New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio declared a state of emergency and the entire city went into panic mode.
The state of emergency allows the mayor to activate a range of extreme measures including a curfew, closing down public transportation, prohibiting people from being on the streets, rationing and limiting alcohol use.
None of that has been done, but that did not stop New Yorkers from stampeding to drug stores and supermarkets. Shelves were laid bare in just a matter of hours.
But the only person to blame for causing a city-wide panic is the mayor. Consider these tweets from City Hall:
- “The human impact will be extensive.”
- “We are dealing with something we’ve never seen in our lives.”
- “Americans could be facing a half a year without work. We need to see action now.”
- “This is our new reality and it won’t be over soon.”
- “This crisis could easily be a six month crisis and the recovery from it could take a long time.”
At one point the mayor had to issue a statement refuting rumors that the island of Manhattan was being quarantined.
“A lot of understandably anxious people stocked up their fridges and cabinets today. Rest assured, there’s no need for that. Our supply chain is active and deliveries are rolling in as normal. Shelves will restock,” the mayor tweeted. “Remember: facts, not fear.”
So says the man responsible for spreading fear, not facts.
So now you understand why the city went slap-crazy. The problem is mixed messages coming from City Hall. Broadway is closed, but public schools remain open. And why declare a state of emergency when barely a hundred people have the virus? And if it’s really as bad as the mayor says – why is his adamant about keeping the schools open?
Last night I venture out to my local supermarket in Brooklyn and it was insane. A clerk told me at one point customers were taking food from other people’s baskets.
Just about every shelf had been wiped out. The canned food aisle and the produce section were the hardest hit, not to mention the toilet paper and cleaning supplies aisles.
The only thing left a few cans Cream of Celery soup and lots of hummus. Apparently there are some things you can do without in a global pandemic.