Open Letter to Bayonne Mayor Jim Davis & OEM Coordinator Ed Ferrante, regarding the current Coronavirus Pandemic & the steps Bayonne, NJ

Dear Mayor Davis & OEM Coordinator Ferrante;

I am writing to you as a 15 year resident of Bayonne, a business person, a parent, and now a highly concerned individual. First let me start by telling you that by nature I am not an alarmist. In fact, in the first few days/weeks of the COVID19 Pandemic, I thought people were overreacting, and I used words like “ridiculous”, “overreacting” and “exaggerated”. However, after hours and days of research, reading everything I can get my hands on, and most importantly looking at the current conditions and trend first in China, then in Italy, and now in Brooklyn, NY, I now must admit that I was completely wrong. I am imploring you to step up and lead the City of Bayonne, as well as set an example for the rest of the State of NJ, and get ahead of this deadly Pandemic. In the past week, I and my family have been sheltering in place, barely going outside to the pharmacy or grocery store only when absolutely necessary, or for a walk around the block only after dark when there are minimal people. My work team has been sent home to work remotely, and I have adopted a “no one in, no one out” policy at my home. However, I continue to see people outside with their children, playing in parks that are clearly marked with yellow tape, getting together at each other’s homes, teenagers in groups walking the streets, and a large number of residents going to work, picking up food at restaurants, or even getting together with other families including young children.

I am sure that you are aware that two days ago a neighborhood in Boro Park, Brooklyn had 100 confirmed positive cases, and today it is up to 500+ cases after testing only 1000 people (50% positive results) which is just at the beginning of the testing there. The current statistics in Brooklyn are that 23% of the people tested have been hospitalized as coronavirus cases continue to increase. I fear that the fact that Bayonne now has its first confirmed case of this illness is only the tip of the iceberg, and that in the days and weeks ahead as testing becomes more available the numbers will multiply aggressively. As you know, just recently Israel has taken the lead and gone on a complete lockdown, with the State of California joining them this morning as it orders nearly 40 million residents to stay home to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus. Italian doctors have reported that in its fourth week of the coronavirus lockdown they are still seeing exponential increases in positive cases, at 3,500 new cases or more every day and a death toll topping 2,500. Even Italy’s complete lockdown is not making a dent in the spread of this deadly virus, however currently a complete lockdown is the ONLY known way to minimize and hopefully ultimately stop the sickness and death. We must take Hoboken’s lead and not be lulled into a false sense of security just because we have “our first reported case in Bayonne” today. Anyone thinking clearly knows that it’s only a matter of time before there are hundreds and thousands of cases in Bayonne and across NJ, once testing is available to the public. Then we will have to follow the deadly chain of who was exposed to whom, who infected whom, and how to even track the number of people that one person would infect by being in a grocery store or workplace.  While I fully understand the massive economic impact that a lockdown would have and the potential financial devastation to residents and businesses, you must ask yourselves the question – are dead financially stable people better than live financially impacted people?

Please show true leadership, wisdom, and initiation in this dire time for Bayonne and the US in general. Make Bayonne an example to follow, and provide for an immediate city lockdown that requires all non-essential businesses to be completely closed, all workers to be at home, no travel/driving unless for specified purposes, and police enforcement of these rules. This is the ONLY method we have to save thousands of lives now and going forward.

Thank you in advance for your leadership, wisdom, and dedication to the people of this City during this unprecedented health crisis.


Michelle Levine

Bayonne Resident