, New York will be having an explosive number of deaths in the next two weeks and there could be as many as 2,000 dying a day across the country. Most of those deaths will be related to underlying symptoms of diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease and already stressed immune systems.

This is going to hit the African American community hard. Taking too soon a generation with knowledge still to be given and love to be shared. In this time, there will be no visiting of elders except to leave food and necessities outside the door. And they must be instructed to wipe down and sanitize whatever comes into the house. It is as though we on the outside are the leper colony and they have to keep away.

The ramifications of COVID-19 are moving through society in a cascade of waves, each compounding the one that came before. All of the very basics of survival are being challenged. Health, finances, housing, with an ending yet to be determined. What we do know absolutely for sure, is that the poor and those in ill health will suffer most.
Wash your hands, don’t touch your face and stay away from people, and we’ll get through this together.

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