Recent Covid data indicates that the spread is on the rise. As predicted by health officials, the second wave of the infection is now upon us.
Westchester County statistics show that Yonkers bears the brunt of infections. To date, there are 8,690 cases in the Y.O. This is the highest in the county.
Previous HH articles have been written about the failure to wear masks and long store lines as contributing factors to the spike.https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/life/2598-dollar-store-lines-and-covid https://news.hamlethub.com/swyonkers/life/2511-yonkers-post-office-delivers-bad-service
However, a recent study lends even more credence to the fact that overcrowded stores and long lines contritube to the epidemic. https://www.nature.com/articles/d41586-020-03140-4
"The mobility data also suggest why people from poorer neighbourhoods are more likely to get COVID-19: because they are less able to work from home, and the stores they visit for essential supplies are often more crowded than in other areas. The average grocery store in poorer neighbourhoods had 59% more hourly visitors per square foot, and visitors stayed on average 17% longer than at stores outside those areas. Leskovec says that people living in these areas probably have limited options to visit less crowded stores, and as a result, a shopping trip is twice as risky as it is for someone from a wealthier area."
Little has been done by store managers to hire additional personnel to accomodate shoppers and lessen the wait time. COY agencies such as Yonkers BID have not intervened. A yelp review of Shoprite on Prospect Avenue and Riverdale details the following:
I came to this supermarket in South YO this morning and yesterday and I'm a senior citizen. I was very disappointed that the senior hours is not being honored. I didn't have alot of items today only (6) and had to wait in line for over 20 minutes because the line was very long and this was at 7:30am. I just wanted to go in and come out.
The store advertise senior hours from 7-8am so I like to know what happened? "
Gov. Cuomo has issued a new mandate stating that all NY State restaurants and bars will now close at 10pm starting Nov. 13th, 2020. This is a hardship not only for eating establishments that have just begun to resurrect themselves but for their employees too. Reduced hours equal reduced tips equal reduced wages. With the stimulus package sitting in limbo, the Xmas grinch has arrived early. https://ny.eater.com/2020/11/11/21561135/new-york-bars-and-restaurants-curfew
Poor neighborhoods and neglect are synonymous. But the stakes are higher now. If retail establishments do not do their part in reducing purchase lines, the covid spike will continue. Additional cashiers, better management, and a focus on service is paramount. Historically, stores in the inner city have reaped hefty profits from poor people with few options to shop elsewhere. Zip codes 10705 and 10701 are disproportionately impacted do to density and overcrowding.
Times have changed. Now those stores are the gatekeepers of a disease that will continue to grow without civic intervention.