Author Topic: Yelp-er coordination to help stem COVID-19 infection and death in neighborhood  (Read 861 times)

Offline ihansen

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Hi all,

I'm looking for a few good Yelp-users.

As many might have noticed, a lot of those working in the food provision industry (servers, cooks, managers) in the 4 neighborhoods (Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Woodside, Corona) are not wearing masks or wearing them improperly, below the nose.  This endangers those workers especially, but also customers and the community at large, and it is entirely unnecessary for economic productivity and in fact might be impeding it (because people like me want to avoid these places when I'd otherwise happily eat there). It's an easy, no expense fix in other words.

Also, I have yet to visit a restaurant that wipes down tables between customers or that provides customers with contact tracing forms. But this is standard practice in, for instance, Vermont, which has, as of today, suffered only 58 deaths total (out of a population of 600,000) and has had no deaths in the last couple of weeks--case growth there is about 1 to 2 per 100,000 per day. In Woodside it's 3 per 100,000 per day; in Elmhurst its 3-4; in Jackson Heights and Corona it is 4-5.  In NYC as a whole, 40 to 50 people die every week.  Expanded over a year, that's the murder rate back when the city was run by the mob.

NYC is doing great relative to Miami, Phoenix, Dallas and other Jared Kushner-victimized disaster zones.  But outside of the US and Brazil, no wealthy internationally significant multicultural metropolis has NYC's COVID death rate--not London, Paris, Amsterdam, Singapore, Dubai, Toronto or Sydney.  And we have not yet even begun to feel the returning wave of NYers coming back newly-infected from what they intended to be COVID-escapaing vacations in the U.S. South and West, to accommodate the employment demands of phase 4 reopening.

I have contacted the Public Advocate, and the attitude from the staffer who replied was essentially "New York's doing great.  Just wear your own mask and don't worry about it."

Since the Mayor's Office is too busy forcing high school teachers, staff and students back to school in order to make everyone "feel good" about NYC again, I think this means the community needs to act directly.

And it doesn't need to be punitive. Promised rewards can work a lot better than threatened punishments.

I'm imagining a small group of people just scoping out the various restaurants in the four neighborhoods where staff are clearly unmasked and posting up highly visible flyers saying:

"5 star Yelp ratings coming to restaurants that actually care about the lives of their workers, customers and larger community.  If your restaurant workers and managers all wear masks properly--over both mouth AND NOSE--expect at least 3 stars.  For restaurants that also wipe down tables and chairs between customers, expect at least 4 stars. For restaurants that provide all customers with contact tracing forms to complete, to assist the city's contact-tracing efforts, expect 5 stars. Thank you for doing your part to take the infection and death rate towards zero."

Please contact me if you'd like to do a little volunteer work to this end.

ianthehansen@gmail.com


Offline theplanesland

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Hi all,

I'm looking for a few good Yelp-users.

As many might have noticed, a lot of those working in the food provision industry (servers, cooks, managers) in the 4 neighborhoods (Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Woodside, Corona) are not wearing masks or wearing them improperly, below the nose.  This endangers those workers especially, but also customers and the community at large, and it is entirely unnecessary for economic productivity and in fact might be impeding it (because people like me want to avoid these places when I'd otherwise happily eat there). It's an easy, no expense fix in other words.

Also, I have yet to visit a restaurant that wipes down tables between customers or that provides customers with contact tracing forms. But this is standard practice in, for instance, Vermont, which has, as of today, suffered only 58 deaths total (out of a population of 600,000) and has had no deaths in the last couple of weeks--case growth there is about 1 to 2 per 100,000 per day. In Woodside it's 3 per 100,000 per day; in Elmhurst its 3-4; in Jackson Heights and Corona it is 4-5.  In NYC as a whole, 40 to 50 people die every week.  Expanded over a year, that's the murder rate back when the city was run by the mob.

NYC is doing great relative to Miami, Phoenix, Dallas and other Jared Kushner-victimized disaster zones.  But outside of the US and Brazil, no wealthy internationally significant multicultural metropolis has NYC's COVID death rate--not London, Paris, Amsterdam, Singapore, Dubai, Toronto or Sydney.  And we have not yet even begun to feel the returning wave of NYers coming back newly-infected from what they intended to be COVID-escapaing vacations in the U.S. South and West, to accommodate the employment demands of phase 4 reopening.

I have contacted the Public Advocate, and the attitude from the staffer who replied was essentially "New York's doing great.  Just wear your own mask and don't worry about it."

Since the Mayor's Office is too busy forcing high school teachers, staff and students back to school in order to make everyone "feel good" about NYC again, I think this means the community needs to act directly.

And it doesn't need to be punitive. Promised rewards can work a lot better than threatened punishments.

I'm imagining a small group of people just scoping out the various restaurants in the four neighborhoods where staff are clearly unmasked and posting up highly visible flyers saying:

"5 star Yelp ratings coming to restaurants that actually care about the lives of their workers, customers and larger community.  If your restaurant workers and managers all wear masks properly--over both mouth AND NOSE--expect at least 3 stars.  For restaurants that also wipe down tables and chairs between customers, expect at least 4 stars. For restaurants that provide all customers with contact tracing forms to complete, to assist the city's contact-tracing efforts, expect 5 stars. Thank you for doing your part to take the infection and death rate towards zero."

Please contact me if you'd like to do a little volunteer work to this end.

ianthehansen@gmail.com

Yeah, I really don't like the look of a bunch of generally upscale Yelp vigilantes (that's just the economic market for Yelp) shaming a ton of low-wage, often non-English-speaking (in our neighborhood) restaurant workers. They call that "punching down."

Want to be safe? Do what I do - mostly stay home. It's an easy, no expense fix.

Offline abcdefghijk

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Hi all,

I'm looking for a few good Yelp-users.

As many might have noticed, a lot of those working in the food provision industry (servers, cooks, managers) in the 4 neighborhoods (Jackson Heights, Elmhurst, Woodside, Corona) are not wearing masks or wearing them improperly, below the nose.  This endangers those workers especially, but also customers and the community at large, and it is entirely unnecessary for economic productivity and in fact might be impeding it (because people like me want to avoid these places when I'd otherwise happily eat there). It's an easy, no expense fix in other words.

Also, I have yet to visit a restaurant that wipes down tables between customers or that provides customers with contact tracing forms. But this is standard practice in, for instance, Vermont, which has, as of today, suffered only 58 deaths total (out of a population of 600,000) and has had no deaths in the last couple of weeks--case growth there is about 1 to 2 per 100,000 per day. In Woodside it's 3 per 100,000 per day; in Elmhurst its 3-4; in Jackson Heights and Corona it is 4-5.  In NYC as a whole, 40 to 50 people die every week.  Expanded over a year, that's the murder rate back when the city was run by the mob.

NYC is doing great relative to Miami, Phoenix, Dallas and other Jared Kushner-victimized disaster zones.  But outside of the US and Brazil, no wealthy internationally significant multicultural metropolis has NYC's COVID death rate--not London, Paris, Amsterdam, Singapore, Dubai, Toronto or Sydney.  And we have not yet even begun to feel the returning wave of NYers coming back newly-infected from what they intended to be COVID-escapaing vacations in the U.S. South and West, to accommodate the employment demands of phase 4 reopening.

I have contacted the Public Advocate, and the attitude from the staffer who replied was essentially "New York's doing great.  Just wear your own mask and don't worry about it."

Since the Mayor's Office is too busy forcing high school teachers, staff and students back to school in order to make everyone "feel good" about NYC again, I think this means the community needs to act directly.

And it doesn't need to be punitive. Promised rewards can work a lot better than threatened punishments.

I'm imagining a small group of people just scoping out the various restaurants in the four neighborhoods where staff are clearly unmasked and posting up highly visible flyers saying:

"5 star Yelp ratings coming to restaurants that actually care about the lives of their workers, customers and larger community.  If your restaurant workers and managers all wear masks properly--over both mouth AND NOSE--expect at least 3 stars.  For restaurants that also wipe down tables and chairs between customers, expect at least 4 stars. For restaurants that provide all customers with contact tracing forms to complete, to assist the city's contact-tracing efforts, expect 5 stars. Thank you for doing your part to take the infection and death rate towards zero."

Please contact me if you'd like to do a little volunteer work to this end.

ianthehansen@gmail.com

Yeah, I really don't like the look of a bunch of generally upscale Yelp vigilantes (that's just the economic market for Yelp) shaming a ton of low-wage, often non-English-speaking (in our neighborhood) restaurant workers. They call that "punching down."

Want to be safe? Do what I do - mostly stay home. It's an easy, no expense fix.

Yes, I do believe that a person must take responsibility for their own risk.

If someone considers it is too dangerous to be in public due to varied mask use, then they should minimize going into public spaces like restaurants.

That's probably why mostly only younger folks are dining in the outdoor restaurants.

Younger people usually have less co-morbid conditions.
« Last Edit: August 21, 2020, 09:42:52 AM by abcdefghijk »

Offline ihansen

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Yeah, I really don't like the look of a bunch of generally upscale Yelp vigilantes (that's just the economic market for Yelp) shaming a ton of low-wage, often non-English-speaking (in our neighborhood) restaurant workers. They call that "punching down."

Want to be safe? Do what I do - mostly stay home. It's an easy, no expense fix.

I get what you're saying, but on the other hand, most people of any background would rather be temporarily shamed than long-termed sickened or sickened to death (or, perhaps I'm wrong--we live in the era of Trump where feeling good about oneself is more desirable than accurate reality-testing). The fact that Kushner and Co had a workable national testing plan and then scrapped it because it looked like it was just affecting "blue states" (and what demographics are disproportionately represented in blue states?) suggests criminal intent to endanger the lives of a certain demographic for perceived political gain. Point being: killing people or letting them get sick or die through inaction is a lot worse than shaming them/encouraging them with carrots like higher yelp ratings. Don't think the International Criminal Court ever put someone on trial for insensitive shaming.  And insensitive shaming wouldn't even be an idea we'd have to contemplate if City Hall just put up all those public service announcement ads that they do about other things like the dangers of having babies too early or whatnot.  Some clear articulation of reasonable norms followed by truly random non-biased enforcement would save us all a lot of trouble.

And just protecting oneself by staying home and avoiding restaurants (economically depriving the same population it's a bad look to shame) is kind of a "we don't have a city, just a bunch of individuals" solution.  I'm sure those restaurants would like to have your business and would like to know how to get it back.

So, to the extent yelp is tainted and the city's not going to do anything and staying at home and being a lone cowboy individualist on safety issues is just giving up, any other ideas?

 

Offline 80JHer

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Ihansen, that is insane idea.  Or you are insane.

If your personally that spooked, stay home and get ahold of an n95 mask.

We wanted to flatten the curve to overwhelm hospitals.  The point wasn’t so no human will ever get sick again

Offline KGDHP

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Ihansen, that is insane idea.  Or you are insane.

If your personally that spooked, stay home and get ahold of an n95 mask.

We wanted to flatten the curve to overwhelm hospitals.  The point wasn’t so no human will ever get sick again

Could. Not. Agree. More. 
This is such a ridiculous idea...honestly I hope no one volunteers to help this guy. Literal Yelp-shaming with an intention to hurt businesses in our neighborhood (and the people who work there) when we're all just trying to survive the economic sh*tstorm is just...wow. A new low.

Here is a thought:
1. Invest in wet wipes and sanitizer
2. Wear your mask. No, wait...maybe you should get a hazmat suit
3. Don't frequent the restaurants that you deem to be a "problem"

Offline ihansen

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Well, I'm a believer in collective feedback and accountability, so I'll count this collective feedback as a strong indicator that I had a bad idea for how to solve a real problem. My apologies for not taking more time to think about a better idea. I can see now that Yelp is the wrong way to go, and even with a carrot approach ("here's how to get five stars") it will come off as shaming and possibly have the reverse of the intended effect, which was to increase community health with low cost and even improve business for some places not sure why they're losing it.  Scored one on my own team. Back to the drawing board.

Thanks for the helpful feedback.


Ihansen, that is insane idea.  Or you are insane.

If your personally that spooked, stay home and get ahold of an n95 mask.

We wanted to flatten the curve to overwhelm hospitals.  The point wasn’t so no human will ever get sick again

Could. Not. Agree. More. 
This is such a ridiculous idea...honestly I hope no one volunteers to help this guy. Literal Yelp-shaming with an intention to hurt businesses in our neighborhood (and the people who work there) when we're all just trying to survive the economic sh*tstorm is just...wow. A new low.

Here is a thought:
1. Invest in wet wipes and sanitizer
2. Wear your mask. No, wait...maybe you should get a hazmat suit
3. Don't frequent the restaurants that you deem to be a "problem"

Offline palomita

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Ihansen, that is insane idea.  Or you are insane.

If your personally that spooked, stay home and get ahold of an n95 mask.

We wanted to flatten the curve to overwhelm hospitals.  The point wasn’t so no human will ever get sick again

Could. Not. Agree. More. 
This is such a ridiculous idea...honestly I hope no one volunteers to help this guy. Literal Yelp-shaming with an intention to hurt businesses in our neighborhood (and the people who work there) when we're all just trying to survive the economic sh*tstorm is just...wow. A new low.

Here is a thought:
1. Invest in wet wipes and sanitizer
2. Wear your mask. No, wait...maybe you should get a hazmat suit
3. Don't frequent the restaurants that you deem to be a "problem"

I third this sentiment and and glad to see the original poster rethinking their misguided proposal.  Threatening our small businesses' already struggling livelihoods for not providing contact tracing forms that aren't even required by the city or state just reeks of entitlement, privilege, and bad faith.  One bad yelp review can tank a new or struggling small business, it's not a "carrot" to threaten a 3 star review (let's face it, 3 stars is a bad review), it's blackmail.

Agree with all the posters who are saying if you don't want the risks of eating out, don't eat out.  Personally, when I walk into a take-out establishment where I don't see the employees properly masked, I just walk out.

Offline Shelby2

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OP,
I see you've changed your mind about pursuing this course of action after getting feedback here. But what about simply calling the restaurant when you get home, ask for the manager and let him or her know what you've observed (and if you want to go a step further, that you won't be ordering from them again until corrected)? Maybe this would have the effect you're looking for, which is simply to get employees to wear their masks correctly and to do your part in helping the community reduce its Covid rate.


Offline ihansen

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OP,
I see you've changed your mind about pursuing this course of action after getting feedback here. But what about simply calling the restaurant when you get home, ask for the manager and let him or her know what you've observed (and if you want to go a step further, that you won't be ordering from them again until corrected)? Maybe this would have the effect you're looking for, which is simply to get employees to wear their masks correctly and to do your part in helping the community reduce its Covid rate.

Thank you. This is a much better idea, though I would still want to avoid saying "I won't come back" because actually I'd probably still chance it occasionally for my faves. Maybe something more like like "you might have even more customers if..." would do the trick.  Perhaps mailing "I love your restaurant!" cards with a few words tucked in there encouraging masking etc. "to make it even better" would work too.

And, for all those who responded, the last thing I want to do is harm local businesses--especially the ones I want to eat at. And I actually don't even like posting reviews to Yelp unless they're positive, and even then get a bit turned off halfway through the process.

I see that the frustrated tone of my original post--along with the privilege inherent to proposing Yelp as a solution to anything--has brought out frustration in others. Lots of reasons to be frustrated all around.

The big, and deliberate, national failure to contain COVID put pressure on the states to figure out what the White House should have acted on life-savingly rather than life-destroyingly long before. States have made a range of decisions in the wake of this national leadership malfeasance, some good some bad, putting more pressure on cities and smaller governing units in those states to pick up the slack. Cites often can't get it fully together to pick up the slack left first by the country then by states. More local "community action" could be the next level of clean up for higher level failures, but that won't work if it's more privileged sections of the community doing anything that smacks even remotely of shaming or threatening less privileged sections. In a highly unequal town like NYC, that needs to be carefully avoided, as posters have emphasized (in no uncertain terms). Message heard loud and clear, and agreed with.

But the fact that bad ideas (like mine) sometimes get proposed for community-based action doesn't mean that community-based action of all kinds should be abandoned. I hope the responsibility for bringing down COVID to Toronto-like levels isn't finally just left up to the actions of individuals. That finally becomes something like a "the market will take care of it" solution. And it seems like the market's not doing great with that so far--given the stock exchange humming along happily to the rhythm of 170,000 people dying.

Maybe if a restaurant worker reads this exchange and is inspired to mount an organized campaign for improved restaurant masking (and related) practices from the perspective of collective self-protection, that might be the best way to start. Or something mounted by those most active in community organizing in the various neighborhoods.

And of course it's not just restaurants--restaurants are just pleasant reprieves from cabin fever that it's nice to feel safe in. There are also all the police going around without masks, the billionaires who mount collective opposition to being taxed, putting the economic squeeze on everyone else, the politicians who accommodate this by ending eviction moratoriums, ending unemployment benefits for those who could return to work (even if unsafely), forcing a lot of people back into indoor enclosed spaces and public transport, cutting essential social programs, etc.

These actions and inactions by those at the pinnacle of political power are of course all much bigger threats to our life and health than individual restaurant and food cart workers opting out of wearing their mask all the way to the nose bridge. It's just that the last concern seems like it would be easier and cheaper to solve as some kind of buffer against all the other threats that the community has much less control over. I didn't mean for the anguish I have towards decision-makers at the top to get displaced onto those most hurt by their decisions, but you all have made a good case that that's what happened in practice, and of course that's not the way to go. Again, my apologies.

I see the reasons to shame the bad ideas for community-based action to accomplish what the feds, the state, and the city have not. I'd love to hear some more good ideas on this score.

Offline r

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We should stop using Yelp instead of giving the company more power by threatening restaurants with Yelp reviews.

Yelp is a horrible, horrible company and a parasite. Their business model is extortion.

For masks, it would be easier to vote with your wallet. If you don't feel safe in a restaurant, don't eat there.

Offline temujin

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Think OP have good intention, but yes please don't do this in Yelp, as they are horrible company that bully business to pay them if restaurant owner don't want to show bad review on top.

Why not work with local leader or health department, see if we can create some sort of free COVID safe training program for restaurant owner, and in return they get some sort of sticker or paper to display on their window, it will certain give some assurance for those scare to dine out.
But then again our government is so bad that we don't have any study on what is proper way to handle restaurant safety for COVID. There also a lot of factor that need to be address that are outside of the restaurant, for example food suppliers.

Offline itsit

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 What about posting here with positive reports of neighborhood places with good protective practices for Covid19?

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