Effective Sunday night, all non-essential businesses are ordered to close down in New York City for the foreseeable future. It’s another measure being taken to curb the spread of the new coronavirus pandemic.
The only places that remain open are deemed essential by Governor Cuomo.
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WHICH BUSINESSES ARE CONSIDERED 'ESSENTIAL' BY CUOMO?
They fall under the categories of healthcare, transit, news media, restaurants offering takeout and delivery and, of course, food stores.
And the streets certainly reflect that change, with very few people out, many of them wearing masks. The Mobile Gas Station on 12th St and 8th Avenue didn't have a car in sight. 6th Avenue, which is usually bustling with shoppers, has all dark storefronts.
Food stores seem to be the only places with crowds.
The line to get into Trader Joe's in Chelsea wrapped around the block, with each person in line keeping their social distance. But the people waiting were taking the whole experience in stride with wait times at least a half hour just to get inside.
"The stores have been pretty good, everyone is clearly keeping a safe distance, 6 feet apart,” said one New Yorker waiting in line. “The store is only letting in 35 people at a time, it's still fairly calm."
Lifelong New Yorker Frank Silverberg also went out to do his weekly shopping Sunday. He just wishes times were different.
"I want this to be over. It's so strange my city is so different, empty streets and empty subways,” said Silverberg.
He's impressed, though, by the way people are following the guidance of officials to stay home.
"What amazes me, New Yorkers are really listening. New Yorkers are basically tough people and we do what we wanna do, but everyone seems to be following it,” Silverberg said.
Some of the other people I spoke to who were out and about were business owners and students and they say they are just taking one day at a time to navigate this new normal.