Nebraska native living in New York City shares a warning for his home state regarding the coronavirus

A Nebraska native now living in New York City has a message for people in his home state regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19). 
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A Nebraska native now living in New York City has a message for people in his home state regarding the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Chas Bogatz is from Millard, and a recent graduate of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He lives and works in New York City with his wife.

Now in his third week of working from home, Bogatz says the city – one of the nation’s epicenters for the coronavirus pandemic – has seen major shifts.

“I think it was the second week of March when there was a palpable feeling in the air that things were going to start changing drastically,” he said.

Bogatz, a jogger, says streets once noisy and packed with pedestrians and activity have given way to new sights and sounds.

“There were no sirens, the cars that passed by were scarce, and you could hear birds in the trees,” he said. “It’s a ghost town. Sometimes on the streets I’m wondering if some wildlife is going to start, you know, there’s like going to be a herd of antelope running down 5th Avenue.”

Bogatz says the the social aspect of the city is a near “haunting” experience.

“People are definitely avoiding one another,” he said. “You could tell that it’s on everyone’s minds, so when I’m going on a jog, people are jumping out of the way of me or I’m already hopping to the streets to make sure that I don’t run into people and when we’re going for our grocery runs as well, everyone is adhering to that kind of six feet bubble that the CDC is recommending.”

New York City alone has more than 13,000 cases, according to national reports, and is considered by many to be the hardest hit location in the United States.

Bogatz says the dire situation could have been avoided – and serves as a warning for other states.

“I think this virus is very contagious and I think New York suffered because we didn’t close in time,” he said. “People were still going to bars and restaurants and seeing their relatives while the virus was spreading quickly.”

“I just hope that everyone does sort of understand how quickly things can go south. I’d hate to see Omaha or Lincoln go the same route, so I do hope everyone is taking the precautions seriously, are being safe.”

Categories: Nebraska News, News, US & World