February 1, 2021 Reading Time: 2 minutes

While data, statistics, historical allusions, and appeals to morality all demonstrate the disastrous nature of lockdowns, none show the devastation as vividly as personal stories from those suffering the most. In the second part of this series, we continue our interviews with working New Yorkers and found the situation to be just as suspected: businesses on the brink of shutting down for good, students struggling to learn, and unmatched frustration.

Since March 2020, New York City has faced a constant back and forth of new and revised Covid-19 regulations. Although these policies initially appear helpful in Covid mitigation, they are not only ineffective but extremely harmful to people and their livelihoods. The anecdotal videos below provide a glimpse into some of the struggles of average New Yorkers.

While the individuals interviewed are understandably frustrated, they all exude perseverance, strength, and – above all – hope. 


Jaclyn, a born and raised Brooklyn New Yorker, remains “New York tough” in the face of lockdowns. Having grown up on food stamps, Jaclyn knows what it means to struggle. But she also understands the invigoration of successful perseverance against all odds, working hard to become a corporate event planner and CEO of her own company soon after college. However, after a wave of event cancellations at the end of February 2020, Jaclyn’s company organized only two events between then and December – a massive blow to her otherwise lively business. Her profession is more than a job or career: it’s her life. Yet, lockdowns threaten it.


Tina’s father, Giuseppe, moved to the United States from Italy, found his niche in the New York City restaurant business, and opened his Italian restaurant, Il Bacco. Now, their Queens restaurant – having been in business for almost 30 years – is under significant stress from lockdown policies. To add insult to injury, a restaurant a block away in Nassau County is able to operate indoors while Il Bacco cannot. Now, Tina is the leading face of a class-action lawsuit against city and state officials over the indoor dining shutdown. Her father arrived in America and successfully achieved the American Dream, and they won’t allow lockdowns to destroy their hard-won achievements.

Taleed Brown


Taleed Brown is the former Media Manager for AIER and creative professional with experience in digital marketing and content creation.

He is Co-founder of Atlanta based startup Bespoke Black Media and has a YouTube channel with more than 5 million collective views.

He’s been featured on The Rubin Report, FEE.org, and has spoken at the Anarchapulco conference.

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Jenin Younes

Jenin Younes

Jenin Younes is a graduate of Cornell University and New York University School of Law.

Jenin currently works as a civil liberties attorney in Washington DC.

She enjoys running, restaurants, and reading in her free time.

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Amelia Janaskie

Amelia Janaskie is a Research Associate at the American Institute for Economic Research. She graduated from the College of Charleston Honors College in May 2020 with a B.S. in Economics and minor in English. During her time in college, she was a Market Process Scholar with the Center for Public Choice and Market Process.

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