Disparities Go Beyond Mortality Rates: Black Americans Far More Likely To Be Arrested For Social Distance Violations
In Brooklyn, the police arrested 40 people for social-distancing violations from March 17 through May 4. Of those arrested, 35 people were black, four were Hispanic and one was white. Meanwhile, low-income workers are having to take responsibility for enforcing social distancing, even as videos emerge of violent confrontations over the issue. And businesses try to imagine what the new normal will look like as the country slowly reopens.
The New York Times:
The NYPD Arrested 40 People On Social Distancing Violations. 35 Were Black.
A police officer enforcing social distancing rules broke up a group of people on a stoop during a nighttime cookout in East New York, Brooklyn, punching one man in the face. Another dispute between officers and residents of the same predominantly black neighborhood over the guidelines led to a man being knocked unconscious. Days later, three men were arrested after taking part in a sprawling vigil at the Queensbridge Houses for a rapper who was said to have died of the coronavirus. Tensions are increasingly flaring in black and Hispanic neighborhoods over officers’ enforcement of social distancing rules, leading some prominent elected officials to charge that the New York Police Department is engaging in a racist double standard as it struggles to shift to a public health role in the coronavirus crisis. (Southall, 5/7)
The Associated Press:
NYPD Distancing Arrests: Many Non-Whites, At Times Violently
Despite mounting pressure to stop using police to enforce social distancing and data showing that such arrests disproportionately affect people of color, Mayor Bill de Blasio stood by the practice on Thursday, saying: “We’re not going to sideline the NYPD.” “I am not making my decisions based on a very few interactions that were handled poorly or went bad,” de Blasio said. “I’m making my decisions based on the millions of interactions that are going right.” (Sisak, 5/8)
The Associated Press:
Store Workers Become Enforcers Of Social Distancing Rules
Sandy Jensen’s customer-service job at a Sam’s Club in Fullerton, California, normally involves checking member ID cards at the door and answering questions. But the coronavirus has turned her into a kind of store sheriff. Now she must confront shoppers who aren’t wearing masks and enforce social distancing measures such as limits on the number of people allowed inside. The efforts sometimes provoke testy customers. (D'Innocenzio, 5/7)
The Associated Press:
Masks To Become Part Of Life In California, But Rules Vary
For Californians venturing outside, donning a mask will be as common as putting on a cap or sunglasses when the state begins gradually easing stay-at-home orders on Friday. But rules about face coverings vary from county to county, and it’s unclear what enforcement might look like. Masks have been ubiquitous at essential businesses like grocery stores and medical clinics since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. On the sidewalks of dense cities like Los Angeles and San Francisco, people have been wearing masks for weeks, giving wide berth to the small number of others whose faces aren’t covered. (Weber, 5/8)
One-Way Sidewalks And Parking Lot Dining Rooms: Is This The Future?
Small businesses are essential to cities and towns across the country. They create jobs, they create a sense of place — think of New York City without bodegas, Portland, Ore., without bike shops, or your town without its dance studio or hardware store — but they also create sales, income, and property tax revenues. "[It's] super important that we make it very easy for people to keep their purchases local," said Karina Ricks, director of the Department of Mobility and Infrastructure in Pittsburgh, Pa. (Krauss, 5/8)
Life Will Never Be The Same After The Pandemic Passes, Says Public Health Journalist
In the years after coronavirus, nothing will be as it was before, Pulitzer-prize winning public health journalist Laurie Garrett said Thursday. "I think we're going to get four, five years from now and there will not be a single aspect of our lives that's been unchanged," she said at CNN's ongoing coronavirus townhall. "It's almost impossible to really fully envision what that will look like." (Holcombe, 5/8)
What Offices May Look Like In A Post-Pandemic Era, If They Exist At All
In recent years, offices have been changing shape. Largely gone were stuffy cubicles and dividers in favor of open spaces that encouraged collaboration, with coworkers in some cases sitting in long rows or around tables. The new shared format -- exemplified by coworking spaces -- allowed more people to work together and broke down barriers. But with the onset of the novel coronavirus, a highly contagious respiratory disease with no vaccine that has killed more than 75,000 in the U.S alone, all of that may go by the wayside. (Thorbecke, 5/8)
Kaiser Health News:
Reopening In The COVID Era: How To Adapt To A New Normal
As many states begin to reopen — most without meeting the thresholds recommended by the White House — a new level of COVID-19 risk analysis begins for Americans. Should I go to the beach? What about the hair salon? A sit-down restaurant meal? Visit Mom on Mother’s Day?States are responding to the tremendous economic cost of the pandemic and people’s pent-up desire to be “normal” again. (Appleby, 5/8)