New York in times of pandemic: “a city with two faces”

While some New York neighborhoods have returned to their pre-pandemic life, some areas are still deserted, six months after the start of the coronavirus crisis. “It’s really a city with two faces”, testifies the independent journalist Alexis Buisson.

He himself lives in a neighborhood north of Manhattan that was completely crippled at the start of the pandemic. However, life has since resumed its course. It’s a neighborhood that is very lively, there are a lot of people in the street, there is music and street vendors, describes Alexis Buisson.

Conversely, the business districts, dominated by office buildings, are still completely deserted today. Activity is resuming there at a very slow pace.

It must be said that the authorities have put a lot of effort to limit the spread of COVID-19. New York has spent the past 30 days with an infection rate of less than 1%, which is huge when you look at how far it has come since May., says the journalist.

Businesses and services are gradually resuming their activities throughout the city, but many will not recover from the prolonged closure. According to Alexis Buisson, around 1,000 New York restaurants have closed their doors for good.

The lure of the suburbs

The journalist explains that by observing the cell phone register, the New York Times found that about 5% of New Yorkers had left the city within the first three months of the pandemic. Impossible to say for now if they will return there one day.

In any case, I can tell you that there is great pride on the part of the New Yorkers who have stayed, specifies Alexis Buisson.

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