By Wendi Rank
I was in New York City last year, running to catch my train. A man in front of me had a lizard riding on his shoulder. Right there in the Fashion District. It was 11 o’clock at night. The sidewalk thronged with people. And no one noticed the guy or his lizard.
I love that place.
New York City’s battle with COVID-19 was as epic as the battle at Yorktown. As a healthcare professional I’ll let the city that never sleeps recover. I’m not going to be the person yanking her back from her detente with the virus.
And yes. I did make a Yorktown comparison because I’m a Hamilton fan.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say refraining from travel is the best way to prevent the virus from spreading. And New York City’s tourism website has links to online shopping and virtual experiences, a not-so-subtle suggestion to stay home.
The CDC says hometown rates of COVID-19 higher than New York City’s should discourage travels, as should exposing anyone you’re visiting or coming home to that is high-risk.
Public transportation to the city, though easy and abundant, puts you at risk of being less than six feet from other riders. Travel by car eliminates this risk, but New York is a two-hour drive through New Jersey. The bathroom breaks and Starbucks runs should be skipped for now.
If you’ve taken this information into account and still feel you can go, there are ways to keep yourself and New York City safer. Wearing a mask in public is nearly an Orange Is The New Black fashion takeover. Keep yours handy and use it.
The CDC reminds us to wash our hands frequently, either with soap and water or hand sanitizer. And don’t touch your face. That includes you, Lizard Guy.
Know what you can do while visiting. New York Forward is the state’s four phase reopening plan. NYCGo.com, the city’s tourism website, keeps a list of what’s open.
Wash your hands before and after going out, anytime you exchange payment or goods, and after touching surfaces like door handles. Maintain social distancing and keep your outings to a minimum.
The CDC advises booking hotel rooms online to minimize contact. Look for lodgings with mobile room access. As of the last week of June, the city is offering discounted hotel rates for healthcare workers and first responders.
Disinfecting your hotel room when you arrive is probably a good idea. The CDC recommends wearing gloves and using EPA-recommended disinfectants. Directions for cleaning and links to the EPA can be found here.
If you’ve been exposed or have COVID-19 symptoms, wait on that bite of the Big Apple. And if the Hamilton store is open grab me a T-shirt. I promise I’ll be satisfied.
That’s another Hamilton reference for you.
I’m done now.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Wendi Rank is a Montgomery County native with a graduate degree from LaSalle University. She has worked as a registered nurse and nurse practitioner in Pennsylvania and New Jersey. She has previously written for the journal Nursing.