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In the United States, New York remains at the heart of this coronavirus epidemic. For the city that never sleeps, the prolonged confinement has serious consequences on the economy and on the eight million inhabitants. Many shops and restaurants are closed, thousands of people find themselves out of work.
In a New York neighborhood, an almost unreal scene. On several blocks, dozens and dozens of yellow taxis parked, out of service. Eternal symbols of the city, yellow taxis are among the most affected by the coronavirus crisis. With confinement, their clientele has fallen by 75%. Of what remains, ” the majority are those who go to hospitals, those who make deliveries to hospitals and those who have work and cannot stop. », Explains Saibou Sidibé, of the taxi workers alliance.
He is himself a part-time driver. For a day’s work, taxis today earn $ 50. It used to be around $ 300. ” It’s hard, because they have to pay the medallion of the cars, you have to pay for the fuel, you have to pay for the insurance », He enumerates. A low gain for too high a risk that pushes more and more drivers to stay at home. ” Drivers are afraid today in general and everyone is trying to protect themselves. You know you ride, you don’t know who you take He said.
“In the space of five minutes, I lost my restaurant”
Stopping work is also what Amanda Cohen had to do. Just a month ago, her restaurant, “Dirt Candy”, was full every night. For $ 100, she offered a tasting menu. A formula that does not lend itself to the take-out option. It was simply forced to lay off its 30 employees. ” It was a very sad moment. We had no idea when we would meet again. Within five minutes I lost my restaurant Says Amanda Cohen.
Like “Dirt Candy”, many of New York’s 25,000 restaurants are likely to disappear. For Amanda Cohen, this health crisis exposed the failings of the American system which offers little or no job security.
More and more help solicited
Since lockdown began just over a month ago, at least 10% of New York-area residents have registered as unemployed, and soup kitchens and food banks like Denise Scaravella’s are more than ever. requested. ” Many of our beneficiaries today are families. I had never had this. We have always had single men or women who live in the subway or the park. But today, they still come and we also have more and more families. We had never seen it like this before », She notes.
Usually, Denise Scaravella served less than 300 meals in an entire day. Today, in two hours, it distributes up to 400. A demand increasingly strong, while many food banks have had to close for lack of donations or sufficient food.
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