No state has been hit harder by COVID-19 than New York. As of May 14, more than 21,000 people in New York state have died from COVID-19.
Native Nebraskans who live in New York have taken measures to stay safe and avoid COVID-19.
Joshua Newville, who grew up in Omaha and works as an attorney in New York city has temporarily moved his family from his home in Brooklyn to a house in Connecticut. Newville is worried about people who live in large apartment complexes and can’t practice social distancing.
“We live in a place where we have our own entrance and we don’t share the building with anybody, so it’s easier for us to socially distance than people who live in, for example, large apartment complexes,” he said.
Newville said he feels for those who do not have the option to social distance due to their jobs.
“I feel bad for the people that are handling food delivery and Amazon deliveries because they don’t have the option when it comes to socially distancing from people with their jobs, so they are in the line of fire for being in touch with people,” he said.
Jenna Denker, a native of Omaha, who works for Major League Baseball in New York City, came back to Omaha for a few days to visit her family and was not allowed to go back to her apartment in the financial district.
“I was only supposed to be here for the weekend and my parents never let me leave,” she said.
Denker’s parents made her quarantine in their basement for two weeks.
Before leaving New York City, Denker could tell there was a change in the city.
“We live in the financial district so there specifically was odd because that’s where a lot of companies are and everything was empty. Just like perpetual weekend pretty much,” she said.
Newville works for a law firm near Times Square and has been able to move from his office.
He is able to work from Connecticut easily. Everybody has adapted to working online and he can still work with clients.
Denker works in the technology department of MLB, so the transition to online was easy. Her team had an infrastructure in place. Despite the easy transition, Denker misses the camaraderie of her team.
“I sit next to my whole team so I can’t just turn to the person next to me and ask, hey how can you do this. I have to message them and it’s hard to communicate to them over text.”
There is no telling what New York will look like once the COVID-19 pandemic is over. New Yorkers hope that the state is able to make a gradual recovery.
“I think it’s going to be gradual changes,” Newville said. “We’re just in a wait and see approach.”