Every evening after a day of work at home, I’ve donned my mask and gone out for a long walk from my Hoboken apartment through neighboring Union City and back. After several weeks of this, one thing has become evident: More people in working-class Union City are wearing protective face masks than are people in white-collar Hoboken. This has become more apparent as the weather has become warmer and more of us venture outside.
As someone in his fifties who is battling cancer, this is very worrying. I’m in a high-risk group. Should I contract COVID-19, my life is under greater threat than most other people’s.
So on Sunday, May 3, I decided to conduct a little experiment. I spent one hour in the afternoon on a bench at a central location in Hoboken, and I counted. I then did the same on a sidewalk bench on one of Union City’s busier streets.
The results: Only 37 percent of the 216 people who passed me by in Hoboken were wearing protective masks. In Union City, 84 percent of those who passed me by in an hour wore masks. Here are those numbers, again:
Hoboken: 37% wearing masks
Union City: 84% wearing masks
While this is by no means a scientific survey, it’s consistent with my experiences during my many daily walks through these two Hudson County cities.
The sense of entitlement of people in Hoboken is showing, and it’s not a pretty sight.
New Jersey is one of the hardest-hit states in the country. On last count, nearly 16,000 have tested positive in Hudson County; more than 2,300 have died. This pandemic is far from over. It’s not enough for me to do everything I can to maintain a safe social distance from others. You need to help too, Hoboken. So put on your masks (yes, especially you joggers), stay six feet apart, and get with the program!
And thank you to the good people of Union City.