It’s day two of our coronavirus daily news digest. We hope you are all hanging in there. The Untapped New York team is adjusting to working from home, and the new reality hit home yesterday on the first full day without day care for those with kids. Keeping us uplifted: the memes and jokes circulating in, and despite, these difficult times. Above, a photograph taken by Untapped New York guide and writer, Robert Brenner, on 2nd Avenue and 6th Street, where someone has written on a discarded mattress, “Remember when bed bugs were our biggest fear? Miss You XXX.”
Cuomo Announces First Mobile Testing Facility in New York City
Yesterday at a press briefing, Governor Cuomo announced that New York City would get their first mobile testing facility on Staten Island. Why Staten Island you might ask? Cuomo said, “Staten Island does not have an abundance of hospitals. Staten Island is a community where people drive. And Staten Island, I believe, is an appropriate location for this. I also think that Staten Island feels that they have not gotten the level of attention of health services that they need.” Long Island will also get a drive through facility. Cuomo also announced the organization of a state National Guard to assist in the creation of additional medical facilities.
Mapping Coronavirus Cases
In addition to the data site we shared yesterday, https://ncov2019.live/, another website from John Hopkins Center for Science and Engineering has a map made using GIS (Global Information Systems). GIS is a powerful urban planning tool, probably seeing an uptick in use right now. On The Washington Post, you can also see a visualization of what it means to actually “flatten the curve,” with a simulation of four scenarios: free for all, attempted quarantine, moderate social distancing, and extensive social distancing.
As of the latest update on the New York State Department of Health website, there are 950 positive cases in New York State (up 221 from the day before). 463 are in New York City. Deaths announced yesterday include one of an NYC Department of Corrections Investigator (who did not have contact with detainees) and a retired FDNY Marshall who had been a first responder to 9/11.
Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day Virtually
The St. Patrick’s Day parade was cancelled, but you can still celebrate the holiday virtually. Friends/conspirators of Untapped New York convinced author, actor, racounteur Malachy McCourt (younger brother of author Frank McCourt of Angela’s Ashes, et al.) to do a Facebook Live performance at 1 PM. From his New York City home on the Upper West Side, McCourt will be telling Irish stories and singing songs. McCourt is the author of the book Death Need Not Be Fatal and has a recent Netflix project Angela’s Christmas with Ruth Negga.
St. Patrick’s Cathedral is also currently live streaming its annual St. Patrick’s Day mass.
California Goes on Lockdown
California has been on lockdown since midnight, in an announcement made at around noon. Residents have been instructed not leave their homes. One of our correspondents out in San Francisco tells us, “They gave very little notice (first word at noon today) so just a heads up because they might do something similar in NY. Made everyone spin and scramble a little.”
Penguins on the Loose
Chicago Aquarium, closed for coronavirus, decided to let the penguins run loose inside. The result: totally adorable.
oh my god, the chicago aquarium closed due to coronavirus, so they let the penguins run around and check out the other exhibits. (staff was present.) pic.twitter.com/YGa8CugymE
— Evan McMurry (@evanmcmurry) March 16, 2020
The Met Opera is Streaming Performances Daily
The Met Opera is also closed due to coronavirus, so they are streaming past performances daily. Yesterday night was Bizet’s Carmen, which will be available for viewing until 3:30 PM today. Tonight is Puccini’s La Boheme, tomorrow is Verdi’s Il Trovatore. If you are trying to watch through your browsers, The Met Opera notes, “Due to unprecedented demand and web traffic, we recommend you access the stream through the Met Opera on Demand apps for Apple, Amazon, and Roku devices and Samsung Smart TV.”
Daily Cello Performances by Our Founder
Our founder Michelle Young continued her daily cello recordings yesterday, with The Swan by Camille Saint-Saëns which you can find on her Instagram and Twitter. ICYMI, Michelle was trained at the Juilliard School for cello, starting at the age of 11. She went on to do other things besides music (though she performed in a successful rock band in the mid to late aughts). She’s bringing out her cello in this self-isolation time, performing for her family and recording a piece a day which she will put on Instagram and Twitter. Her 2.5 year old daughter Charlotte will be appearing in the videos, walking in whenever it damn well pleases her.
Please stay safe, readers. We are thinking of you. If you are able, you can support Untapped New York through these challenging times by reading and sharing our content, and dream about future tours by getting a gift card!
Please reach out to us with any questions, comments, or ideas — we’ve heard from many of you directly and the messages have been very heartening. The best way to reach us is through email, as our customer service phone line has been inundated. For questions about tours, contact [email protected]. For questions regarding our Insiders member events, you can email [email protected]. For editorial and general comments and questions, email [email protected].