Riding the Second Wave After a Wipeout

For New Yorkers, we spent the summer a little arrogant that we had stamped out COVID-19 as it continued to rage through the United States.

We were done!

Museums and restaurants were opening, schools and indoor dining had just resumed normal operations. Our numbers were consistently low, and people were returning to a “masked” state-of-normal.

Europe started pointing out their second wave. Texas found a new mutant strain. All of the foreboding warnings of the spring regarding a “second wave” and “hybrid strains” and “worse winter” started coming to life last month…

Then came Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur in New York City and Rockland County. COVID numbers began spiking in the Hasidic communities…then, shortly thereafter throughout entire zip codes. The city and state are beginning mass shutdowns once again. Hello Second Wave.

We are now in the midst of certain zip codes shutting them down again. Non-essential businesses will be next.

Please be warned…if it’s happening here, it will happen where you are, too. It’s just a matter of time.

First Wave Wipeout

Let’s not kid ourselves…New York City was hit HARD the first time. That wave came out of no where and knocked the whole city into a cliff. There have been 252,000 cases and 23,861 deaths and counting. Hospitals were at capacity, non-essential businesses were closed, and essential workers were on the front lines every day from March – late May.

Then, there were the economic ramifications… Estimates say that 1/3 of all small businesses in New York City won’t survive 2020. Many are already gone.

They may have lasted wars, terrorist attacks, hurricanes, and generations, but they couldn’t weather the pandemic. That’s not to mention the big box stores who haven’t been able to sustain themselves through the crisis. Mega-stores such as Neiman Marcus, Lord & Taylor, Century 21, Pier 1 Imports, and JCPenney have all filed bankruptcy this year – joining the lost (but never forgotten) Bendel’s and Barneys.

Second Wave Wondering…

I can’t help but wonder if New Yorkers will be forced to join the rest of the United States with ill-fated clothing purchases from Wish, Alibaba, and Amazon? Will retail return? If so, what will it look like? Will Macy’s, Bergdorf’s, and Bloomingdales weather the storm? Or, are they next on the chopping block when the second wave strikes in full force?

Also, I’ve heard that if live entertainment can’t return next year that it may be gone for good. Can entertainment workers, venues, crews, and the industry survive yet another hit? It’s terrifying to think of rebuilding the entire world, but it looks like we won’t have another choice.

I’ve never been a fan of apocalyptic sci-fi, but here I am…here we all are…living in it.

The second wave is upon us…Will we be able to ride the wave safely to shore? How many more will wipeout? Lives? Businesses? Jobs? Industries?


We can’t help but have hope. To hope that after all the waves pass that we will enjoy some placid waters. To hope that even though many have sadly died that others will be able to fill their shoes. To hope that even though we’ve lost businesses and entire industries, that others will be born. To hope that because some of the rich and big have moved out of the city that the little guy will have a better chance. To hope that as Americans we will demand a better life moving forward. To hope that we will prepare so that this never happens again.

At least I know that’s what I’m going to work toward. And, I sure hope you will too.

For more COVID-19 and New York musings – check out the following posts:

Also – make sure to support your local COVID-19 response and emergency fund. With the second wave upon us, it’s vital that we support our communities and our essential workers.

To help New York – you could also show your #NYTough by purchasing one of our new beanies! 20% of all proceeds will go to the New York COVID-19 Relief Fund.

Stay safe – stay well – see you on the other side of the wave.

In the meantime – I’ll keep feeling the “Heart of the City” and sharing what I see with you.


Noah and Majhon

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