How Can You Tell a Story About Your Life Right Now Through a Few Simple Numbers?

How Can You Tell a Story About Your Life Right Now Through a Few Simple Numbers?

Think about as many aspects of your daily life as you can — positive, negative and neutral — then try to tell the story in numbers, the way The Times does in “11 Numbers That Show How the Coronavirus Has Changed NYC.” Here are some examples:

New York City has never looked so unlike itself. Deserted streets and vacant stores. Essential workers taking to lonely subways. Mandatory face coverings.

But beyond the changes we can see outright are other lifestyle shifts that reflect the struggles and needs that have emerged within the last month.

Our altered city, by the numbers, is just as complex as the one we remember.


Increase in unemployment claims

During the week of March 22, nearly 144,000 unemployment claims were made in New York City. That constituted a 2,637 percent increase from last year, when the same time frame yielded about 5,300 claims.

And there’s still many who have yet to file as the state’s system was overwhelmed.


Decrease in trash collection in Manhattan

March data from the city’s Department of Sanitation shows the amount of refuse collected from Manhattan residences shrank by nearly 7 percent compared to the borough average for that month over the last five years.

The decrease is most likely a reflection of New Yorkers who had the means to relocate.

Greenwich Village, the Upper West Side and the Upper East Side, neighborhoods with some of the highest median incomes in the city, led the way with 11, 10 and 8 percent declines.

The rest of the city saw little change, although Staten Island logged the biggest increase, producing over 7 percent more refuse than usual.


Number of applications to foster dogs

Interest in fostering pets has surged in the city, as many New Yorkers find themselves looking for companionship and having more time at home to care for a pet.

Foster Dogs, a nonprofit that works with about 30 shelters and rescue organizations in the New York City area, fielded more than 3,000 applications for fostering in March. Traffic to its website increased 250 percent.

In comparison, Foster Dogs received an average of 140 applications a month in 2019.

“It was more interest than we’ve ever seen before,” said Sarah Brasky, who founded the organization.


Increase in complaints about loud televisions

New Yorkers’ patience with noisy neighbors has run thin, particularly when it comes to blaring televisions, which prompted a 42 percent increase in 311 complaints in March compared to last year, according to NYC Open Data.

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