A sign of possible civil unrest.
Retail establishments in New York City have begun to board up their storefronts as the Chinese coronavirus shuts down the city, and the NYPD reports an alarming 75% increase in burglaries since the start of the city’s state of emergency.
The NYPD has reported 254 burglaries of businesses since March 12th, when Mayor Bill de Blasio enacted a state of emergency. There were 145 during the same time period last year, entailing a 75% increase this year.
Some retail establishments in the city have taken to boarding up their storefronts, especially retailers of luxury goods. Witnesses describe a Soho Louis Vuitton as having boarded up its windows, and Manhattan Dolce and Gabbana stores. Some bars and restaurants prevented from operating in a fashion that would allow them to carry out delivery and takeout orders have also boarded up their storefronts.
Concerns that the New York Police Department may be unable to prevent desperate or opportunistic burglars from ransacking businesses may be fueling the desire to board up storefronts. Several NYPD officers have already been diagnosed with the coronavirus, and those that remain active are stretched thin in responding to near-constant emergency calls.
Scenes of New York City’s public places reveal that once-jam packed locations are now completely empty, as the public genuinely avoids leaving their homes during the unprecedented medical epidemic. Imagery of the Brooklyn Bridge last month showed the landmark completely abandoned.
The boarding up certainly paints a picture of an atmosphere of civil unrest and danger, and some community members are questioning if the stark measure is fully necessary or appropriate.