“I think Hoboken probably is the model we all need to move towards now,” said Ashish Jha, M.D., MPH, Professor of Global Health at Harvard University, Dean for Global Strategy at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Director of the Harvard Global Health Institute.
In his comments this morning on CNN, he added, “I can’t believe I ever would have said that, but here we are—Hoboken is our model.”
Gee, thanks Doc…
(CNN’s Inside Politics – video via Douglas Taurel)
The good doctor’s comments come following Hoboken’s decision last night to close all bars and restaurants (take out/delivery still available) amid the growing Coronavirus threat.
Coronavirus drastically altered the rhythms of ordinary life in the US as the scope of the outbreak swiftly changed. Here’s how it happened https://t.co/9hGN0a2Siq
— CNN (@CNN) March 15, 2020
“Last night in Hoboken looked like people poured into our bars and restaurants like this was an oasis, and Hoboken was isolated from this pandemic,” said Hoboken Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante. “This was reckless by all those involved. Our numbers are going to increase exponentially, and we need to take all necessary temporary steps, to mitigate any more numbers of cases and try to prevent death.”
The birthplace of American brewing, Hoboken’s legendary nightlife scene is a vital industry here in town—yet the immediacy of the virus threat is taking precedent. School closings, park closings, gyms, movie theaters, daycare centers have all been impacted. Bars and restaurants will now join that list, as the need for social distancing becomes more and more apparent.
The move to close the bars and restaurants has been seen as drastic by many. It also comes with a curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m.
“As I’ve mentioned before, these are extremely challenging times, and we are seeing a substantial uptick of positive COVID-19 cases throughout New Jersey and throughout the world. The time is now to enact proactive policies that will help save lives in the long run,” said Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla. “We’ve asked families with children to be a part of social distancing by closing our schools. We must all now do our part.”
As of press time, New Jersey has 69 reported cases—5 in Hudson County, including 2 in neighboring Jersey City and 1 in Hoboken.
Jersey City enacted a 10 p.m. curfew for its hospitality venues on Thursday. Meanwhile the Mayor of nearby Teaneck, NJ has asked the entire city of 41,000 to self-quarantine, as it has been rapidly hit with 18 cases.
New York City saw its first fatality on Saturday, as an 82 year-old patient succumbed to the virus. Furthermore, another patient in Rockland County (65 years old) has reportedly passed away. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has announced the passing of a second New Jersey resident last night, a patient in Monmouth County.
Please wash your hands frequently and practice social distancing. We will get through this together.
— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) March 15, 2020
There are currently upwards of 600 cases being handled in the New York Metro/Tri-State Area—a number that is likely to spike in the days to come.
Meanwhile, the impact to Hoboken’s small business community will be significant. Please support your local businesses any way you can in these uncertain times.