In a city hall-sponsored public service announcement that was far more Walt Whitman prose poem than drab politcal speak, and more Ironbound King Lear than Essex as usual from yesteryear, Mayor Ras Baraka urged his fellow Newarkers to exhibit their greatest qualities of toughness in their ongoing resistance to COVID-19.
Get tough, Newark, be tough, said Baraka, a lifelong Newarker and son of the late poet Amiri Baraka.
“Do some push-ups instead of pointing fingers,” said the mayor, defiant in the face of the virus, noting that Newarkers are dying from COVID-19 in disproportionate numbers.
Ninety-two people dead in less than one month.
“Get some zinc in your body,” Baraka said.
Get some Vitamin C.
“Exercise,” he urged. “Healthy food options. Strengthen your immune system.”
He reminded Newakers to wear masks.
“We have to assume everyone has it,” he saidm in reference to the deadly virus. “The scientists say you can get it by getting breathed on by someone. You can take that home in your pocket to your two bedroom flat and knock your whole family out.
“You have to change your behavior,” the mayor insisted.
He warned people – especially young people – who aren’t taking the stay-at-home seriously. He named intersections.
“We’re coming to get you,” Baraka warned. “Get in the house.
“Show character,” the mayor added.