There are virtually no parts of the country that Covid-19 is not currently impacting. For instance, North and South Dakota are presently seeing an infection spike because they’ve been pushing back strongly against mask-wearing.
As for the East Coast and New York City, in particular, the virus seems to be more under control. That is because, after the first wave, residents realized that the way to combat the spread was mask-wearing and social distancing. They were willing to follow medical advice, so there are fewer new cases and deaths per capita.
That’s encouraging news, but it doesn’t change the fact that many residents are now struggling because of their financial situation. Many have lost their jobs, while others face underemployment.
Here are some of the industries that Covid-19 is impacting in New York City and the surrounding areas.
Think about what life is like in New York for a first responder right now. You have some of them who were already applying to the 9/11 victim compensation fund for medical conditions. Now they have to contend with the pandemic on top of that.
First responders include:
- Police officers
In some ways, Covid-19 has changed nothing. 911 calls still go out, and these brave men and women must respond.
Now, though, they have no way of knowing whether the people they encounter are coronavirus-infected. This puts first responders at risk in a whole new way.
Say, for instance, that they encounter someone who is mentally disturbed. This person is spitting at them. That’s an entirely new wrinkle they have to contend with as they’re trying to subdue this individual.
It’s never easy to be a first responder, but their work is more complicated than ever right now. At least they still have employment, which is more than some others can say.
Medical personnel include:
- Ambulance drivers
Many of these individuals report feeling fatigue and hopelessness with what’s happening in the city at the moment. They continue to fight bravely, but they lack the crucial supplies they need.
For months, they didn’t have beds available for new patients, and hospitals looked like war zones, with people lining the hallways because they couldn’t get their own rooms. Things have stabilized a bit now, but remain dire.
There are doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals on the front lines dealing with the new patient influx. They report feeling frustrated or even infuriated by individuals who come in from out of state and refuse to quarantine. Some of them come from states with lax mask-wearing requirements, so they could have the virus but not be aware of it.
This is certainly a supreme test for NYC medical personnel. Some report that even if they get through the pandemic, they might leave the city afterward. The strain is severely impacting them.
If you walk down the street in midtown Manhattan, you’ll likely notice a security guard in virtually every building lobby. There are dozens of security companies operating in the city that employ these individuals.
It’s been a tough time for security guards and supervisors as well. For a time, many of them were out of work. Now, some of their buildings have reopened, and they’re back on the job, wearing masks.
However, while they’re working and supporting their families, much like first responders, they sometimes have to deal with individuals coming in their buildings who don’t want to wear masks. This puts them in a difficult spot.
As a security guard, you cannot physically restrain someone in the same way a police offer can. Because of this, when someone belligerent comes in a building and refuses to wear a mask or abide by the other rules, the guard has no choice but to call the police for help.
This makes security guard jobs highly stressful these days. These positions seldom pay very much, and this extra irritation causes anxiety for many guards.
Hairdressers and Salon Workers
If you live in New York City and started using Zoom to communicate with your coworkers, you might have noticed that many are overdue for a haircut. The lengthy quarantine meant that many people couldn’t go to the salon or barbershop like they once could.
Now, barbershops and beauty salons are mostly open again. That’s good for the employees, most of whom don’t have much savings.
Almost all barbershops and salons report doing less business now, though. Part of that is because of continuing pandemic concerns, but that’s not the only reason.
Some people simply don’t have the money to get a haircut or their nails done at the moment. They might be on the verge of eviction and trying to scrape money together any way they can. They’re not inclined to worry about their appearance if they’re about to end up on the street.
Restaurant Workers and Bartenders
The same goes for bartenders, servers, and other food service industry professionals. At the moment, you can eat outdoors at NYC restaurants, as long as you remain a safe distance from other people. However, some diners don’t even want to risk doing that.
Reportedly, restaurants will reopen for indoor dining at the end of September, which is not that far away. There will be rigorous inspections and rules in place.
Even once that happens, it’s far from clear how many people will be willing to risk eating indoors, which means very little money coming into bartender and server pockets. These individuals seldom have much savings either, and these are desperate times for them.
Many others remain impacted. A recent report said that the city might lose as many as 500,000 jobs because of the pandemic, and there could be a $9.7 billion city tax revenue loss over the next two fiscal years.
It’s no wonder that some people are leaving New York to move into less expensive areas. This mass exodus is disheartening, but an unfortunate reality here in 2020’s latter half.