Monday Bulletin: Spraying to Kill Covid, NYCHA Breakdowns, Church Dispute

Ringing the bells for the heroes at 7 p.m. Photo by Mildred Alpern.

April 13, 2020 Weather: Rainy and windy, with a high of 71 degrees.

Looking for indoor events on this rainy day and through the week? Check out our calendar!

Do you need help or want to offer help to neighbors? The city has a website that gives you options.

Councilmember Mark Levine gives some tips to handling Covid-19 symptoms at home.

Join a CEC3 (school board) meeting on high school admissions by Zoom on Tuesday at 7.

A dog was found on the UWS and taken to a shelter. Is it yours?

And a diamond engagement ring was found in Central Park between 100th and 110th Streets. If it’s yours let us know at westsiderag at gmail and we’ll connect you with the person who found it.

Would you like to know how a building is decontaminated from Covid-19? NY1 got a look at a decontamination on the UWS. “Green Orchard Group uses a fogging machine filled with a CDC- and EPA-approved disinfection chemical, scrubbing all surfaces with an ultra-fine mist. They even spray the air because COVID-19 can remain suspended in it for hours.”

NYCHA elevators have been breaking down amid the crisis, The City reports. “The recent wave started at 7:41 a.m. Sunday, the data shows, in a Douglass Houses II building on W. 104th St. that 286 tenants call home. One elevator flickered out — and stayed out for 27 hours. A few hours later, another went out at Pomonok Houses in Queens. That one was useless for 24 hours.”

Gothamist reports that the Cathedral of St. John the Divine was not used as a hospital because of the views of the volunteer group that would be staffing it. “A plan to turn the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine into an overflow facility for COVID-19 patients has been called off, following an ideological impasse between the fundamentalist evangelical organization tapped to run the facility and leaders of the Manhattan cathedral…Leaders of St. John the Divine told Gothamist the church “did not quite understand how strict their tenets were” when they agreed to partner with Samaritan’s Purse on a temporary hospital for overflow patients from Mount Sinai.”

NEWS | 21 comments | permalink
    1. Jerome36 says:

      The St. John debacle is a microcosm of everything wrong in the City. Instead of accepting who they are so that others can be helped/saved, they decide to cancel the operation. Very similar to what our genius Mayor almost did when he almost disallowed the tents in Central Park. If it saves lives, who the Heck cares?! I will guarantee that the Church was pressured both by donors and politicians. Sad. Get me outta this city.

      • Linda says:

        It could be that Samaritan’s Purse refused to allow LGBT patients, that the very high ceilings and huge dimensions of the Cathedral would make air temperature control difficult, that those spaces would be very difficult to clean afterwards or,more likely,that the curve was flattening,and other temporary facilities were not even close to being filled. As you suggest, the city may not be the right place for you. Having moved here 5 years ago from a red state, we love this blue city and state.

        • SLJ says:

          Samaritan’s Purse’s restrictions have to do with who can work for them, not with who they will and will not treat. Agree or disagree with that, it will not impact their patient care, and it’s their prerogative as a non-profit.

          They do not care about the beliefs of their patients they just want to help them. I am very familiar with this organization and know people who work with them.

          For what it’s worth, Evangelicals seek to help and minister to non-Christians, they don’t seek to reject them and shame them. Samaritan’s Purse does not push their religion on patients, they are a truly Christ-like organization that loves their neighbor, even when their neighbor hates them and their beliefs.

          You can both disagree with a lifestyle choice and love the human being—unless, apparently, you live in this city, and chase away people who believe things different than us despite their remarkable ability to help us and our loved ones.

          SP has worked in countless 3rd world countries and treated Ebola patients in Africa, among countless other things. We are fools to turn them away, and far more intolerant for doing so.

          And no, I don’t work for them or with them. I have reported on them in the past, met many of them and am simply astounded by the ignorance of those who think they would turn away a sick patient in NYC. Perhaps you’ll get to meet one of the lives they’ve saved in the past.

          • Honest Abe says:

            1. Samaritan’s Purse’s restrictions have to do with who can work for them, not with who they will and will not treat.
            2. It will not impact their patient care,

            Statement 2 does no necessarily follow from statement 1. SP selects volunteers based on religious creed, not on professional qualifications.

          • Choice, schmoice says:

            “Lifestyle choice”?!? Are you kidding me? Please tell me when you made the lifestyle choice to be straight. I’m 110 percent certain that my lesbianism was never a choice I made. There is nothing you can say to redeem yourself on this count. Your assertion is harmful and poorly informed. Your smugness is grossing me out.

        • Jerome36 says:

          Read the article before you make an uninformed comment. It specifically states that there was a disagreement in philosophy. It had nothing to do with Air temperature or curve flattening.

      • GG says:

        I think you would do better to understand the organization in question and what their restrictions are.

      • mkmuws says:

        Yes, because it’s much better everywhere else in the country.

      • UWS40 says:

        Glad to see you go!!!

      • Susan Cooper says:

        You will not find a much better situation anywhere in this country these days, it seems…the bile coming out of DC has encouraged divisiveness in all areas political, religious, skin color, heritage and on and on. It is so very sad!

      • Chrigid says:

        If you limit the number of caregivers, how good is your care going to be?

      • Bruce E. Bernstein says:

        Samaritan’s Purse has to comply with NYC’s and NY States’s anti-discrimination laws. Not for profits CANNOT discriminate by race, gender, religion, sexual preference in hiring or discriminate on these protected categories for volunteers.

        there might be some exemptions for religious organizations; not sure about that. but good for St John’s for sticking to its guns.

        I’m sorry, but we don’t have to agree to discrimination and violate our laws and principles to accept help. Would it be ok if Samaritan’s Purse refused to hire Blacks, Hispanics, Jews? or refused to accept them as volunteers?

        if the Ku Klux Klan offered to set up a food bank, does Jerome36 think we should allow it?

        i agree with other commenters that Jerome36 might feel more comfortable in a city and/or state that is more amenable to various types of discrimination.

    2. lynn says:

      In reference to the lost dog story, is there any reason he was put into a ‘kill shelter?’ Have we run out of space in the no-kill shelters? Just curious as I don’t know how this normally works.

    3. NotImpressed says:

      Are you being kept here against your will?

    4. jem says:

      I did not understand how St. John the Divine could be used anyway – how would it be heated? Ventilated? Water, washing and toilet facilities would be needed. How would the Cathedral protect the historic interior?
      And clean?
      Stairs and access?
      Perhaps I am missing something but logistically it did not make sense.

      BTW, during Hurricane Sandy worked at a temporary shelter housed at John Jay College. It was impossible to properly care for people there, in a space with more bathrooms but not meant to be a shelter ….

      • SLJ says:

        samaritan’s purse is very skilled and experienced in building field hospitals. agree with your point about the historic interior, but based on photos i saw they used the space and had the rest of what was needed.(they had already been using resources to do this)

        SP has build field hospitals in Africa suitable to treat ebola, so ability to do it was not an issue.

    5. Peggy says:

      Get your facts straight. The final decision was made by Mount Sinai, not the Cathedral or the Diocese. Repurposing the cathedral for patient care would be very costly, and Mt. Sinai decided to wait because there was modest, but encouraging, evidence that the “curve” was beginning to flattening. Those two factors — financial and epidemiological — drove the decision.

    6. Steve UWS says:

      Typical “ fundamentalist evangelical organization”

      Self important, drunk on dogma and hypocritical to the core.

      No doubt if Jesus exists, he’s hanging his head in heaven when he sees the action of these people

    7. RobbieTheK says:

      They also do a Christmas shoebox drive that is fantastic. The church on 79th and Broadway collects them the week before Thanksgiving. We’ve donated a couple times and there was never any pushing nor prosteltying.

    8. Reed says:

      Samaritan’s Purse unfortunately is bigoted toward Gay citizens and with this I question their ‘good works’ in NYC. Sure they are offering needed services, but I also question their agenda.