Coronavirus Update: People Standing Farther Apart in Public Groups

Photo taken on March 19th, 2020. People creating space between each other. -Kari Jensen, photographer

Photo taken on March 19th, 2020. People creating space between each other.
-Kari Jensen, photographer

This story was sent to us from reporter Kari Jensen.

In the past week, some New Yorkers have begun to maintain larger personal space bubbles, in response to the coronavirus outbreak.  Some are standing as far as six feet apart from each other, as recommended by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  That is in contrast to March 13, where people stood about an average of an arm’s length apart from each other in checkout lines at Trader Joe’s, Target, and Fine Fare stores in the Lower East Side.

Photo taken on March 13, 2020. A crowded line. -Kenneth Teng, photographer

Photo taken on March 13, 2020. A crowded line.
-Kenneth Teng, photographer

On Thursday, Martilda Torres said she is making efforts to avoid crowded places. She shopped at Rite Aid on Grand Street because she expected that pharmacy would have few, if any, lines.  Torres said people may be standing farther apart since “they’re afraid (of coronavirus).”  They may want to avoid any contact with potentially contagious people, she said.

While some said they had noticed an increase in public social distancing, others said they had not.

Across the street Thursday, Raymond Wong was among customers who stood five- to six-feet apart in a long queue, waiting to enter Trader Joe’s.  He said some people might want an even larger space bubble.  “In this kind of line, if you think there’s not enough space, come back another time,” Wong said.