The coronavirus crisis is shrinking New York City’s economy on a scale far more vast than the squeeze on any other U.S. metropolis. The Big Apple so exceeds the rest of urban America in damage suffered mostly because it’s the epicenter of the outbreak and also because an extremely high proportion of its workforce is employed in restaurants, bars, hotels, theaters, and retail, all businesses hyper-vulnerable to the collapse in tourism that has pounded the world’s most visited destination.
Still, New York isn’t just getting hit hardest because of the virus’s big early onslaught and the mix of fragile industries. The New York State and City governments are helping sharpen the sharpest-of-all contractions by imposing the toughest, tightest, longest-standing shutdown in America.
The state and city are sticking to the latest-starting, most extended reopening schedule in the nation even though New York began making astounding gains in the reduction of COVID-19 cases in mid-April, and came extremely close to satisfying nearly all the high hurdles for a reboot weeks ago. That ultracautious approach may well be the right choice for saving lives and preventing another spike in infections.