Tuesday, June 2, 2020

RIRA President Calls For Roosevelt Island Coronavirus Recovery New Beginning - "Social Respect Imposes That Our Individual Freedom Be Willingly And Partially Infringed To Protect All Other New Yorkers Health And Our Common Interest For Our Well Being And Economic Recovery" He Says

According to Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Interim President David Lawson (submitted May 27):

My Fellow Roosevelt Islanders,

It is now been over three months since America shutdown to confront the COVID-19 pandemic. Some 5.5 million people have been infected worldwide, and 350,000 have died. The epicenter, America accounts for a third of these infections and some 100,000 deaths. A third of all US infections and deaths are in the two most affected States, New York and New Jersey. The combined health, human, economic and social impacts of COVID-19 have been devastating, and felt harder in countries with limited safety nets, including the US. With countless bankruptcies of small and big businesses, already 38 million are out of job as unemployment could reach 20%. Poverty and food insecurity are raising, as the 2020 GDP prospects could go down double-digit. Congress has passed unprecedented bills of over US$6 trillion for the national emergency response to support the American people and the economy. The US Federal Reserve Bank and Treasury Department are taking aggressive actions to reduce financial stresses and support credit flows to mitigate the impact from long-lasting economic losses.

In New York, the health indicators are improving. It seems that the emergency phase of the epidemic here is seriously receding. As we continue to be grateful to and support our heroic front-liners for helping and saving thousands of souls, we are in grief and we mourn the loss of so many people everywhere, our fellow New Yorkers and Roosevelt islanders. According to the NYC Health Department, 229 Roosevelt islanders have been infected and 32 deaths are deplored. We express our deepest condolences to their families and loved ones. We will cherish their memory, and when this is over, we will properly honor them.

New Yorkers have valiantly resisted, and so have Roosevelt Islanders. NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo’s words are encouraging, but the pandemic is far from over. Some 100 fellow New Yorkers are still dying of COVID-19 and over 1,000 new cases are registered daily in New York State, including on Roosevelt Island. And other parts of the country are experiencing sharp increases in number of cases and deaths. Let us remember that the nice Summer days ahead are no sign of an early end to COVID-19. We must continue face covering in public and physical distancing at all time.

As the country and New York State are “reopening,” let us understand that we are not headed back to prior COVID-19. Until a vaccine or therapeutic breakthrough -that are not guaranteed- are discovered and widely distributed to all, we are not really “reopening.” Instead, we are living through a New Beginning with new modalities and rules: a more flexible version of the stay-home situation we are living through now.

The success of this New Beginning largely depends on the availability of sufficient masks and personal protective equipment (PPE), adequate testing in the workplace and businesses, effective contact tracing and quarantine measures, and other health safety devices to restore public confidence. This equipment is not yet readily available to businesses and workplaces. So more importantly, the success of this New Beginning will largely depend on the continued adherence by all of us to a new set of rules: social respect.

Indeed, federal, state and city governments must provide the health environment and safety rules, as well as technical means for widespread protection, testing, contact tracing, and physical distancing to be implemented in public places, schools, public transportation and businesses, and protect the most vulnerable, including our children and elders. Individual responsibility by each New Yorker and Roosevelt Islander will determine the success of this major endeavor for the future of our community, our city and the country. For this to work, each and everyone of us must also do our part: continue to limit movements, wear masks, keep physical distance, and care for the vulnerable. Success depends on social respect: the respect of by each New Yorker, Roosevelt islander, of all others.

Only if we abide by the recommended measures that have proven effective so far with some degree of careful flexibility, will we not fuel, this Summer, a potential second wave in the Fall. Social respect imposes that our individual freedom be willingly and partially infringed to protect all other New Yorkers’ health and our common interest for our well-being and economic recovery. New Yorkers and Roosevelt Islanders have exhibited tremendous discipline and self-determination in dealing with this pandemic so far. We must continue on that path. For our sake, in New York, and on our dear Roosevelt Island, let’s all of us join in this new beginning with social respect.