Last Saturday, as the coronavirus death toll soared in New York and authorities begged people to practice social distancing, our scofflaw Herkimer neighbors partied hearty. Here’s a video of landlord Joe Handy’s tenant Kim Vargis hosting a party that spilled over from their front porch onto the street. Kim Vargis has been overheard assauring others that she has a doctor’s note excusing her from wearing a face mask.
Except for these asocial cretins, Pleasant Avenue was otherwise empty, as was the village. Most folks in Herkimer are decent sorts who care about their health as well as that of others. They stayed home as asked. Then we have this lot. Sadly, according to news reports, they’re not atypical. And so the deadly virus spreads even faster, unseen until it strikes and people die. Perhaps even some of these mindless immortals.
Their depraved indifference endangers their families, their friends and everyone else in Herkimer. The New York Times noted that
“70 percent of all counties in the United States — making up 94 percent of the country’s population — are likely to have epidemics.
Herkimer On Borderline Of Epidemic
If a county has 40 or more known cases, the probability of community transmission is 100%. As of 4/6, Herkimer County had 35 known cases of Covid-19, including 3 deaths. One person with the Covid-19 may be expected to pass it on to two more people. Herkimer’s right on the border of 100% transmission. Scofflaws like those on Pleasant Avenue may well have put us over the top for a epidemic.
The grandparents of many of the people in this video probably went away for years to fight the Second World War. Kim Vargis is proud that her husband Joel Vargis Sr. is a veteran. Yet she and Pleasant Avenue neighbors couldn’t even avoid partying for a few months when their country called.
Absent social conscience, fear can work: there’s now a $1,000 state-wide fine for violating social distancing regulations. Oneida County’s enforcing it. Well past time for Herkimer County to stop gently chiding people to not kill their families and neighbors. While there’s still time.
328 Pleasant Avenue Tenants Practicing Social Distancing
Our Pleasant Avenue neighbors do know how to maintain social distance: here are the hosts of Saturday’s neighborhood get-together, Kim Vargis and some of her family, a few days later, enjoying themselves quietly at home. It may take some motivation, but everyone can practice safe social distancing.