2020年1月28日 星期二

N.Y. Today: Bracing for Coronavirus

What you need to know for Tuesday.

New York Is Bracing for the Coronavirus

It’s Tuesday.

Weather: Breezy and partly sunny, with a high in the low 40s.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until Feb. 12 (Lincoln’s Birthday).

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An Rong Xu for The New York Times

New York City is home to the largest Chinese population of any city outside Asia, officials here say. And people have been celebrating the Lunar New Year, one of China’s biggest holidays, with events throughout New York and trips to China to visit relatives.

So, when a new coronavirus began spreading in Wuhan, China, New York officials took notice.

In China, the virus has killed more than 100 people and sickened more than 4,500. In affected areas, Chinese officials have closed schools, curtailed bus travel and canceled public gatherings, hoping to prevent the virus from spreading.

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Cases of the new coronavirus have also been reported in the United States, including in California, Washington State, Arizona and Chicago. All of those patients had recently traveled to China, The Times reported.

In New York, “it’s inevitable that we will have someone who is positive with coronavirus,” the city’s health commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, told my colleagues on Sunday.

What is the coronavirus?

It is a virus that attacks the respiratory system in humans and animals.

Symptoms can include a fever, severe cough, difficulty breathing and lung lesions. Milder cases may seem to be the flu or a bad cold. After a person is infected, it can take up to two weeks for symptoms to appear.

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How does it spread?

Officials have not fully determined where exactly the virus started or how it is transmitted.

Though coronavirus has been reported in countries other than China, it does not appear to be spreading within those countries, according to the World Health Organization.

“At this time, there is no evidence of human-to-human transmission outside China,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the W.H.O.’s director general, said at a news conference. “That doesn’t mean it won’t happen.”

Finding out how the coronavirus spreads may require help from a disease detective (like those who investigated the measles outbreak in New York last year).

The flu is the bigger threat in New York right now

The mystery surrounding the coronavirus may also overshadow the dangers that New Yorkers face from a more common virus: the flu.

New York State keeps track of flu cases and reports the totals each week. Starting in October, cases start trickling in. They peak around January and February and usually peter out by August.

The 2017-18 flu season was particularly bad in the state. At its peak, there were more than 10,000 flu cases reported each week for five consecutive weeks, starting toward the end of January.

This flu season looks as if it may be worse. More than 57,000 flu cases have been reported across the state, according to the New York State Flu Tracker.

There were more than 13,000 cases in the state for the week that ended on Jan. 18, the most recent week for which data was available. Of those, more than 7,000 were in New York City.

The reaction to the new coronavirus

Some people in Queens who recently traveled to China have self-quarantined.

Dr. Barbot, the health commissioner, said New Yorkers should remain calm, take precautions and go about their day normally. Travelers should note that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended that people avoid all nonessential travel to China.

From The Times

The Mini Crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.

What we’re reading

Lawmakers will investigate why black and Latino people in New York City are issued a disproportionate number of jaywalking tickets. [Streetsblog]

Will a new bookstore open in the space in Manhattan once occupied by Book Culture? [West Side Rag]

If the mayor can’t reduce the deer population on Staten Island with vasectomies, the congressman there would be glad to participate in a cull, he said. [Staten Island Advance]

Coming up today

Learn about paintings inspired by the Indian epic “Ramayana” during a talk at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan. 11 a.m. [$30]

The translators of “The Criminal Child: Selected Essays by Jean Genet” discuss their work at McNally Jackson on Prince Street in Manhattan. 7 p.m. [Free]

JAMbalaya!” is an evening of New Orleans-style jamming with three brass bands at Drom in Manhattan. 8 p.m. [$10]

— Alex Traub

Events are subject to change, so double-check before heading out. For more events, see the going-out guides from The Times’s culture pages.

And finally: Kobe Bryant, from the archives

G. Paul Burnett/The New York Times

Kobe Bryant shooting over Jamal Crawford at Madison Square Garden in 2006 as his Los Angeles Lakers faced off against the Knicks.

Mr. Bryant, who was killed in a helicopter crash north of Los Angeles on Sunday, had a glittering 20-year career with the Lakers that included many visits to Madison Square Garden to take on the Knicks.

But when he first played with his team in New York City, on Nov. 5, 1996, Mr. Bryant didn’t exactly impress onlookers. He started the game on the bench and played just over three minutes. He made one of two free throws. He also had one turnover. By the end, he had scored only 1 point, but the Lakers edged out the Knicks, 98-92.

Mr. Bryant went on, of course, to have a spectacular career that dazzled legions of fans in New York and beyond. His last game in Manhattan was on Nov. 8, 2015. He started, played more than 32 minutes and scored 18 points — with a pair of 3-pointers, a pair of rebounds, three assists and a steal.

This time, though, the Knicks won, 99-95.

It’s Tuesday — stay in the game.

Metropolitan Diary: Sharing

Dear Diary:

I was in Vanderbilt Hall at Grand Central Terminal. The couple I was sharing a table with in the food pavilion warmed up to friendly conversation, sharing their recent food discoveries and favorite restaurants.

After chatting, they returned to their butternut squash soup, and I to my butter and knekkebrod.

The woman received something on her phone.

“Look,” she said to her husband, “he sent a picture.”

She turned to me.

“Our son just shaved his head bald for the first time,” she said.

Maybe it was my raised eyebrows, or the way I said, “Ohhh.” Either way, she felt the need to explain.

“He already lost most of his hair,” she said. “It’s called ‘embracing it.’”

— Paul Klenk

New York Today is published weekdays around 6 a.m. You can also find it at nytoday.com.

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