How Life Has Changed in New York: How Coronavirus Influenced the City

1:52 pm  |  05.07.2021

In March 2020, the metropolis almost made it close to this morning. The state of emergency has shaped the life of the residents – and will continue to influence it.


In March 2020, almost no New Yorker could imagine that the historical initial restrictions in the world metropolis would lead to an exceptional state of exception. Everyone would have to stay at home because of Covid-19, Governor Andrew Cuomo said on March 20, 2020. “These are the most drastic measures we could take.”

At that time, the ticker of the US news channel still indicated that a total of 196 people in the US had died in Covid-19. Now that there is more than half a million corona-dead in the United States, the past year in New York will be in the history books. There was much suffering and pain, much has changed – but not everything to the bad.

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“Corona concerns all the same,” it often, at the beginning of the pandemic in New York, often, or: “We all put there together.” That was not quite agreed, it quickly became clear: many rich New Yorkers – among other things from Manhattan – left the city at least temporarily and quartered in the countryside or on the beach – rented or owned, definitely with more space To distance.

Meanwhile, the infection numbers exploded in queens, the Bronx, or Brooklyn with a lower average income, where also a majority of people cannot know and can not work from home. The pandemic seemed to enlarge the scissors between the arm and rich and at the same time open the differences. But also the helpfulness was and remains huge. In addition, the rents have sometimes fallen slightly – and hope has risen that disclosure of the problems could ensure a change in the future.

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The Empire State Building shone on January 19, 2021, in the bright red top to the memory of the now half a million people who had to leave their lives because of Covid-19.

HomeOffice Culture

Even if life – and at least partially the tourism – 2021 is a sign of New York, many companies and employees expect to work for a long time from home. Many cities like the Home Office and their employers in the Towers Manhattan have noticed that it is also running without great space control. More flexible work could also be the new standard in the commuter metropolis of New York. Some thinking further: Companies could save with reduced offices, workers would have the opportunity to work out of the surrounding area.

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Outdoor-Dining and Pedestrian Zones

The New Yorkers have come to the taste of the outdoor food. Many roads in Manhattan or Brooklyn have been lined with wooden outdoor terraces for months. They are sometimes colorful painted or decorated with flowers and – as long as no snowstorm over the city sweeps – also well attended. Some residents reminded the new street flair with traffic-calmed zones even at street restaurants in Europe – and it could remain: “I want us to take this model and make it for years and generations to part of the life of New York City,” said Mayor Bill De Blasio.

Instagram Restaurants

In addition to the traditional restaurants, another gastronomy branch has developed in the Pandemic in New York. Numerous chefs and bakers relocated themselves to the Internet, in so-called “Ghost Kitchens”. You do not have a shop, but cook or bake either at home or in a special kitchen and then deliver the food or let it pick it up. Many were able to secure livelihoods – and some even became gastronomy stars, such as the 27-year-old Kimberly Camara, whose donuts of their Philippine roots are sold out regularly via Instagram within minutes.

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Comeback of Culture

The famous New York cultural scene has been most advised by the pandemic. The museums were closed for months, the Theater des Broadway probably returned at the earliest in autumn, the Metropolitan opera even only 2022. But after a black year, there is now first hope: Recently, the cinemas may open again, from April also first theater. Museums already announce new great exhibitions for the summer, and there should be a large cultural program in the open air – and something could remain.

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The Love Wheel


New York, a bicycle town? Despite more than 2000 kilometers of green traces for cyclists are not really. But here too, the pandemic has caused a rethinking. Bicycle sellers do not come after the replenishment, and the bike-sharing offers citizens because tens of thousands no longer want to drive with the subway. Therefore, the more than 50,000 bicycle parking spaces in public spaces are temporarily short. The large city has promised to invest more in the infrastructure because the bike is likely to keep its place in New York in the future.

The subway stations in New York are partly deserted because of Corona.

Park on the Hudson

In the pandemic place and nature was in demand, and the New Yorker discovered the love for their many parks. Now everyone is looking forward to a green newcomer: “Little Iceland”, one on stilts in the Hudson River built and from the media Mogul Barry Diller with many millions of dollars financed park, should still open “in the spring”.

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