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A tale of two New Yorks: pandemic lays bare a city's shocking inequities

The coronavirus has laid bare two societies divided on lines of class and race – a divide reflected in skewed death figures

When Sean Petty walked into the emergency room of Jacobi medical center in the Bronx, at the start of his nursing shift on Monday, he was assailed by a catastrophic scene. About 60 people, almost all of them African Americans or Latinos from the surrounding area of New York City, all displaying classic symptoms of Covid-19, were gasping on stretchers everywhere he looked.

“Every nook and cranny of the emergency department was full of patients attached to portable oxygen tanks, people so sick they needed beds. The stretchers filled the room and spilled down the corridors, 10 patients in just one hallway,” he said.

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