FOR BREAKING NEWS VISIT WWW.QNS.COM APRIL 23, 2020 • THE QUEENS COURIER 23
oped letters & comments
BY BETH FINKEL
Th ese are deeply uncertain times, but
one thing we know for sure: COVID-
19 presents a much greater risk for older
adults and those with underlying medical
Because the virus is so new, it can be
hard to know what to do to stay safe. Here
in New York, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak,
we want to make sure that older
adults and their caregivers have access to
the knowledge and resources they need to
stay safe and healthy.
First and foremost, older adults should
stay home as much as possible and practice
social distancing by keeping at least
six feet away from other people. And, be
careful where you get your health information.
Th e best source about coronavirus is
the federal Centers for Disease Control, at
www.cdc.gov, or New York State’s coronavirus
telephone hotline at 888-364-3065.
For older adults without access to the
internet, New York City and state have many
resources available by phone. Calling 311 is
the best source of coronavirus guidance in
the city. NY Connects, at 800-342-9871, can
connect you with assistance for things like
home care, transportation and meals.
Th e New York City Department For Th e
Aging, at 212-244-6469, connects homebound
older adults with services.
Staying at home and social distancing
can lead to isolation, a major problem as
we age. For now, virtual visiting is oft en
the best we can do. AARP recognizes that
and has created an online platform to help.
AARP’s Community Connections website,
can connect you with mutual aid groups –
informal groups of volunteers who provide
various kinds of assistance to their neighbors,
such as help getting groceries.
And unfortunately, older adults as
always need to be on the lookout for scammers,
who are exploiting this crisis to steal
money or personal information. Beware
any calls or emails from unknown sources,
and only share information with people
you know and trust.
Last but not least, it’s important to stay in
regular contact with family caregivers and
loved ones to avoid social isolation and the
physical and emotional toll it takes. We
encourage everyone to check in regularly
with the older adults in their lives.
Th is is a challenging time for all of us,
especially older adults. But armed with the
right information and resources, we can
get through this.
You can fi nd more information about
all of these services and many others at
www.aarp.org/coronavirus, or www.aarp.
org/elcoronavirus en Espanol.
Beth Finkel is the state director of AARP
A SHOW OF SUPPORT
DURING THIS CRISIS
Beginning on March 27, 2019,
and continuing up until today, I’ve
been standing at a few diff erent overpass
locations on the Long Island
Expressway in Fresh Meadows waving
the American fl ag to oncoming traffi c
as it approached and passed beneath
Th e reaction that was received was
just wonderful. Many motorists honked
their horns, gave the thumbs-up sign, or
waved to me as they passed by.
I wanted to do something to help buoy
the spirits of people as we all continue
dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic.
I am just a humble person who always
wants to help and be kind to others, since
this is how my wonderful, loving parents
raised me to be.
I want to take this moment to sincerely
say thank you to all of the hundreds and
hundreds of people who showed me support
as I waved the stars and stripes for
these last 19 days.
I would especially like to acknowledge
all of those fi rst responders, our wonderful
fi refi ghters and police offi cers, as
well as our wonderful sanitation workers,
truck drivers, food delivery drivers,
FedEx and UPS drivers, Verizon workers,
Con Edison workers, EMT ambulance
drivers, bus drivers, parks workers,
landscapers, postal workers, and many
other essential workers who blew their
horns and waved to me during these past
I have never been prouder to be a New
Yorker and an American. We are all in
this together, and together we will all
prevail and win the battle over this virus
from hell. To everyone who I have mentioned,
may God bless all of you and your
families and the very critical work that all
of you are doing and will continue to do
to help all of us through this crisis.
All of you are in my daily thoughts and
prayers each and every day. Please stay
safe, stay strong, stay healthy and keep
One thing is for very certain: when this
storm fi nally passes us by, and life slowly
begins to return to some semblance of
normalcy, never again will any of us ever
take anything in life for granted. Life is
so very important and precious to us all,
and how we live our lives makes all of the
diff erence in the world.
John Amato, Fresh Meadows
CANCEL ALL NYC
PARADES THIS YEAR
“Don’t rain on my parade” sang Barbra
Streisand in “Funny Girl.” Mayor de
Blasio must rain on all NYC parades
during the COVID crisis.
It was reported on April 16 that our
mayor has canceled all parades and other
events requiring permits for the month
of May, but hasn’t decided on events
aft er that.
He must cancel all public gatherings
during the COVID-19 crisis, including
those celebrating Gay Pride, Puerto
Rican Day, the Fourth of July, West
Indian Day, Columbus Day, Veterans
Day and Th anksgiving. Parades endanger
public health by making social distancing
impossible. Th ey also drain vital
Sanitation Department resources.
We cannot celebrate until we can vaccinate
all New Yorkers.
Richard Reif, Kew Gardens Hills
CUOMO, DE BLASIO
MUST WORK TOGETHER
Due to the ongoing feud between
Governor Andrew Cuomo and NYC
Mayor Bill de Blasio, NYC subway and
bus riders continue to be the losers.
The Metropolitan Transportation
Authority Board is made up of 17 voting
members. Th eir votes impact how
the $51 billion MTA 2020 - 2024 Five-
Year Capital Program spending priorities,
contract awards, fares and service
operations are determined. Th is
aff ects millions of New Yorkers who ride
NYC Transit bus, subway, Staten Island
Railway, MTA bus, Long Island Rail
Road and Metro-North Railroad.
Cuomo nominates six of those board
members and names the board chair and
CEO. In reality, he controls the MTA.
De Blasio nominates four. Suburban
County Executives from Nassau,
Suff olk, Westchester, Dutchess, Orange,
Rockland, and Putnam each nominate
one. Westchester, Dutchess, Orange and
Rockland share one vote.
NYC currently has only two of its
four votes due to two vacancies. Ms.
Veronica Vanterpool and Mr. Carl
Weisbrod resigned earlier this year. De
Blasio nominated NYC Department
of Aging Commissioner Ms. Lorraine
Cortés-Vázquez to replace Weisbrod
and NYC Mayor’s Offi ce for People with
Disabilities Mr. Victor Calise to replace
Why hasn’t Cuomo allowed De Blasio’s
two nominations to go forward? NYC
deserves four full-time votes on the MTA
Cuomo continues to live by the old
Sicilian proverb, “vengeance is a dish best
served cold.” As a result of his inaction, 8
million NYC residents continue to be left
out in the cold when it comes to MTA
Larry Penner, Great Neck
Story: ‘They’re putting people’s lives at risk’:
Rego Park Trader Joe’s employee claims
management lacks transparency with
Summary: An employee at the only Trader
Joe’s in Queens said there are fi ve other
employees who tested positive for COVID-
19 — but management only informed them
of the cases weeks after knowing they were
Reach: 5,665 (as of 4/20/20)