At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in our city this spring, a heartwarming civic ritual spontaneously arose, lifting spirits during a deeply isolating period. At 7 p.m., New Yorkers would come out of their homes or lean out on their fire escapes, applauding our essential workers changing shifts for their heroic sacrifices. From Baychester to Bay Ridge, the joyous whoops and clanging of kitchenware each evening were a welcome reprieve from the constant wail of sirens.
We were all too happy to show our gratitude to these workers at 7 p.m. But when Friday at 7 a.m. rolled around, the paychecks deposited in many of their accounts didn't reflect that gratitude. And they still don't.