NY Mayor and Governor, New Yorkers MUST wear Face coverings … WHAT TOOK THEM SO LONG???
Related rant follows near the end of this post
On April 15, 2020, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio and NY Governor Andrew Cuomo would each respectively issue a new advisement and Executive Order demanding that New Yorkers wear face coverings. These declarations would exist for the sake of protecting New Yorkers from infection or transmission of COVID-19. All coming at a time when confirmed infections and deaths from Novel Coronavirus continue to be a critical health concern throughout the state.
Three days ago, rules went into place outlining how essential workers on the front lines and those in public service positions would be required to wear facial coverings. Today, both the NY Governor and NYC Mayor would add to and expand upon those directives. Both would make the announcements during their own daily COVID-19 Emergency Response Press Conferences.
Basically, every New Yorker would need to wear some sort of facial covering when confronted with a situation wherein social distancing could not be carried out. It would be a rule to follow whether it be in the subway, on a bus, on a street or anywhere else.
Mayor de Blasio, this morning gave thanks to all the workers in grocery store and supermarkets. He then followed that up by saying that anyone who patronizes such merchants would need to follow the guidance set forth by such merchants. Interestingly, the Mayor did not think to mention pharmacies which are usually just as tight spaces as many of the food stores in our city.
Mayor de Blasio: “And finally want to mention in this category we’re giving some new guidance today and it— about when you go to the store, when you go shopping for food what makes sense to do. So, I’m giving the guidance to all supermarkets and groceries require customers, require customers to wear face coverings when they come in. Put up a sign at the entrance around the store making clear that that’s the right way to do things and that’s a requirement of your particular store that is legal and appropriate, the City will back you up. This will help everyone to remember when they’re in that kind of space, it’s so important to protect each other, to protect the whole community that face covering is a smart thing to do. Every store has the right to put up that guidance and make it a requirement in terms of entry into the store and anybody who will not, any customer who says, no, I refuse, I should not be allowed in. And again, we will back up those stores; we will help you to enforce the rules. You have a right to have those rules in place, it’s the smart thing to do for the health of all New Yorkers, and the City of New York will back you up. We need to keep each other safe, we need to keep these groceries and supermarket workers safe so they can keep serving us, this is the smart thing to do.”
Later in the day, Governor Cuomo would state: “I’m going to issue an executive order that says all people in public must have a mask or nose covering — mouth and nose covering, and they must wear it in a situation where you cannot, or are not maintaining social distancing. Meaning what? If you’re going to be in public, and you cannot maintain social distancing, then have a mask and put the mask on when you’re not in socially distant places. You’re walking down the street, you’re walking down the street alone, great.”
“You’re now at an intersection and there are people in the intersection and you’re going to be in proximity to other people, put the mask on. You’re right to go out for a walk in the park, go out for a walk because you need to get out of the house, the dog is getting on your nerves. Fine, don’t infect me. You don’t have a right to infect me. If you are going to be in a situation in public where you may come into contact with other people in a situation that is not socially distanced, you must have a mask or a cloth covering nose and mouth. That is by executive order. So, if you’re going to get on public transit, you’re going to get on a bus, you’re going to get on a subway, you’re going to stand on a subway platform, you’re going to walk in a neighborhood that is busy, you’re going to be on a sidewalk, you’re going to pass other people on a sidewalk, you’re not going to able to maintain social distancing, you must wear a mask or cloth or an attractive bandana or a color-coordinated bandana cloth, but you have to wear it in those situations. We’ll give people three-day notice to allow compliance. Just on the off chance that somebody doesn’t have a cloth covering or a mask, and we’ll go from there.”
Curiously missing is the mention of any fines. Ordering folks to wear face coverings is a toothless endeavor without the promise of punishment. Not that the NYPD’s got the wherewithal to deal with the demands of issuing summonses. Yet, the clarity of knowing you might be ticketed goes a long way, in my opinion. That is, towards getting people to follow through. $1,000 fines are already being promised in a city like Laredo Texas for not obeying similar laws; as is the case in Osceola County, Florida where one’s subject to a $500 fine or 60 days in jail.
Rant of the Day:
Through social media, yours truly has gone on and on about how late government officials have been in requiring people to wear facial coverings. There are others online who’ve complained about the very same thing; describing these actions, or lack thereof, as criminally negligent.
Many deaths could have been avoided in NY State if local Government had stepped up and required, NOT Advised, the wearing of face coverings. Instead, Dr. Oxiris Barbot (head of the NYC Department of Health) told us from the onset, that we shouldn’t be wearing masks unless we were actually sick. She did not truly act until the CDC’s own study finally concluded that YES, non symptomatic COVID-19 infected people can indeed be part of the widespread problem of mass infections. It was then that an advisement came about directing New Yorkers to wear something.
Yet, one’s got to remember, the buck stops with each respective office. Mayor de Blasio is repeatedly turning to Dr. Barbot as well as Dr. Mitchell Katz (President and Chief Executive Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals) for guidance. Something which is all well and good, but it’s up to the Mayor to make decisions. He shouldn’t be waiting for stats, studies or the okay from any doctor if the writing is clearly on the wall. Yes, a good deal of the blame goes to the Federal Government – ‘but it’s no excuse! Take responsibility for your own locality, your own domain.
Likewise, Governor Cuomo’s has had his own slow hand in dealing with all of this. Today, he proclaims that which should’ve been done long ago. It takes no genius to realize that social distancing is impossible in many scenarios when it comes to a city like New York. Whether it be in the subway, store or within a pharmacy.
I pray that the hell which our city and state is dealing with comes to its end sooner than later.