Monday, March 30, 2020

Weill Cornell Medicine ICU Doctor David Price Offers Advice On How To Protect Yourself And Family From Coronavirus Covid 19 - Follow The 4 Rules, Disease Strikes All Ages Over 14, Take Tylenol For Fever And Go To Hospital If You Have Shortness Of Breath

Roosevelt Island is a short distance across the East River from where seriously ill Coronavirus patients are being treated by health care professionals at NY Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center.

One of those health care professionals, Dr David Price a critical care pulmonologist and recent Fellowshiip grad caring for COVID-19 patients at NY Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, offers some very practical advice in video below on protecting yourself and family during the Coronavirus Covid 19 Pandemic.

Here's an excerpt from the video with Dr Price:
...  What is Covid19?

 I mean it's  now every single news story it's political its economic but what is this disease? So this is a virus. It's from what we would colloquially think of as a common cold family the Coronavirus family but what's unique is that the human body has never seen this virus before.

And so this obviously started in Wuhan. The thought is that it came  probably from an animal and then made its way into the human body for the first time and so one of the common questions I get is what does this disease look like?

So what commonly people have is they have fever and they have cough and then they have sore throat and when they get this the virus goes through their entire body and what we have found is that the most likely place that this will affect is your lungs. So people will commonly have cough but for about 80% of people you just don't feel good is the most common thing.

You have a mild cough maybe you have a little headache. The disease lasts from what we're seeing between 5 to 7 to 14 days is probably the best accurate description. Some people who have a mild disease by about day 5 are starting to feel better and then people who aren't feeling better usually start to get short of breath around a 3 to 5 and then start to feel better around that 7 day mark.

So what is the first kind of big topic we're going to talk about and I think the reason I wanted to have this call is how to protect your family. I think we've learned a lot and I want to kind of share all the stuff that I've learned so far with you guys,

So I think the first thing is how do you get Covid 19? I think that this is really important and we've really learned a lot over the last couple weeks, two months about how you get this disease. The overarching theme is sustained contact with someone who has this disease which the vast majority is people with fever and aches or someone who is about to get the disease. So someone in the next one to two days who's going to develop symptoms of this disease.

The way that you get this is the transmission of the virus almost exclusively from your hands to your face and so it's either into your eyes, into your nose or into your mouth. There's a lot of talk about contact or getting it through contact hands to face there's also a small thought that it can be aerosolized, that it can kind of exist a little bit in the air.

The thought at this point is that you actually have to have very long sustained contact with someone and I'm talking about over 15 to 30 minutes in an unprotected environment meaning you're in a very closed room without any type of mask for you to get it that way.

But to very simply state the overwhelming majority of people are getting this by physically touching someone who has this disease or will develop it in the next one to two days and then touching their face and so that actually I think is incredibly empowering and that's as I think in the hospital the last two days the thing that makes me smile a little bit is that I actually know now that I won't get this disease because I know how to protect myself and so I just want to give you guys a few very very practical tips to how to protect yourself...
and the full video.

Petition Drive To Reopen Roosevelt Island Outdoor Playing Fields - Does RIOC Policy To Close McManus And Firefighters Field Increase Or Decrease Social Distancing On Roosevelt Island?

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced Sunday May 22:

... As of now, all permitted spaces, including McManus Field and Firefighters Field, will be closed until further notice. This precautionary measure is being taken as part of the Governor’s order for all New Yorkers to avoid risking exposure to the coronavirus (COVID-19). Residents are encouraged to frequent the other public areas, such as the eastern and western promenades that circle the island as well as Lighthouse Park, Southpoint Park and Four Freedoms State Park. We encourage our residents to remain at least six feet apart from each other at all times...
A petition drive has begun to reopen the now closed Firefighters

and McManus Field

According to the online petition
RIOC has made the decision to close all soccer fields on the Island, thus depriving families with kids of the only safe space for being outside. A big soccer field is the only space where families with kids can play and keep the recommended distance away from other people. If RIOC doesn’t reconsider this decision we will be left with narrow crowded promenades and no space for active time out for kids.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio Visits Roosevelt Island Nisi Kitchen In Support Of Local Restaurants - You Can Support Our Open Businesses Too, Nisi, Foodtown Supermarket, Island Wine, Piccolo Trattoria, Wholesome Factory Organic Market, Bread & Butter Deli And Cafe @Cornell Tech

As previously reported, NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio visited Roosevelt Island last Tuesday to view the additional hospital beds being created at Coler Hospital. Mayor de Blasio made another Roosevelt Island stop that day at Nisi Kitchen to support our local restaurants according to this tweet by Nisi owner Alex Razaghi.

You can support our open Roosevelt Island businesses too including:

  • Foodtown Supermarket (212) 371-2680. Please prioritize the hours of 7am-8am on Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s for our senior citizens, immunocompromised and disabled neighbors. It will be greatly appreciated.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Very Sad News, Roosevelt Island Resident Mark Blum Dies From Coronavirus - Condolences To His Family, Friends, Neighbors And Colleagues

Roosevelt Island Riverwalk resident Mark Blum has died of complications from the Coronavirus.

According to the Screen Actors Guild:
... Blum, who joined the union in 1978 and became known for roles in Crocodile Dundee and Desperately Seeking Susan, had a prolific career on screen and stage. The Obie Award-winning actor was also an ardent supporter of his union; he served as a Screen Actors Guild New York Board member from 2007 to 2013, was elected for a three-year term to the National Board in 2008, and served as an alternate member in 2007 and 2011. Additionally, he served on dozens of national committees over the years, including the SAGindie, Organizing, Agent Relations and various contract committees...

... He was a visionary. Mark will be deeply missed, and our hearts go out to his wife, Janet Zarish, his friends and all of his loved ones.”...

You Can Order Girl Scout Cookies To Thank Essential Workers Caring For Us And Support The Roosevelt Island Girl Scout Troops

Roosevelt Island Girl Scout Troop 3001 Leader Aiesha Eleusizov reports:

As you know, Coronavirus hit right as we are in the middle of our cookie booth season.

For safety, we are not holding any more cookie booths nor are we doing any in-person sales. The five troops on Roosevelt Island currently have about 650 packages in cookies in stock to be sold. We would like to invite Roosevelt Islanders to purchase Girl Scout cookies to be donated to Essential Workers here on Roosevelt Island.

People can purchase cookies electronically (through PayPal, Venmo or Zelle) and we will deliver the cookies with a "Thank You" to the many essential workers here on RI - the staff at Foodtown, Wholesome Factory, Nisi, Piccolo, Bread and Butter, USPS, UPS and FedEx delivery drivers, public safety, red bus drivers, tram operators, building staff, nurses and doctors. (obviously we will be delivering these in as safe a way as possible - for example bringing them on a trip we are making to the store anyway). This simple purchase will both thank those who are helping us as well as support the Girl Scout troops and our Council that rely on our annual cookie sale to provide much needed programming for girls.

Here is a flyer with the basics

and people can complete this form to place their order.

If anyone has any questions, they can reach out to me at
More info on the Roosevelt Island Girl Scouts at these prior posts.

Roosevelt Island F Train Service To And From Manhattan This Weekend - But Stay Home Unless You're Providing An Essential Service Or An Emergency

According to the MTA, there will be Roosevelt Island F Train service

 to and from Manhattan this weekend.

The Roosevelt Island Tram is operating and here's the NYC Ferry Roosevelt Island Astoria Route Winter Schedule. 

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Mayor de Blasio Says Shooting Hoops Is Fine But No Pick Up Basketball Games During Coronavirus Pandemic - Be Warned Roosevelt Island Basketball Players To Keep Your Social Distance And No Pick Up Games

A Roosevelt Island Tipster sends in these photos of a basketball game at Roosevelt Island Sportspark court and reports:
They were playing together with the same ball.

Yes, it's a beautiful day, but

by now everyone should know how to behave in this situation.
Another resident adds:
They’re all sweating on that ball and each other! This is not Social Distancing

Roosevelt Island Coler Hospital Patients Test Positive For Coronavirus

As previously reported:
...the additional Coler beds will be used for lower acuity patients freeing up beds at other hospitals for Coronavirus patients....
Unfortunately, the Coronavirus has struck residents at the NYC Health & Hospitals Corp Coler Hospital on Roosevelt Island:
My older sister ...  just tested positive with coronavirus and she's at the Coler nursing home in Roosevelt Island
Roosevelt Island social media adds:

I asked an informed Coler Insider about conditions at the Hospital who replied:
It is true. There has been a couple of confirmed cases.

It is no worse here than any where else if anything I believe we are better off than most people. Rest assured Coler is doing everything possible to keep the population safe.

As for the part about nurses refusing to feed someone with a cough I find truly ridiculous. If they do they would not be working here. If it is one thing I know about the administration is they have Zero tolerance for abuse.

Do not believe everything that you hear because believe me if I know of any such.abuse I will be the first one to blow the whistle. I speak to staff on a daily basis and they tell me what is going on in here

Roosevelt Island's Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance Talent Has A You Tube Channel, Take A Look - Also MST&DA Starting Virtual Zoom Dance,Theatre & Fitness Classes

Roosevelt Island Main Street Theatre & Dance Alliance (MST&DA) Executive Director Kristi Towey reports:

MST&DA's Got Talent YouTube Channel

Hi all.....thought I'd share this. We will keep adding videos from our instructors, students, and friends. Right now, we have Kimbirdlee (Assistant Executive Director/Children's Theatre Director),

Jill Clough (Children/Teen Theatre creative team staff member),

Roosevelt Island Saturday Farmers Market Closed Until Further Notice Due To Coronavirus Pandemic Says RIOC Today

The Roosevelt Island Operating Corp (RIOC) announced today:
Farmers Market CANCELLED Until Further Notice

The Roosevelt Island Farmer’s Market has been cancelled until further notice. The decision was made that it would be extremely difficult to create an environment that not only ensures social distancing, but controls possible contamination of produce. Israel Wengerd, the market organizer, said, “I’m so sorry I will not to be there with you this weekend, but my prayers are with you and I can’t wait to be back on Roosevelt Island as soon as possible.” In the meantime, Foodtown, The Wholesome Factory and Bread and Butter continue to get regular deliveries of groceries and other goods. They also make deliveries to your home if needed.

Food Scrap Collection Has Also Been CANCELLED until Further Notice

Please do not leave food scraps on Saturdays.
Mr Wengerd of Wengerd Farms adds:
It was a very difficult decision. But it seemed the best for now with the current situation. I would just like to tell the community that I will be back as soon as situation permits.
UPDATE 3/28 - Roosevelt Island residents have been asking why the Farmers Market has been shut down. Israel Wengerd explains today:
Travel restrictions after leaving NYC was the reason for the final decision to close the Saturday farmers market. We want the Roosevelt Island community to know that we will be back as soon as we have an open door to do so

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Roosevelt Island's Got Talent Virtual Performing Show Every Friday Starting March 27 On Zoom - Sign Up Now To Perform Or Watch The Show

So, you want to be a local star, or maybe just have a little bit of fun staying home on a Roosevelt Island Friday night during the Coronavirus Pandemic shutdown?

Roosevelt Island residents Kaja Meade and Kristin Braun have an idea for you and report:

Roosevelt Island's Got Talent - Inviting all Talents from Roosevelt Island

Each Friday the show will begin at 7pm on Zoom. This regularly scheduled show is open to all Roosevelt Island residents to perform OR watch. Professional quality talent is NOT necessary. The purpose is to HAVE FUN, and connect with each other as an island community.

RIRA President Calls For Roosevelt Island Coronavirus Rent Moratorium On Commercial And Residential Leases - Also Urges Residents To Stay Home As Much As Possible, Support Local Front Line Community Heroes And Thanks NYC DOE For RI Children At PS/IS 217

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Interim President David Lawson reports on local response to Coronavirus Pandemic emergency:
Dear Fellow Roosevelt Islanders,

The Covid-19 pandemic is storming the entire world stronger and faster. We are confronted to an unprecedented worldwide humanitarian crisis. As of 24 March 2020, some 410,000 people from 170 countries have been infected. This is more than the entire population of the United States. More than 18,000 people have died in three months, including a third in Italy that now accounts for more deaths than China since the beginning of this epidemic. With 21,000 people infected in New York State, and some 15,000 and 131 deaths in New York city, we are the epicenter of the US epidemic.

The United States is usually, every year, the country the most affected by natural disasters. Natural disasters kill between 300-500 Americans every year. The cost of natural disasters in the US in 2019 was $15 billion for 14 major natural disasters across the country. The US federal Government is currently working out with Congress a $2 trillion bill. This is 130 times more than the costs of all the natural disasters hitting the United States altogether every year. This bill represents 40% of the 2019 national federal budget!! The current bill, which is aimed at supporting American workers, small businesses, corporations and the whole national economy is unprecedented in peace time.

The mobilization and coordination of all federal, State and local authorities all fighting and facing up this epidemic together at different levels everywhere in the country at once is also unprecedented. This is an US national emergency. Even though it is Spring break here, it is not a vacation. At the end of Spring break, students will not go back to schools and universities. All year-end exams have been cancelled by the federal government. It is unlikely that students go back to school this school year. We will all have a role to play in rebuilding the economy. We do not know when this crisis will end. But let us be realistic, it will take several months. It is going to be way worse…before it can indeed get better.

Rent moratorium on commercial and residential leases

Governor Cuomo has declared a moratorium on mortgages and prohibited eviction during the current crisis. Housing advocates have called on the city and state to develop a $10 billion relief package that includes a moratorium on rent, mortgage and utility payments to abate financial strain on New York households amid the growing economic impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. We strongly support this request. Meanwhile, we call on all commercial and residential building owners on Roosevelt Island to take it upon themselves to implement such a moratorium and waive the payment of leases and utilities for those businesses currently closed as a result of the forced shut down, as well as for all tenants who lost their job or will not receive a paycheck at the end of this month and any subsequent months, as a result of this Covid-19 pandemic. This is an extraordinary humanitarian crisis that calls for extraordinary humanitarian-type response and measures. This is not only a demonstration of solidarity, but it is also a demonstration of leadership through these times of crisis. And strong solidarity and leadership is all we need.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Open Doors Artists Want To Make Sure Roosevelt Island Coler Hospital Residents Protected During Coronavirus Pandemic - Mayor de Blasio Adding 340 Beds For Lower Acuity Patients To Free Up Beds In Other Hospitals For Coronavirus Patients

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio reported yesterday:

... I had the opportunity today to be on Roosevelt Island visiting the Coler hospital facility and there – right this minute – new hospital beds are being created right now so that we will have additional capacity to handle this surge in coronavirus cases and to make sure that everyone else who needs hospital care for other diseases and challenges will have support as well. On Roosevelt Island at Coler, 100 new beds will be available this week, 240 will be available next week....
and the City of NY tweets.

As previously reported, the additional Coler beds will be used for lower acuity patients freeing up beds at other hospitals for Coronavirus patients.

What are the concerns of our Roosevelt Island neighbors at Coler Hospital about the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Coler resident members of the Open Doors NYC arts program tell us.

According to Media Lab Director Dexter Cirian
As an artist myself, I find that in times of uncertainty, when fear and anxiety can overwhelm us, art is an incredible refuge and source of generative life-giving support. It affords us an opportunity to discern what really matters, and too look into the unknown with courage, compassion and a sense of curiosity. I see that in our members everyday. Even through these trying times, they are showing up. Let us show up as well.

On Monday, March 16, Mayor Bill de Blasio held a press conference in which he mistakenly stated that Coler Hospital is “empty” and planned to bring hundreds of COVID-19 patients here. We wrote a letter to the mayor voicing our concerns and many neighbors tweeted on our behalf. We’ve since heard the plan has changed—We’re happy about this! Now let’s make sure everything possible is being done to protect the Coler community. Join us in voicing your concern by writing directly to the Mayor:

Mr Mayor, what steps are you taking to protect the residents at COLER, home to more than 500 people who are among the most at risk during this pandemic,
And from Open Doors artist Jay Molina:

RIRA President Urges Roosevelt Island Residents To Fill Out 2020 US Census - Everybody Counts In Our Community And Everybody Should Be Counted

Roosevelt Island Residents Association (RIRA) Interim President David Lawson reports on the importance of filling out the 2020 US Census for all Roosevelt Island residents.
Every Roosevelt Islander counts… and should be counted

While we are all struggling and directly impacted in the response to the Covid-19 pandemic, I wish to draw your attention to an essential matter that will have even greater importance as we will rebuild the society, the social fabric and local economy of our Roosevelt Island community and New York city when this crisis is over: the 2020 census.

In addition to a presidential election year, 2020 is also a census year in the United States. All Roosevelt islanders should have received an invitation to respond to the 2020 Census online, by the US Census Bureau. If not, you should receive the questionnaire by mail in a few weeks. Otherwise, please visit or call 1 844-468-2020. The deadline to complete the online census questionnaire online is April 1st, 2020.

The 2020 Census online questionnaire should be completed by the person who owns or rents the living quarters, or any other person who is at least 15 years of age with knowledge of the household. It literally takes 10 minutes to complete the questionnaire. Given the current Covid-19 outbreak, the questionnaire will be mostly completed online or by mail. There is no correlation between the Census Bureau and the US immigration services. It is essential that all Roosevelt Islanders complete this Census questionnaire.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Roosevelt Island, Stand On Your Balcony Or Behind Window, Clap Your Hands, Sing, Bang Pots And Pans Together With Your Neighbors Nightly At 8 PM To Thank Health Care Workers On Front Line Battling The Coronavirus - SolidarityAt8

According to Today:

Even as people are separated within their own communities, they’re still coming together to support those on the front lines of the coronavirus outbreak.

Thanks to a viral Twitter campaign called #Solidarityat8, at 8 p.m. local time for the past few nights, Americans have opened their doors, stood on porches and made noise — some by applauding, others by banging pots and pans — to express their gratitude to health care workers....

And not just in the United States, but all over the world.

Roosevelt Island has joined the #SolidarityAt8 effort too. Roosevelt Island resident Karine Wong reports:
If you can, please share this Facebook group - Roosevelt Islanders, Make Some Noise! - with your RI friends and neighbors and ask them to make noise every night at 8pm for 5 minutes.

Stand on your balcony or behind your window and clap your hands or bang on pots and pans.

There is a lot of healthcare professionals living on the island. They can hear us and their families MUST know how grateful we are to have them.
Please share widely.

People have been posting wonderful videos of their side of the building and it’s very moving.

Be Safe be Strong and be Loud.
According to Roosevelt Island resident Vicki Feinmel:
A little before 8:00 pm, a woman in my building plays the violin 🎻 from her terrace, then people clap and bang on pots and pans in appreciation of our healthcare professionals. They are trying to expand to all the buildings.... Please join us.
Here's Roosevelt Island #Solidarityat8 pot banging, violin seranade and Sweet Caroline in tribute to the health care workers and others helping us through the Coronavirus Pandemic Emergency.