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These Are the Workers Who Kept New York Alive in Its Darkest Months

The New York Times: “The city’s 2.5 million service workers were at the center of the pandemic as it ravaged New York. Some kept the city running, often at risk to their own lives. Others found themselves unemployed indefinitely in one of the most expensive cities in the country. A haircut, breakfast on-the-go, a yoga class: You can pretty much get one anytime — if not anywhere — in New York. If the city doesn’t sleep, it’s because hundreds of thousands of service workers who cater to any conceivable need don’t either. They feed and comfort, entertain and inspire. As the Bob Dylan song goes: “You gotta serve somebody.” But it’s a different story during a pandemic. When thousands of offices, hotels, stores, gyms and restaurants went dark and silent, New York City’s estimated 2.5 million service workers suddenly faced the unimaginable prospect of no income and no idea when — or if — they could return to work. Initial hopes that the city would reopen in a few weeks gave way to a crushing realization that an unprecedented shutdown would bring unprecedented losses. The New York Times interviewed and photographed 130 of these workers. They kept the city going, from Riverdale to Staten Island and from Bensonhurst to Astoria. They were dog walkers and fitness trainers; cooks, cleaners and store clerks; and the army of people criss-crossing the city to deliver food and drink to those who spent the lockdown inside. They were part of that delicate economic and social tapestry that connects us all…”

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