“People Still Not Taking This Seriously”: Get With The Program, Neighbors!

While the rest of the city is shutting down and neighbors are keeping their distance, others are celebrating as if this pandemic is no big deal.


NYC’s public schools closed on Monday, most private and religious schools closed last week. Churches and temples are streaming services, and our friends at Yeshiva World News (out of Flatbush) are ringing alarm bells as loud as they can.

Today they published a story under the headline FRIGHTENING: Number of Boro Park Virus Cases EXPLODE Overnight; People Still Not taking This Seriously, lamenting that many people are still not grasping the severity of what is unfolding.

Brooklyn’s confirmed cases jumped to 157 this afternoon. Yesterday they were at 62.

While we have been unable to independently verify, it seems many of the cases have “been confirmed overnight in Boro Park, and there are close to 1,000 tests that are still awaiting results. Crown Heights has HUNDREDS and possibly thousands of cases, with some people already placed on respirators. The Five Towns has around 100 confirmed cases and over 1,000 awaiting results. Williamsburg has lots of cases. Many people in Flatbush are being tested this morning, and some Shuls have already been closed.”

Many, but not all. Schools in some communities are open, dismaying neighbors: “The school at 550 Ocean Parkway continues to operate at full capacity, putting all of the children, adults, and community members nearby at risk. There are many high-risk individuals and elderly on the block who will suffer as a result,” a concerned neighbor emailed us today.

Purim Photo by Scott Stein

“A senior Boro Park Hatzolah Paramedic sent out a public message pleading with people to take action before it’s too late,” YWN reports. “He says how the Mikvaos are full of elderly people this morning, people hugging and kissing at Chasunos etc. In Lakewood, hundreds of guests were attending Chasunos on Monday, with some still scheduled for today (Tuesday) with people – including Rabbonim – hugging and kissing people as if this is a big joke. Throughout our history, Klal Yisroel relied on doctors to Pasken Shailos of when to do a Bris Mila, when to eat on Yom Kippur etc. Why all of a sudden some are refusing to accept the UNANIMOUS position of EVERY SINGLE DOCTOR is beyond understanding and simply shocking to say the least.”

Last week Purim parties were in full force, Todd Maisel reported, with hand sanitizer and stern warnings from rabbis, and a lot of faith: “Of course we get together for Purim, and we can’t be afraid to be together as a Jewish community. This is the source of our strength to be together,”  one worshipper, Shmuli Bronstein, said. “If we get this virus, may be we just get sick God willing. But if we die, it’s God’s will.”

TWN reports many of the cases are connected to said Purim parties.

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Liena Zagare

Editor of Bklyner.com. Tips? Complaints? Suggestions? Email me at Liena@bklyner.com.


  1. Thank you Liena. I am also deeply concerned at the fact that this morning there were many yeshiva school buses in the Kesington area and again in the afternoon If Public schools, colleges are closed for public safety and health , so should the Yeshiva’s. Remember what happened with the recent measles outbreak. We are one city and must all abide by the same rules. I took a few pics and posted them on FB and emailed the mayor as well.

  2. Liena, You obviously do not know the history of Chassidim and their obsession with health and well being.! For you to insinuate and outright accuse a population of the opposite of what they are known for is bordering with some ulterior motive.
    The Orthodox Jewish Community and in particular the Chassidim are known to monitor and act upon health issues quite professionally. In fact, there are many organizations set up for exactly this mission. They refer people to Physicians, explore medical options, schedule appointments and in most cases go out of the way for the best solution to every medical issue, The only reason the numbers are going up now with this crisis is only that the Community is worried and is getting tested. This is a Community that does efforts in large numbers, thus the visibility, but why the harassment???
    I hope you refrain from targeting a specific group of people without proper due diligence.

  3. Good morning Ms. Zagagr,

    I have just read your article, “People Still Not Taking This Seriously”. I won’t go tit for tat with you over your facts, but I will say your anti semitism shows by your choice of subject and the tone of your article. You chose NOT to inclued any other ethnic group see

    @college.babes St. Patrick’s Yacht Party!
    Sat, Mar 21 – Sun, Mar 22
    2430 FDR Dr Garage, 2430 FDR Dr
    New York, NY
    St. Patrick’s Day Celebration at The Mansion
    Mar 14 – 22
    The Mansion at Glen Cove, 200 Dosoris Ln
    Glen Cove, NY

    or the people in Miami and New Orleans actually featured in the Washington Post. 
    Focus on all groups or stop “reporting”.
    Grace Garofolo

  4. Ms. Zagare,
    Thank you for this informative article and no I do not feel that it is in anyway Anti-Semitism. I am Jewish, although not very religious and am outraged, but not surprised at all. by the actions of the Orthodox. The same reason that NY City and State had such a huge Measles outbreak not long ago. You may believe that contracting a potentially deadly disease is “God’s Will”, but I do not believe that God would approve of you endangering others. You are not only putting other people in the community in danger by possibly exposing them when it can be prevented. You are taking their choice of protecting themselves away and this includes all the children in your community who are too young to say this is not right and my parents should be protecting me.
    Even the Catholic Church is telling members there is no sin for not coming to Mass. You are doing your community a great disservice by giving true Anti Semites and Racists reasons to condemn the Jewish People.
    Please open your eyes to the dangers and help to protect all by protecting yourselves.

  5. You don’t have to be Jewish to understand their point of view. They have survived against all odds.

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