Brooklyn Coronavirus Update and Open Thread: Aid, Design, Real Estate (5/14/20)

Brooklyn Heights. Photo by Susan De Vries

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    We’re in the ninth week of sheltering in place and the 38th day of home schooling for New York City schools.

    Coronavirus may be with us forever, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell warned of permanent economic damage if the federal government does not do more to prevent bankruptcies and unemployment. And lawmakers from both parties are debating paying basic income to citizens and other aid measures. The Legal Aid Society today at 2 p.m. will broadcast its aid recommendations.

    On the design front, nursing homes could be redesigned to discourage contagious diseases. Options include organizing private rooms in small clusters and limiting the reach of recirculated air in HVAC systems, The New York Times reported. Our homes could also get a rethink, starting with the vestibule, which could include a sink for washing hands before entering, according to architect and design historian Lloyd Alter, quoted in a CityLab story about how pandemics changed bathroom design.

    The real estate market has defrosted slightly. In-person showings of houses and condos for sale are still happening in New York City, albeit on an extremely rare, limited basis and with social distancing, a broker told Brownstoner. [Editor’s note: In rare cases, a client might visit an unoccupied property, but no real estate agent can be present.] Virtual closings are now possible, thanks to adjustments in technology, and “happening every day.” Rentals are also on the upswing, he said. “We’ve seen a major uptick in rentals, all done through video showings.”

    What are your thoughts, and how are you weathering the shutdown? What do you think should be done in Brooklyn to combat the spread of the virus and blunt the damage to local businesses and jobs? Please feel free to comment in a respectful manner (please, no personal attacks, nothing libelous). If you are not already logged in, go up to the top right hand side of the page and log in to be able to comment.

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