NEW YORK — Mory Yakupov is still seeing red over what coronavirus "red zone" restrictions have done to his shoe repair business.

“I thought we're going to be open, it’s going to come back, but it’s very slow,” she said.

What You Need To Know

  • Midwood, Brooklyn, still has one of the highest COVID-19 infection rates in the borough

  • After resistance to restrictions from some in the Orthodox Jewish community, many notice now more compliance than before

  • Many business owners in the neighborhood worry they won’t survive another lockdown

COVID-19 infection rates have dropped enough in his Midwood, Brooklyn, neighborhood to put this area into an "orange zone." It’s allowed some nonessential businesses like Yakupov’s to reopen.

“Some people, they don’t wear, but most people start to wear masks. Now they’re wearing, people wearing it mostly, people walk in here and wear masks inside the store," said Yakupov. 

Yakupov isn’t the only one who has seen a change in attitude towards compliance. Most people NY1 spoke with near Avenue M and ‪East 15th Street‬ told us they were seeing more people wearing masks than before.

“It’s gotten to a point where people realize this is real, it is dangerous, but at the same time life has to go on,” said one resident.

That's significant because some in the Orthodox Jewish community in Brooklyn took to the streets last month, protesting COVI-19 restrictions.

“Everyone is just ensuring more testing is going on and we’re being more safe and the rabbis are asking to follow the protocols," says another person who lives in the area.

In the time NY1 spent in the neighborhood on Friday, we noticed most people wearing masks. But with 4.5% of COVID-19 tests now coming back positive, this area still has one of the highest coronavirus infection rates in Brooklyn.

Some say those who are not complaining are experiencing COVID-19 fatigue. Richard Cortez has a message for them:

“Take it seriously. It’s not a joke. You can get really sick, you can die from it.”

Not just lives are at stake, but also livelihoods.

“If it’s going be another lockdown, I don’t know how we’re going to handle it,“ said Yakupov.


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