In a rather startling move, the New York Police Department has begun blasting a public service announcement from its vehicles, reminding people to keep their distance while outside in the city. While the sentiment is definitely in the right place, the experience is quite anxiety-provoking, to say the least.
The NYPD posted a couple of videos announcing the PSA this week.
The announcement is the latest example of the many current dystopia-like additions to the city's barren landscape. Throughout the five boroughs, you can now see LinkNYC kiosks in the city broadcasting non-stop tips on hand-washing and social-distancing. Not to mention, of course, the heart-wrenching, "temporarily closed" papers signs duct-taped on to almost every storefront.
The new message is a necessary step for the city's police force, which has been asked to crack down on people not adhering to the six-foot rule while out in the city. (As a reminder, stay in your apartment if you can!)
Information updates and messages on #COVID2019 found on #LinkNYC kiosks across Long Island City in the borough of #Queens#CoronavirusOutbreak #NYC #Queens #CoronavirusPandemic #coronavirus #lockdown #stayhomechallenge #EagleNews@EagleNews @AlmaEBC1with25 @EagleNewsNY pic.twitter.com/t47idKfnA0— Tennie Sumague (@tenniesumague) March 18, 2020
In recent days, the large number of New Yorkers who have been continuing to gather in city parks and streets has prompted an outraged response from leaders trying to contain the coronavirus. Governor Andrew Cuomo condemned the defiant Gothamites as "insensitive, arrogant, self-destructive and disrespectful."
Some even crowded the East River Esplanade on the Upper East Side over the weekend, right next to Gracie Mansion.
Carl Schurz Park 3/20/20, 5pm. DiBlasio, this is your backyard. You gave people a chance to do the right thing. Do something. As a nurse who lives and works on the Upper East Side, I am VERY concerned for the safety of our neighborhood. Close the parks. @NYCMayor— Jacqueline wiseman (@Jacquel37325717) March 21, 2020
In the coming days, NYPD officers will also make physical visits to restaurants, bars, supermarkets, salons and public spaces to remind everyone of the ban on congregating in public spaces and to continue to practice social distancing.
According to the NYPD, between 8am and 11pm on Monday, officers visited 1,578 supermarkets of which 870 were closed; 5,422 bars and restaurants of which 3,939 were closed; 731 public places of which 477 were closed; and 1,574 personal care facilities of which 1,573 were closed.
Out of all of those, no arrests were made or summonses issued for anyone not abiding by the rules.