SUFFOLK COUNTY

Non-essential business closure keeps more people at home

Randall Waszynski
Posted 3/26/20

The New York State on PAUSE executive order initiated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo states that all non-essential businesses must close operation for all in-office personnel functions across New York. A …

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SUFFOLK COUNTY

Non-essential business closure keeps more people at home

Posted

The New York State on PAUSE executive order initiated by Gov. Andrew Cuomo states that all non-essential businesses must close operation for all in-office personnel functions across New York. A comprehen- sive list of what “essential” entails has been provided by the state’s Department of Economic Development, and has been disseminated by county and local officials.

Suffolk County Legis. Anthony Piccirillo and others relayed the information to their respective constituents on social media. Piccirillo and others have made efforts to ensure that officials at all levels are not only abiding by what is mandated at the state and federal levels, but also informing their constituents of the latest day-by-day, hour-by-hour alterations to the status of mandates to ensure macroscopic public health.

“This is unprecedented. Every two hours, we are getting more information. It is like nothing I have ever seen before,” Piccirillo said last Friday when the upcoming restrictions were announced. “Don’t panic. Don’t be alarmed. Stay home if you can. Try to social distance. Please keep your kids home if you can. It is important that they understand social distancing. We are going to get through this. And when it is over, we will get back to normal life.”

Additionally, Piccirillo’s office organized a nonperishable food drive last weekend, and residents collectively brought forth 341 food items in a five-hour span. His office plans to hold another drive of this kind for the following weekend and mentioned it is possible they will expand, if necessary, for seniors and other families in need.

“They don’t have to come in the office, and they are not going to congregate,” Piccirillo said. “They drop it off and then they leave. And then we are going to clean and disinfect all those cans and stuff with disinfectant. And any senior who reaches out to us or a family in need, we are going to just drop the bag off in front of their door.”

County Legis. Tom Cilmi of the 10th District said the list provided by the Governor’s Office is fairly comprehensive and has not come across a business type not included that would be deemed necessary to add to the list.

“We are doing the best we can to answer people’s questions to try and create a sense of calm in what is uncharted waters,” Cilmi said, emphasizing that the mandates put in place in this regard do not set a parameter for a date aside from “indefinitely” and “until further notice.”

Cilmi continued on to point out that the public is acting well in the midst of a pandemic.

“From what I have seen and heard so far, I think it is remarkable how well folks are managing at this point. I have seen acts of kindness and a general sense of ‘we are in this together,’ which is great to see,” he said. “Everyone is still really concerned and worried about how long all these restrictions are going to last and how deeply they are going to impact everybody, but we have certainly not seen any sort of mass hysteria. We have not seen any sort of widespread signs of panic, and that is a good thing.”

County Legis. Steve Flotteron of the 11th District suggested a sense of optimism with most people confined to their living quarters in taking advantage of what most say they do not have the time to accomplish, like around the house, for example.

“Look at it almost as a bad snowstorm. We are going to lock down. And we can actually look at it positively. Let’s enjoy time with our family. Sometimes in this busy world, we are not doing that,” Flotteron said, suggesting various tasks and activities most don’t typically have the time or luxury of delving into. “Look at the optimism of it in the sense of spending time with family and loved ones. Like most of us working 10 hours a day, all of us running around. Right now, let’s focus on the family meal that seems to have dissipated over the last decade or so.

“And it’s all those things we have on those to-do lists we have in our lives, like cleaning out the garage, the attic, base- ment. I am actually looking forward to having this newfound forced time to maybe get our lives a little more organized and a little less chaotic, in many ways,” Flotteron said.

Flotteron acknowledged that there are plenty of industries, like restaurants and pubs and hair salons, in which employees are out of the job for the time being, and expressed concern and sadness in that regard. For those working office jobs, though, Flotteron said most are doing a percentage of their work from their laptops anyway and can manage their duties to at least a certain capacity from their homes.

Flotteron also said that there are high hopes for the upcoming summer season that Long Islanders and people from around the country flock to enjoy.

“We are usually so overwhelmed or worried that we didn’t get our yard in shape or all those things for Memorial Day. I think we should look at it in that we are really going to enjoy the summer this summer because we are forced to find some extra time to get our lives in order. Prepare for a great summer.”

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