Weather: Sunny and mild in the morning, but look out for afternoon thunderstorms. High around 80.
Alternate-side parking: In effect until Sept. 7 (Labor Day). Read about the amended regulations here.
These days, it feels like there are two different ways to think about life in New York.
There is the relief that, week after week, the coronavirus has been kept under control, even as other states that once contained their outbreaks have seen spikes in the number of new virus cases.
Then there is the fear that it may just be a matter of time before New York sees a resurgence in the virus.
The juxtaposition of the two viewpoints has become increasingly glaring as the fall approaches and brings the threat of a second wave of infections.
My colleague J. David Goodman talked to epidemiologists, public health officials and infectious disease specialists about the state’s stability — and whether it could be sustained.
How did we get here?
The current levels of infection have surprised state and city officials: Around 1 percent of the roughly 30,000 tests each day in the city are positive for the virus. Compare that to Los Angeles, where the number is 7 percent, and Houston, where it is 15 percent.
The experts said the success could be attributed in large part to how New Yorkers reacted to the devastating outbreak in the spring, when sometimes thousands of people died per day.
State officials shut down schools and businesses. People generally wore face masks, and those who could sheltered in their homes.
And the reopening has been cautious: Officials reversed course on allowing indoor dining and gathering at bars after finding that those activities were connected to outbreaks in other parts of the country.
As a result, the rise in cases that some models predicted for the summer never happened.
But what about the future?
There are a number of threats, officials and experts say.
Models predict a rise in the early fall as the weather cools, people move indoors and schools open back up. Challenges remain in contact tracing and in forcing people to quarantine after they arrive from high-infection areas out of state.
And the virus’s containment could prompt people to loosen up about masks and social distancing.
“My concern is complacency,” the city’s former top public health official, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, said in an interview last month. Dr. Barbot resigned last week and voiced “deep disappointment” with Mayor Bill de Blasio’s response to the pandemic.
And finally: An update on the 9/11 tribute lights
On Friday, we reported that the National September 11 Memorial & Museum said its Tribute in Light would not shine next month because of health and safety concerns. It takes a team of about 40 stagehands and electricians working close together on the installation for more than a week to get it ready.
The Coronavirus Outbreak ›
Frequently Asked Questions
Updated August 12, 2020
Can I travel within the United States?
- Many states have travel restrictions, and lots of them are taking active measures to enforce those restrictions, like issuing fines or asking visitors to quarantine for 14 days. Here’s an ever-updating list of statewide restrictions. In general, travel does increase your chance of getting and spreading the virus, as you are bound to encounter more people than if you remained at your house in your own “pod.” “Staying home is the best way to protect yourself and others from Covid-19,” the C.D.C. says. If you do travel, though, take precautions. If you can, drive. If you have to fly, be careful about picking your airline. But know that airlines are taking real steps to keep planes clean and limit your risk.
I have antibodies. Am I now immune?
- As of right now, that seems likely, for at least several months. There have been frightening accounts of people suffering what seems to be a second bout of Covid-19. But experts say these patients may have a drawn-out course of infection, with the virus taking a slow toll weeks to months after initial exposure. People infected with the coronavirus typically produce immune molecules called antibodies, which are protective proteins made in response to an infection. These antibodies may last in the body only two to three months, which may seem worrisome, but that’s perfectly normal after an acute infection subsides, said Dr. Michael Mina, an immunologist at Harvard University. It may be possible to get the coronavirus again, but it’s highly unlikely that it would be possible in a short window of time from initial infection or make people sicker the second time.
I’m a small-business owner. Can I get relief?
- The stimulus bills enacted in March offer help for the millions of American small businesses. Those eligible for aid are businesses and nonprofit organizations with fewer than 500 workers, including sole proprietorships, independent contractors and freelancers. Some larger companies in some industries are also eligible. The help being offered, which is being managed by the Small Business Administration, includes the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. But lots of folks have not yet seen payouts. Even those who have received help are confused: The rules are draconian, and some are stuck sitting on money they don’t know how to use. Many small-business owners are getting less than they expected or not hearing anything at all.
What are my rights if I am worried about going back to work?
What is school going to look like in September?
- It is unlikely that many schools will return to a normal schedule this fall, requiring the grind of online learning, makeshift child care and stunted workdays to continue. California’s two largest public school districts — Los Angeles and San Diego — said on July 13, that instruction will be remote-only in the fall, citing concerns that surging coronavirus infections in their areas pose too dire a risk for students and teachers. Together, the two districts enroll some 825,000 students. They are the largest in the country so far to abandon plans for even a partial physical return to classrooms when they reopen in August. For other districts, the solution won’t be an all-or-nothing approach. Many systems, including the nation’s largest, New York City, are devising hybrid plans that involve spending some days in classrooms and other days online. There’s no national policy on this yet, so check with your municipal school system regularly to see what is happening in your community.
But over the weekend, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said that New York State would provide the health personnel and supervision so that the display, which has memorialized the attacks on the World Trade Center towers since 2002, could safely continue, The Times’s Aimee Ortiz reported.
“We’ve had conversations with many interested parties and believe we will be able to stage the tribute in a safe and appropriate fashion,” Alice M. Greenwald, the president and chief executive of the museum, said in a statement on Twitter.
The tribute, near ground zero, features 88 specially made lights used to create twin beams that tower over the city until dawn on Sept. 12. The museum has produced it for the past eight years.
It’s Monday — shine on.
Metropolitan Diary: A reddish tail
On my usual evening walk through Riverside Park, I saw a man standing on one of the paths in a densely wooded area. He was calling a name over and over and scanning the branches above.
“Are you looking for a bird?” I said as I passed.
“Yes,” he said. “A parrot. It’s kind of gray with a reddish tail.”
Casting my eyes upward, and dourly assessing the man’s chances of ever finding the bird in all the trees, I smiled gamely.
“Wow,” I said. “That must be hard. Good luck finding your bird.”
“Yeah, I know,” he said, his eyes brightening. “It’s not mine. But the owner is offering a $1,000 reward.”
— Barak Zimmerman
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