This Sunday, less than a week after the worst storm EVER hit New York and New Jersey, The New York Marathon will still go ahead.
As of right now, Thursday, there is still no power below 23rd street, there is still flood water covering lower Manhattan.
The Governor has called a transit state of emergency, with bridges open to high occupancy vehicles with 3 or more people per car only able to cross into Manhattan. Cabs are allowed to pick up multi-fares and Gypsy cabs are allowed to pick up street hails.
The subway is only partially running, as are buses. Nothing is going below 34th st. The MTA has waived all fees for riding.
People have not been able to go back to their homes. They are holed up in hotel rooms or with friends around the city. First responders are still finding bodies and we are all still glued to the tv for updates.
School has been suspended until monday.
Not all area airports are open yet. Flight back log is enormous, there are stranded people everywhere.
The New York Marathon puts an enormous strain on New York in normal conditions. Roads get shut down, thousands fly in to compete, taking up hotels. Police line the route, making sure competitors are safe and people behave.
Now, this week, it’s all too much. People have lost everything, some their lives. The death toll has reached 30 and is expected to climb. Others are still living like refugees ( we have 3 people staying with us). Some are doing their best to mop up the damage.
It’s not fair to put the added strain on a city in crisis. It’s selfish of the organisers to go ahead and irresponsible of the Mayor to support it.
Why has this decision been made? Is it because the officials are trying to make everyone get back to normal? Are they so invested that they can’t back out? Why can’t we reschedule?
Of course the logistics to reschedule would be enormous but so is what we’ve already been through and are still coping with.
Sometimes we just need to think beyond the dollar signs and have compassion for New York. It’s like a slap in the face, like those affected don’t matter.
New York needs to get itself back together. Holding the Marathon this Sunday will hinder that, not help.
It’s probably too late to change it now, but I hope they do. It’s just the right thing.