Hundreds of rich New Yorkers were pictured enjoying the sea and the sun in the Hamptons as the coronavirus outbreak forced poorer city residents to queue for food and pack onto Subway services.
The sun-seekers enjoyed beach ball games, bikini outings in the sea, leisurely bike rides and plenty of sunbathing, even as New York continues to be savaged by COVID-19, with more than 130,000 cases and nearly 5,000 deaths.
In the city, queues mounted up as stores enforced social distancing rules, while thousands of others continued to be forced together on subway and bus services being run to ferry essential workers to their jobs.
The virus has disproportionately hit poorer Americans, with data from Chicago demonstrating how black Americans are accounting for half of all coronavirus cases and more than 70 per cent of deaths in the city, despite them making up 30 per cent of the population.
Wealthy Americans are reportedly getting tested more too – with data from Philadelphia showing that people living in higher-income neighborhoods have been tested six times more frequently than those in lower income areas.
And while the maximum fine for breaking social distancing rules was raised from $500 to $1,000 yesterday by Governor Andrew Cuomo, some who can afford it flocked to the beach to enjoy the good weather instead.
But the flow of the wealthy to resort towns has prompted the residents of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, to launch a petition demanding that the only bridges into the region be shut to stop the virus from spreading.
Hundreds of rich New Yorkers were pictured enjoying the sea and the sun in the Hamptons as the coronavirus outbreak forced poorer city residents to queue for food and pack onto Subway services
The sun-seekers enjoyed beach ball games, bikini outings in the sea, leisurely bike rides and plenty of sunbathing, even as New York continues to be savaged by COVID-19, with more than 130,000 cases and nearly 5,000 deaths
On Monday, The Hamptons were packed full of sunbathers hoping to put virus worries to one side by delighting in what the weather had to offer.
But despite the fun, Suffolk County, the home of the Hamptons, has also been hit hard by coronavirus, with 15,049 confirmed cases and 199 deaths so far.
The region only has 3,215 hospital beds, with 710 set aside for patients who need intensive care. And as of yesterday, 1,463 patients had been hospitalised, with 546 people occupying ICU beds.
And the more people intermingle on the beach, the greater the chance that the virus will be spread further.
Back in NYC, the contrast could not be more stark. Last Friday, shocking pictures emerged showing how the city’s transport system is still overcrowded.
Dozens of people were pictured crammed into the carriage of a No.2 train travelling during rush hour at around 6pm.
Stark contrast: New York City’s residents have also had to queue for food as stores enforce social distancing rules, while Hamptons vacationers played in the sand
How the other half live: Shoppers lined up for groceries in NYC last week amid the threat of coronavirus, but that has not stopped wealthier New Yorkers from enjoying the Hamptons
In the city, queues mounted up as stores enforced social distancing rules, while thousands of others continued to be forced together on subway and bus services being run to ferry essential workers to their jobs
The city’s transport system continues to be overcrowded with key workers because authorities are running reduced services. Pictured: A picture of a crowded subway train taken on April 3
Even as New Yorkers are ordered to stay in their homes for all but essential outings, the city’s essential workers still need to use public transport to get to and from work. Pictured: Residents wait for buses in the rain on Friday
Different priorities: People wait in line to enter a check cashing store in the Melrose section of the Bronx on Friday. But on Monday, a Hamptons resident had only the beach to worry about
Some of the passengers in the picture wore masks but all were unable to avoid close contact with those around them, despite official advice telling people to keep at least six feet apart from one another.
The Metropolitan Transport Authority (MTA) is operating on an ‘Essential Service’ plan to shuttle essential employees including healthcare workers and first responders to their jobs.
But other similar pictures showed that people are still being forced together on the reduced services.
Hundreds in NYC have also had to queue for food, with shoppers being seen wearing masks as they wait in long lines to buy groceries.
Elsewhere, inequalities are also being highlighted by coronavirus. In Chicago, more than half of the people who died from the virus have been African Americans.
As of Sunday, 1,824 out of the 4,680 confirmed cases in Chicago were black residents, city officials said.
But despite the fun, Suffolk County, the home of the Hamptons, has also been hit hard by coronavirus, with 15,049 confirmed cases and 199 deaths so far
Bikini-clad women enjoyed the waves on the beach in the Hamptons on Monday, but New York City’s residents had more pressing priorities and had to wear makeshift protective gear just to go food shopping
Nice day for a cycle: In the Hamptons, residents enjoyed a bike ride as they put coronavirus fears to one side. But NYC residents were forced to queue to buy groceries
Different perspectives: The lives of NYC residents are a world away from those of wealthier Americans who have been enjoying the good weather in the Hamptons. Pictured left: People queue to enter a bank on Friday, while a father and daughter take a picture on the beach on Monday
This compared with 847 white, 478 Hispanic and 126 Asian Chicagoans.
Shockingly, 72 per cent of the 98 deaths have been of black residents.
And in Philadelphia, people living in higher-income neighborhoods have been tested six times more frequently than in lower income areas, according to the Inquirer.
Epidemiologist Usama Bilal, of Drexel University, is reported to have made the discovery using data from Philadelphia’s public health department.
‘What it shows is social inequality,’ Bilal said. ‘This needs to change.’
‘These numbers are deeply disturbing, but not surprising,’ Judith Levine, director of the Public Policy Lab at Temple University, told the Inquirer.
‘It’s hard for anyone to get a test. You need positive symptoms. But even though insurance isn’t needed, people with health insurance likely have a relationship with a primary physician they can talk to, who knows where the tests are, and can cut through the red tape for you to get the test.
‘That gives higher-income people more access to testing.’
Despite the fun, Suffolk County, the home of the Hamptons, has also been hit hard by coronavirus, with 15,049 confirmed cases and 199 deaths so far
The region only has 3,215 hospital beds, with 710 set aside for patients who need intensive care
Other popular resort towns, which ordinarily rely on tourists to keep their economy going, are now asking non-residents to keep away.
Yesterday, more than 12,000 residents of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, signed a petition calling on authorities to turn away visitors and homeowners who are not residents.
The petitioners demanded the closure of the two bridges which are the only roads in to the summer vacation hot spot.
The petition, started by resident Beth Hickman, reads: ‘Stop the spread of Covid-19. Close the bridges. Only year round residents, medical personnel. Trucks that deliver essential supplies.
‘While we love our tourists and summer residents, this is not the time to come to the Cape, our hospital can’t handle it. We only have 2 small hospitals here on Cape, and limited medical staff.’
And as of yesterday, 1,463 patients had been hospitalised, with 546 people occupying ICU beds. And the more people intermingle on the beach, the greater the chance that the virus will be spread further
People seeking the sun have not been put off by the threat posed by coronavirus, which has claimed more than 11,000 lives in the US
This map shows where New York City’s wealthy and elite have fled to across the Eastern seaboard, taking cover in Cape Cod, The Hamptons and Hudson Valley. However, these small towns are now grappling with COVID-19 outbreaks
Keen surfer: A young woman showed her skills on the surfboard as she took the waves in the Hamptons, while NYC’s poorer residents were forced to queue for food
Beach walk: Whilst New Yorkers are forced to pack on to Subway trains to get to work, people in the Hamptons came out to enjoy the sunshine and practice their golf swing, go swimming, go surfing or just take the kids for a play date
At the time of publication, the petition had over 12,500 out of 15,000 signatures.
Back in the Hamptons, the exodus of the Big Apple’s residents has caused some town populations to burgeon rentals to skyrocket .
Prices for homes in the Hamptons have increased as a result of the spike in demand, going from $5,000 per month to more than $30,000 for just over two weeks.
The popular vacation suburb of Southampton has already seen its population swell from 60,000 to over 100,000 over the past few weeks and rentals that usually go for around $5,000 surge to $30,000 for two weeks.
The part of Suffolk County hit worst by COVID-19 is Islip, where there have been 3,707 cases. It is followed closely by Brookhaven, with 2,346 and Babylon, on 2,322.
By contrast, East Hampton has had just 61 cases of the virus.