The city most affected by the coronavirus in the United States, New York took a new step on Monday in its exit from containment with the reopening to the public of non-essential businesses, while several southern and western states recorded an outbreak of the number of positive cases.
White hair hidden under a hat, mops in pain, many of them presented themselves this Monday morning to their usual hairdresser, authorized to reopen for the first time, three months to the day after the start of confinement.
“I cut my hair myself (during lockdown) and really did anything, so I can’t wait to go,” said Jeremiah Zinn, first customer at Benny’s Barbershop in Brooklyn. .
After construction and industries two weeks ago, New York has entered the second phase of its four-part economy restart plan with the reopening of non-essential businesses.
Outside Lexington Candy Shop, a typical 1950s diner, Chet Kane is enjoying his first terrace coffee, as restaurants and bars are now allowed to serve outdoors, but still not indoors.
New York, which until now had no great terrace culture, takes on a Parisian feel.
The coronavirus, which has killed more than 22,000 in New York, remains in people’s minds, and mask wearers remain the most numerous on the streets of Manhattan.
“We can’t just say: come on, we’re reopening. You have to respect the people who come to us, ”says Yury Ybukov, owner of Benny’s Barbershop, who has had his entire team undergo online training in health precautions and will leave three of his five chairs empty. “If a customer comes by and calls us the next day to tell us he’s sick, we’re not going to laugh. “
“A political question”
Many have their eyes fixed on these southern and western states which are experiencing a surge in the number of COVID-19 cases, including Florida, Montana or Oklahoma, where Donald Trump traveled for a meeting on Saturday the country.
Even though the total number of daily deaths in the country is declining and is now at higher levels since the end of March, concern remains about this resurgence and the capacity of the health system to cope with it.
Several governors have refused to make the wearing of masks compulsory inside places open to the public and blame the acceleration in the number of cases on an increase in tests.
The explanation was taken up on Saturday by Donald Trump during his speech in Tulsa (Oklahoma), during which he suggested slowing down the pace of tests, an idea that the president’s advisers then described as a joke.
In Nebraska, Republican Gov. Pete Ricketts has warned that any local authority that requires masks to be worn on their premises will be deprived of federal funding to deal with the pandemic.
“The White House has made it a political issue, and states have reopened and forgotten about numbers and science,” New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo commented Monday on CNN. “New York State has done the exact opposite. We followed the science. “
New York City is now recording fewer than 100 new cases daily, after experiencing days of more than 6,000 new positive people in early April.
However, the restart of the economy is still in the early stages and the permanent signs that the pandemic has left in the streets of New York are already visible.
On Monday, when they were authorized to do so, dozens of businesses did not reopen in Manhattan, and stores emptied of their furniture and now vacant are legion.
“A lot of our customers who bought us flowers every week have left,” says Sam Karalis, owner of Windsor Florist, in the upscale Upper East Side.
“They have homes in the Hamptons,” New York’s Riviera, “or elsewhere, north” of town, and probably won’t be back until summer is over at best, he says. . “Why would they come back? “