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A Few Things To Do This Weekend NYC

MLK Day Weekend, Art Opening Reception, Moynihan Station, Mass Transit Usage Steady, CoVid Rages, Vaccinations Ramp up but Snafu, Divergent Retirement Trends NYPD & Teachers, Ongoing White Collar Workplace Shift & Capitol Riot Fallout

January 15, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

ted cruz election objections seem a fundraising scamWeather. The temperature highs will be in the mid 40’s and the temperature lows in the mid 30’s except on Friday when the high and the low will both be in the mid 40’s. Winds will range between 11 - 17 mph throughout the weekend. There’s a forecast for about an inch of rain on Friday, most of which will fall after 7 pm. The rest of the weekend is clear. Humidity will be around 80% on Friday, in the high 60’s on Saturday and in the low 60’s on Sunday.


Things To Do This Weekend in NYC / Mass Transit

The Moynihan Train Station across from Penn Station / Madison Square Garden in Manhattan opened on January 1st, 2021. The roof is interesting to see, while I didn’t find the rest of it so awe inspiring.

Queens Local News. There was a fire last Saturday off Main Street near 37th Avenue in Flushing, Queens where a number of retail store fronts were burned out.

In Brooklyn there’s an opening art reception on Saturday between 5.30 - 8 pm at FiveMyles at 558 St Johns Place in Brooklyn. Adherence to CDC CoVid guidelines is required.

Public Mass Transit Usage. Bus ridership was down 50% - 60% this past week, while subway ridership was down 66% - 70%. I rode the rails last weekend and the cars were fuller than I’ve seen them since the pandemic began.

A Few Things To Do This Weekend NYC

MLK Day Weekend, Art Opening Reception, Moynihan Station, Mass Transit Usage Steady, CoVid Rages, Vaccinations Ramp up but Snafu, Divergent Retirement Trends NYPD & Teachers, Ongoing White Collar Workplace Shift & Capitol Riot Fallout

January 15, 2021 / US Politics / NYC Neighborhoods / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. Continued.

Nationally CoVid Raging like a California Wildfire

An estimated 80 plus million Americans traveled over the holidays. That compares to about 50 million over the Thanksgiving holiday. But to be fair, the Thanksgiving holiday is shorter. Nonetheless that’s a lot of travelers and this is believed to have contributed to the uptick in Corona Virus infections in the post holiday season.

The economy appears to be slowing down again, amidst the raging CoVid pandemic which continues to break new highs in those who test positive, the use of hospital beds and deaths nationwide. We’re doing far better in NYC and NYS than the nation as a whole, where the testing positives appear to be receding from the post holiday highs. NYC is at about 8% and NYS between 6%, while the nation as a whole is at about 12% positive tests. Queens has the lowest number of hospital beds per capita in the nation.


CoVid Vaccination Supply, Demand & Administration

CoVid vaccinations are picking up steam with about 11 million vaccinated nationwide. About one million doses of the vaccine have been administered in NYS, of which about 10% were second doses. In NYC a number of new 24/7 vaccination destinations opened this week, including the Javits Center in Manhattan, a center at CitiField will soon open in Queens, the Brooklyn Army Terminal, the Bathgate Contract Postal Station in the Claremont section of the Bronx and Health & Hospitals Vanderbilt Clinic on Staten Island. About 75% of the vaccines received have already been administered. Unfortunately, NYS had been receiving about 300,000 doses per week, but that allocation reportedly fell by 50,000 for the coming week. There appears to be some snafu in the supply chain / operations management of the vaccine rollout.

The Mayor expects to open in the neighborhood of 160 vaccination sites, but it now seems that the demand for the vaccine will outstrip the supply in the coming weeks, as most of the doses scheduled for next week have already been planned. Here’s a link to the NYC CoVid vaccine finder page where you input your zip code to find distribution / administration sites near you so you can rsvp for an appointment.

I think it’s worth reminding folks that mass transit subways are unavailable from 1 am - 5 am daily, so having 24/7 is only available to those who can afford autos and taxis. Based on a recent CoVid map of the city, it appears the most highly infected areas of the city are southeast Brooklyn, Staten Island, southeast Queens and the Bronx.

The Population of Eligible Vaccine Recipients Grows

First responders, particularly healthcare workers were slated to be first in line for the vaccine, followed by other first responders including teachers, policepersons, firepersons and mass transit [MTA] workers. Government officials also opened up the vaccine to folks over the age of 75, and then made a second adjustment, opening it up to anyone 65 and older. It appears that soon-to-be former president Trump may have played a jedi mind trick on America’s firemen, as according to a Uniformed Firefighters Association survey referenced in a December 7, 2020 ABC News report, over half of the NY Fire Department appears hesitant to take the vaccine.

Stay Disciplined and Stay Safe - We’re Getting There

We can’t get the economy rolling again and resume a somewhat normal life until we get this CoVid pandemic back under control. The vaccinations are going to help, but most estimates predict that it won’t be until sometime between early to late summer before we’re in a position to possibly normalize again. So the big three - masks, social distancing and hands washing - are going to have to stay in effect for many more months. Just acknowledging that allows one to mentally prepare oneself, knowing that within the next 6 - 12 months, we should be in a better place.

As a point of context, in 1947, after a single case of smallpox had been detected, NYC administered six million vaccines in a month.

What Kind of Shot in the Arm does National Economy Really Need?

Macy’s reported that it plans to close 45 of its stores nationwide by mid 2021. And while retail sales the past three months have been declining month over month by low single digits - which has been widely reported - nobody seems to be reporting the good news, which is that retail sales are up 5.7%, 4.1% and 6.3% year over year for the months of October, November and December respectively.

Is this mass media failure to provide real context corporate media manipulation to encourage lawmakers to spend big on stimulus - or just lazy corporate broadcast media reporting or both? Congress did pass a nearly $1 trillion stimulus bill less than a month ago, so fiscal stimulus is on the way.

The unemployment numbers rose 150,000 to 950,000 after levelling off in the 700,000 - 800,000 range the past few weeks. For the month of December, the economy lost 150,000 jobs - not gained them. The restaurant, hotel, entertainment, bricks n’ mortar retail, travel and hospitality businesses continue to be those hardest hit. But is the new stimulus bill going to put people back to work - or do another Donald dunce and pay them to stay home?

Divergent Trends: NYC Teachers & Police Retirements

In NYC in 2020 teachers in policemen have been retiring in higher than usual numbers. About 1,500 NYC public school teachers retired in the Fall of 2020, which is up 54% vs the prior year.
NYC Government Employee Retirements Decline & Accelerate - Teachers & Policepersons

About 2,400 police officers filed for retirement through the first week of October of 2020, which was up somewhere between 20% - 25% versus 2019. CoVid and the social unrest were likely the key factors for the increase. I heard a radio report that said that NYC public school teacher retirements were up significantly, but I could not find any report online to confirm that. Education Week did a survey for the six months ending September 2020, where they report most teacher retirements occur, and NYC Public School teacher retirements were DOWN 20% to 1,100 for that six month period.

Most White-Collar Workers Continue Working from Home

According to various studies, before the pandemic white-collar workers did less than 10% of their work from home. At the height of the pandemic [late Spring / early Summer 2020] white collar work from home rose to above 60%. Now white-collar workers are reportedly still doing 50% of their work from home, while only between 10% - 30% of them have returned to the office full time. Dallas, Texas is reportedly leading the nation in white collar workers returning to the office, with about 30% of them said to be back in place [could not confirm].

New Yorkers are reportedly a billion dollars behind in rent.

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