By Ken Gibson
NEW YORK, NEW YORK – The city continues to reel from this Twilight Zone nightmare; yesterday someone died from it every ten minutes; today, every five. Refrigerated food trucks are commandeered for the task of body removal. Morgues cannot keep up.
Most people are doing their best to stay alive and help their fellow NYers. A few flaunt the rules, a local psycho makes a point of leaving dog poop in the middle of the sidewalks.
The subways were not as full, and social distancing was in force until Mayor de Blasio called for less trains to run. Now they are packed as usual with hardly anyone working. A conductor died at a Central Park stop where someone lit a shopping cart on fire, injuring 15 people. Buses are now free with entry from the middle.
Rubbing alcohol is nowhere to be found, and other cleaners disappear from the shelves, or, never even makes it to the shelves, as customers just ambush the stock carts and buy all they can.
Face masks, googles and other protective gear are the new fashion statements.
The areas the hardest hit are those with the most Chinese – Elmhurst has over 50% of the city’s cases. Some areas are a bit insulated, such as northern Manhattan with all its parks and the north Bronx, with all its parks.
And on the upper east and upper west sides of Manhattan, there are fewer cases as Central, Riverside, Carl Shurz Park etc. provide breaks.
But this may change, as Central Park is now home to plastic tents where Samaritan’s Purse will set up their operations. One might welcome their efforts as clinics, but NYers are in a panic about the reality of their operations – these tents, plastic at that, are meant to house the most seriously ill and very contagious COVID-19 patients. One tent we are told is already designated as a morgue.
Shelly Kelly, a nurse from Oklahoma who is working with this outfit in the park, tells us: “Just getting the permits to put up a field hospital in Central Park should’ve taken years,” adding that with help from de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, the hospital has “been up really fast.”
Should have taken years. Should have taken many steps and inspections and should have been a real bricks and mortar hospital – something we are seeing less of here in New York, thanks to de Blasio and Cuomo. St. Vincents on 12th – CLOSED, sold to developers. GOLDWATER on Roosevelt Island – CLOSED – sold to developers. And developers are building like mad, adding to the distress. More people, less hospitals.
Nurse Kelly arrives in the city thrilled that her team can bypass the many steps that ought to have been taken, maybe too young and idealistic to take into account the danger. She and her boss, Dr. Tenpenny, add that Samaritan’s Purse has never before responded in a medical capacity within U.S. borders. It has no experience here. They might be able to anticipate the problems that a plastic tent full of highly contagious patients would pose to the rest of the city, and to the nation. They are religious, they are zealous, but they have no experience in this city. Previous experience with coronavirus was in Italy, and one would hardly see that as a success – some are questioning whether their actions in Italy were actually counterproductive, and whether what happened there is now set to happen here. I hope not, but in my spirit the Word of God that comes to mind is a verse from Genesis: “There came unto Egypt a Pharaoh who knew not the people.”
At which point there were disasters, including a plague. Which is a bad note to end on, so let me close with a more upbeat tone from the last verse, the second chapter of Exodus: “And the Lord had respect unto the nation…”
Which is key. Let your actions, or those of your community, your nation, have His respect and no virus will take you down. Right now not only are these tents scary, even though they are constructed with good intentions by religious people, but the utter disrespect for the Lord is scarier, along with some of the religious stunts – such as Howard-Browne’s opening of his church against the directions for social distancing, or the thought that a religious person does not have to disinfect and be safe. Such actions will not gain you the respect of the Lord. Howard-Browne was arrested. His church was wrong, and other churches are doing wrong things.
If we are serious about the Lord healing us from this plague, we really need to stop doing wrong things. Both the COVID-19 disease and the sin disease need to be addressed.