It has been a little over 2 months and some days since Governor Andrew Cuomo issued Executive Order 202.3 which basically put the entire state of New York on lockdown. Executive Order 202, issued a few days earlier in March, had declared a State disaster emergency for the entire State of New York.
Executive Order 202.3 went further and essentially shut down the entire state. No more in-house dining at coffeehouses, bars or restaurants. Gyms, salons, barbershops, movie theaters, museums; all gone. Just like that, everything stopped. The Empire State came to a grinding halt. The city that never sleeps was induced into a coma.
Uptown, which is usually so vibrant during this time of year, became a ghost town. From one day to the next, everything changed. The world as we knew it came to an end. With a stroke of his pen, the good Governor turned off the greatest city the world has ever known.
Thank God he did. It was because of that fateful decision that we are now flattening the proverbial curve. If NYC had not shut down, we would be in even more dire straits right now. Our hospitals and our valiant healthcare workers would have been completely over run and devastated. We would have lost exponentially more people. The shutdown gave the system enough room that it would bend but not break.
Shutting down the state was a brave but necessary call. That is what you call leadership. We may not have that at the presidential level, but Governor Cuomo has shown it in spades throughout this horrible ordeal. It is a testament to his ability to lead that my eldest daughter Imani, a college student, lovingly refers to the Governor as “the homie.”
When his daily press conferences start, everything in our house stops and the entire family sits there in rapt attention as the Governor informs with humility, humanity and coherence. Whatever his faults and inconsistencies are, and there are many, Andrew Cuomo is a leader. He has led from the front with gusto, lucidity and intellect. His mastery of minutia as it relates to this pandemic has been a balm for the weary soul in these uncertain times. It is in stark comparison to the delusional rantings from Tyrant Trump that force you to question how long the American Experiment will continue to even exist. Leadership matters. Now more than ever.
Pa’lante, Siempre Pa’lante!