New Yorkers have already been cooped up in their homes for more than a month now, as part of the city's effort to stop COVID-19 from further spread. Most city and tri-state residents would agree that the closures have been incredibly beneficial and warranted, but are eager to return to their normal lives.
As the shutdown continues, it has led some to begin thinking: When exactly can non-essential businesses get up and running again?
Governors Andrew Cuomo, Phil Murphy and Ned Lamont all have agreed that the social distancing procedures currently in place should and will remain in place until two-thirds of the way through May, at the very least. It is likely that the measures will stay into the early part of June as well, with some businesses and attractions (Broadway, for example) shut down until June 7.
The long days indoors possibly combined with the recent news that fatalities in New York are declining (though not in New Jersey), and Georgia is reopening its economy over the next week, have some thinking that may not be necessary.
According to a CUNY Poll, city residents are split about restarting NYC's economy before June 1, with just over half believing the city should reopen before May 31.
In fact, 12 percent of New Yorkers want to see the city repoen non-essential businesses by the end of April, forget May. Another 20 percent said May 15 makes sense, while the other 19 percent opted for a return to some verison of normalcy by May 31.
"Safely, do things with common sense," said Sergio Romero, who supports the city reopening sooner rather than later. "Six feet, five people inside at a time, stuff like that. But this complete shut down is ridiculous."
Still, just under half of the city residents polled want to wait until June to reopen. Building superintendent Milton Mora thinks it's smart to avoiding hastily jumping into reopening.
"Find a routine, because life is not gonna be the same no more, New York is not gonna be the same no more," Mora said.
In New Jersey, Gov. Murphy said any reopening can't even be considered before the state's testing capacity is doubled. In a separate Monmouth University poll, and overwhelming majority of respondents (87 percent) agreed with Murphy's decision to close schools at least until May 15. The same poll also showed that nearly two-thirds of the participants approved of the state's measures to slow the spread of the coronavirus, while just one in ten say they have gone too far.
New Milford resident Sami Schwartz, who is pregnant and expecting any day now, believes waiting is the right call.
"I think I'd feel most comfortable if the numbers started decreasing even a little bit before you started reopening businesses. I'm just looking forward for when that time comes," Schwartz said.