New Yorkers are currently worried about reliving the nightmare of 2020, when the city was the global epicenter of the Covid-19 outbreak.
In the Greenpoint district, more than a dozen bars and restaurants have temporarily lowered the curtain after sudden cases in recent days among their employees or their customers.
Near McCarren Park, around 30 people line up in front of a parked medical van offering rapid tests. “It looks a lot like March 2020,” breathes Spencer Reiter, 27, a local resident, working in finance and who came to be tested with his friend Katie Connolly, a student, because their friends are positive for Covid-19.
“Seeing these lines (…) is as if everything was starting over again”, he confides to AFPTV, his companion finding “it really scary”.
It must be said that New York was brought to its knees by the first wave of the pandemic in the spring of 2020. The megalopolis of 8.5 million inhabitants, long nicknamed “the city that never sleeps”, had been completely deserted for weeks, like in a science fiction movie.
The huge avenues of Manhattan were animated only by the anxiety-provoking sirens of the emergency services, with overwhelmed hospitals and morgues forced to store the bodies of victims in refrigerated trucks.
At least 34,000 New Yorkers have lost their lives since the spring of 2020 and the city, especially Manhattan, has never really regained its legendary effervescence before the health crisis.
In recent days, nervousness has won the United States in the face of the meteoric spread of the Omicron variant of Covid-19. President Joe Biden on Thursday predicted a “winter of serious illness and death” for unvaccinated people.
On December 1, the number of daily new cases nationwide averaged 86,000; on December 14, it was 117,000, an increase of about 35% in two weeks. And in the country officially the most bereaved in the world by this pandemic, the number of deaths from Covid-19 exceeded Tuesday 800,000 since 2020, according to the report of Johns Hopkins University.
The “Omicron has arrived” variant, also noted New York Mayor Bill de Blasio. Children aged 5-11 must now provide proof of a first dose of vaccine to access museums and restaurants in the Big Apple.
Just before Christmas, while New York was waiting for the return of its tourists, there is a bit of panic in the famous Broadway theater and musical district where the cancellations of performances are increasing, due to positive cases within the troops.
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