The Briefly for March 31, 2020 – The "Panda Express, You Will Be Missed" Edition
Today - Low: 39˚ High: 47˚
Mostly cloudy throughout the day.
Remember the field hospital in Central Park? Well, the group is led by Franklin Graham, a notorious anti-LGBTQ and Islamophobic preacher with a track record of using humanitarian missions to proselytize an evangelical agenda. He's also the guy that said that God intervened in the 2016 election to make Donald Trump president. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist) Welcome to the resistance, Mike Francesa. (Ed Mazza for HuffPost) The Empire State Building's "heartbeat of America" display really freaked some people out. (Ed Mazza for HuffPost) Looking to up your baking game? Christina Tosi of Milk Bar is hitting Instagram every day at 2 pm for a distanced baking club. (Bao Ong for Time Out) Farewell, Panda Express. Panda Express closed all 11 NYC locations temporarily "out of advanced precaution." The company will pay employees impacted by the closure and gave away the rest of its food to hospitals before it closed. (Serena Dai for Eater) WeWork is in the running for "worst possible COVID-19 reaction." They haven't closed their rental offices, they're trying to entice workers to come in with a daily $100 bonus, are continuing to collect membership fees, and fired 250 employees. WeWork is claiming that since some businesses that rent from them are essential, they should remain completely open. (Sylvia Varnham O’Regan and E.B. Solomont for The Real Deal) Photos: The city's closed streets. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York) Mayor de Blasio called for a rent freeze on the one million rent-stabilized apartments in the city. (Michael Dogan for LIC Post) We're a day away from the first of the month and rent strikes are beginning to come forward as a path forward. (Jake Offenhartz for Gothamist) Once the 90-day eviction suspension, what's going to happen? Mass displacement? (Caroline Spivack for Curbed) Who the hell are these monsters who are getting together for coronavirus speakeasies and potlucks? (Tanay Warerkar for Eater) Workers in Amazon's Staten Island fulfillment center walked out today at 1 pm and called for the facility to be shut down after they say at least 10 workers have tested positive for COVID-19. Amazon fired Chris Smalls after the walkout, one of the organizers of the walkout, for supposedly violating safety regulations. (Josh Dzieza for The Verge) Whole Foods workers are planning a nationwide sick-out protest on Tuesday. Workers are calling for increased hazard pay while the company reaps record sales. (Lauren Kaori Gurley for Vice) The Onion: New York City Health Officials Board Up Sun To Discourage Large Groups From Gathering Outside. (The Onion) 13% of NYPD officers are out on sick leave. (Todd Maisel for amNewYork Metro) The NYPD can now give tickets for a lack of social distancing at their own discretion. Enforcing the law at their discretion fairly isn't exactly the NYPD's strong suit. (Howard Halle for Time Out) 86-year-old Janie Marshall was attacked on Saturday at NYC Health and Hospitals/Woodhull in Bed-Stuy for not socially distancing by a 32-year-old woman. Unfortunately, Janie hit her head on the flood after being attacked and was pronounced dead a few hours later. If you see someone doing something dangerous, use your words and keep your own distance. (Ben Yakas for Gothamist) Shortly after Edge opened in Hudson Yards, a worker was diagnosed with COVID-19. Edge closed, but the adjacent Peak restaurant didn't. The VP of the operating company told the managers of Peak to not tell guests about the reported case and lie about why Edge was closed. (Erika Adams for Eater) How the Long Island Rail Road is working to keep its customers safe, from Phillip Eng, the president of the LIRR. (Phillip Eng for QNS) How's the MTA's subway cleanups going? "It looks good on paper, but in a lot of cases, it’s not happening." -JP Patafio, a vice president for TWU Local 100. (Jose Martinez for The City) 12 epidemics that have plagued New York throughout history. (Noah Sheidlower for Untapped New York) The USNS Comfort hospital ship arrived in New York City Monday morning. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch) Photos: The USNS Comfort arrives. (Devin Gannon for 6sqft) What kind of stupidity is necessary to watch a hospital ship arriving, sent to relieve the hospitals during a pandemic that has killed over a thousand New Yorkers, and idiots watching the ship arrive en masse to take photos? (@kirkpate) Video: Trucks are being used at hospitals across the city as makeshift morgues, but it might not hit you of how dire the situation is until you see a hospital staff using a forklift to transport bodies into a truck on a sidewalk. Watch at your own discretion. (Kevin Duggan for Brooklyn Paper) This hand-drawn map of the Met by artist John Kerschbaum is absolutely stunning. (Claire Voon for Atlas Obscura) RIP Father Jorge Ortiz-Garay, the first-known Catholic priest in the city to die of COVID-19. (Jamie DeJesus for The Brooklyn Home Reporter) The favorite NYC restaurant cookbooks of the Eater staff. (Eater) FEMA is sending refrigerated trucks to the city to serve as temporary morgues as the death toll from the coronavirus grows. (Erin Durkin for Politico) NYPD will no longer respond to 911 calls for vehicle collisions on Staten Island that result in only property damage because people in Staten Island can't stop hitting each other with their cars and too much of the police's time is being spent on providing loss adjustment services for the insurance industry. (Gersh Kuntzman for Streetsblog) What to expect when you're expecting to give birth during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Catherine Pearson for HuffPost) How to shop for groceries, according to doctors and epidemiologists. (Marian Bull for Grub Street) Video: Drone video of Hart Island, New York City's mass grave, containing over one million bodies. (Find and Seek) 82 percent of New York City voters approve of Cuomo's handling of the pandemic, according to a Siena College poll. (Kathleen Culliton for Patch) Air purifiers can't kill the coronavirus. New York Attorney General Letitia James is ordering companies selling purifiers to cease and desist marketing their products as being effective against COVID-19. (The Brooklyn Reader) The case for why jails are so important in the fight against COVID-19. (Anna Flagg and Joseph Neff for NY Times) 360° Video: Driving through Chinatown, Little Italy, and the Bowery. (ActionKid) What the BrooklynVegan staff is listening to in isolation. (BrooklynVegan) The neighborhood delivery and takeout directory. (Hannah Albertine, Nikko Duren, Bryan Kim, Arden Shore, & Matt Tervooren for The Infatuation) Thanks to reader Kathryn for today's featured photo!