WWW.QNS.COM RIDGEWOOD TIMES JUNE 11, 2020 9
Phase one comes as COVID-19 numbers keep falling
BY TERESA METTELA
New York City took the fi rst step
toward returning to normalcy
on June 8 when it offi cially entered
phase one of its reopening.
More than 33,000 construction
sites will reopen, curbside pickup
for retail stores will be allowed and
other non-essential businesses have
also be reinstated. Staff working at
these businesses must continue
to abide by New York state’s social
distancing rules and regulations.
While Governor Andrew Cuomo
reassures the public that New
York City has met three of seven
guidelines needed to advance the
multiphase reopening plan, the
implementation of phase one has
been met with a range of skepticism
from residents and political actors.
“We didn’t just flatten the curve,
we bent it, and we did it all based on
data and facts. I have confidence saying
to New Yorkers that we are ready
to reopen,” Governor Cuomo said.
City officials claim that precautions
will be taken in order to prevent
the spread of coronavirus in the
workplace. In fact, within reopening
construction sites, City Department
of Buildings inspectors are
requiring workers to wear masks
and remain six feet apart. Similar
safety plans are being introduced
within the retail, manufacturing
and transportation sectors of New
Joshua Singavarapu, a 21-yearold
student and longtime resident of
Forest Hills, recognizes the positive
strides New York City has made in
decreasing its number of COVID
Although Singavarapu does not
feel that phase one will directly
impact his own daily routine, as local
parks, fitness centers, and other
recreational areas remain closed, he
is grateful for the reopening of nonessential
Singavarapu points out that not
only are New York City citizens suffering
from feelings of loneliness
and depression, a majority are also
struggling to pay rent or put food on
“Phase one in New York City is coming
at the right time as the COVID-19
cases are at a very low number,” says
the college student. “We just have to
remember that the reopening does
not mean we can walk around without
masks. Autonomy takes hold in
Certain organizations are committed
to providing services to its
community members and helping
individuals heavily impacted by
Diansong Yu, the executive director
of the Flushing BID, spoke with
QNS about the experience of local
businesses in Downtown Flushing
during the pandemic.
Flushing, a neighborhood known
for its busy streets and bustling
atmosphere, has become a “ghost
town,” Yu said.
Yu noted that foot traffic on Main
Street decreased from 100,000 people
to merely 100 on the street — a figure
he has never seen before. Despite
having 100 to 120 open restaurants
in Downtown Flushing, Yu is not
optimistic about their survival.
“I don’t know how long a business
can function like this,” Yu said.
“Consumers need to do their share.
Small businesses cannot afford to
deal with a second wave.”
Pedestrian traffi c on Main Street in Flushing has dramatically decreased
during the COVID-19 pandemic. Courtesy of Diansong Yu
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