Rat ’em out! Mayor de Blasio is telling New Yorkers do do just that to those not following social distancing rules in pubic.
It’s easy: Just snap a pic with your phone and send it along to 311, the city’s non-emergency help-line.
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) April 18, 2020
The mayor advises sending the photo along with a text telling where and when this is happening:
“When you see a crowd, when you see a line that’s not distanced, when you see a supermarket that’s too crowded – anything – you can report it right away so we can get help there to fix the problem…We will make sure that enforcement comes right away.”
Will New Yorkers tattle on their neighbors frequenting local bodegas and supermarkets? Or will this e-snitching be regarded as something verboten, against the unwritten NYC “law of the streets”?
Certainly, many New Yorkers will do their best to promptly report anyone flouting the social distancing recommendations.
But a quick check on Twitter revealed that the sentiment about the Mayor’s request was not universally positive:
I just can’t believe that you’re asking people to snitch. This is so un-American.
— Lexi (@penngirl72) April 18, 2020
De Blasio the Communist
— Joey Saladino (@JoeySalads) April 18, 2020
— Girl♥️Bot (@AMErikaNGIRLLL) April 18, 2020
Of course, it’s about educating people and keeping NYers safe, rather than police handing out tickets or harassing anyone, though tickets could be given to those individuals still not complying once they’re told to so do.
Mayor de Blasio had this to say on the matter:
“Sending that photo in is going to make sure that people are kept apart and that’s going to stop the disease from spreading and that’s going to save lives…Thank you everyone who’s done it the right way…But we still know there’s some people who need to get the message. And that means sometimes making sure the enforcement is there to educate and make clear we’ve got to have social distancing.”
Even so, ratting out one’s neighbors may not be something that every Staten Islander is willing to do. There’s always the friendly suggestion, but that could always be followed by the decidedly unfriendly punch in return.
Snapping a pic of a violator might yield the same result, and so perhaps practicing the art of covert photography is an activity New Yorkers should practice while confined at home, bored out of their minds.
Don’t endanger your community. Don’t forget to social distance, and then you’ll prevent a cascade of events that could end with you receiving a costly ticket.
Please don’t waste the time of the police. This is a city, after all, and they have tons of important matters to attend to, as COVID-19 didn’t suspend the usual shenanigans of criminals and fools.
Rules are rules, and unfortunately, in a city with so many people, there are always bound to be a few who flagrantly disregard them.