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How Do We Avoid Another COVID-19 Shutdown And Still Be Safe?

September 30, 2020

By Ben Kimmel

New York, NY – With the rise in foreign concerns, Europe is taking the necessary precautions to prevent the devastation from a second wave of COVID-19 infections. Meanwhile, on the domestic front there has been improvement among some states. However, the threat of new infections and future infections are still a concern, especially with local markets and businesses that have finally opened their doors.

In recent reports, The State of New York logged more than 1,000 daily Covid cases. This is the most since June 5, ever proving the unfortunate truth that although, according to the New York State website, the infection rate in NYC is still hovering around 1.3%, we are far from out of the woods. 

As momentum improves and businesses are allowed to resume; it is important to remember what helped us flatten the curve and slow the rate of infection. It is equally important to avoid another shutdown. Otherwise, our economy will suffer another breakdown, which will be as deadly as Covid itself. The  concern is real. However, the question remains. What do we do if we undergo a second wave of infections and how can we prevent this from happening? 

Putting politics and the race for The White House to the side, the hopeful remedy of a vaccine is still uncertain. Therefore, the only remedy which is readily available to everyone is the proper use of PPE and the important consideration for self-care and social distancing. Although the death toll of US Covid cases is above 205,000, it is important to keep in mind that we are still in the first wave.

Going forward, employers and contractors have learned to work together by offering safety protocols to ensure safer work stations. Office buildings provide signage to reduce elevator occupancy. Yet, in most cases, commercial real estate is still reporting lower rates of building occupancy. Some properties have reported a slight increase in building traffic but most report that tenants are moving out and a large number of employees are still working from home. 

“I don’t want to be home and I don’t want to be out of work,” responded a Local 32 Handyman whose layoff resulted in mounting financial concerns along with his bills and past due rent. Fortunately, Governor Cuomo has decided to extend the moratorium on Covid-related residential evictions until January 1, 2021.

“It’s sad,” mentioned the Handyman. “I’ve been working my whole life and I’ve never been out of work until now.”

In the short-term, let us do what we can to follow the protocol and stay healthy until the vaccine comes out or, as the Handyman added, “Until the election takes place”.

Ben Kimmel is a proud member of IUOE Local 94, as well as a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Certified Recovery Coach, Certified Professional Life Coach and Peer & Wellness Advocate. Ben can be reached at


September 30, 2020

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