TIME video

Here’s What It’s Like to Walk the Streets of NYC as a White Man, According to Funny or Die

Hint: a lot of high-fives are involved

10 Hours of Walking in NYC as a Man – watch more funny videos

On Tuesday, the anti-street harassment activist group Hollaback released a video of a young woman walking around New York City for a day, experiencing more than a hundred instances of harassment from men. Now, Funny or Die shows us the other side of the coin: what it’s like to walk the city streets as a white man.

The video serves as a reminder that the flip side of sexism is privilege, and as the video’s ample footballs and high-fives suggest, a very bro-tastic kind of privilege, indeed.

While the parody will ring true to any white man who’s fully aware of the privilege his sex and race afford him, it’s important to remember that not everyone’s in on the joke. Following the virality of Hollaback’s video, the woman in the video received rape threats, which serve only as further proof that efforts like Hollaback’s are sorely needed.

TIME Disaster

Before and After: How East Coast Bounced Back After Hurricane Sandy

Hurricane Sandy made landfall on Oct. 29, 2012 near Brigantine, N.J., cutting a swath through one of the most densely populated areas in the U.S.  Two years after the storm, a look back at how Sandy-ravaged areas fared in the 12 months afterwards.

TIME Music

Taylor Swift Is NYC’s Newest Tourism Ambassador

BuzzFoto Celebrity Sightings In New York -May 23, 2014
Taylor Swift on May 23, 2014 in New York City. Josiah Kamau—BuzzFoto/FilmMagic/Getty Images

"Welcome to New York" is not just a song title

She may hail from Pennsylvania and draw the strongest associations with Nashville, but Taylor Swift is New York City’s newest ambassador for tourism. NYC & Company, the city’s official marketing and tourism organization, announced Swift’s new role this morning, launching a series of promotional videos in which the singer defines essential New York vocabulary — such as “stoop” and “bodega” — and explains her connection to the city.

“New York kind of pulled me here like a magnet,” she says. “I was intimidated by the fact that it was bright and bold and loud. And now I know that I should run towards things like that.” Swift says the city was integral to the development of her new album, 1989, inspiring her songwriting and providing the backdrop for a period in her life characterized by possibility and excitement. If the album’s first track, “Welcome to New York,” wasn’t written in anticipation of this new gig, it certainly sounds like it could have been.

As Swift herself sings, “Haters gonna hate,” and the response to her ambassadorship for a city she’s barely lived in has been mixed. Swift moved to New York only recently, and she splits her time between Manhattan, Beverly Hills and Nashville. New Yorkers are notoriously stingy in awarding the label “New Yorker” to anyone who wasn’t born and raised among them, and Swift’s recent arrival gives her more in common with the tourists she’s attempting to attract than the residents of the city itself.

So no, she’s by no means a logical choice, if we’re basing logic on street cred alone. There are countless entertainers with strong ties to the city who might have better appeased New Yorkers (see Jay-Z and Alicia Keys, whose New York-themed anthem is among the most beloved in years). But that’s just it: NYC & Co. is not looking to appease the people who already live here. They’re looking to draw the people who don’t — 55 million each year, to be precise.

And besides, New York is a city of immigrants and transplants, made interesting by its intermingling of newcomers and originals. NYC & Company’s press release makes ample use of the word “welcoming,” a preemptive retort to those who would be anything less than hospitable to one of its newer residents. As Swift sings in “Welcome to New York,” “Like any real love, it’s ever-changing.”

TIME celebrities

Taylor Swift Will Ring In 2015 From Times Square

The star, whose album 1989 was released Monday, will perform in the Big Apple on New Year's Eve

Taylor Swift will be the star performer of New York City’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square.

The countdown show, “”New Year’s Rockin’ Eve,” will be hosted for the 10th straight year by entertainer Ryan Seacrest. There are around 38 musical acts scheduled for over five hours, the Associated Press reports.

Swift was also recently named New York City’s newest Global Welcome Ambassador, as the starlet has recently made the move to the city and has a new pop song, “Welcome to New York,” on her album 1989, which was released Monday.


TIME Transportation

Riding the NYC Subway Used to Be Fun—Then It Became a ‘Small Death’

New York's First Subway
The opening of the first subway in New York, Oct. 27, 1904. PhotoQuest / Getty Images

Oct. 27, 1904: The New York City subway opens

Long before New Yorkers started taking their pants off to liven things up on the subway, the ride was a novelty even with everyone fully-clothed.

On this day 110 years ago — Oct. 27, 1904 — 150,000 people rode the subway when it opened to the public for the first time, regarding the new form of public transit more as a circus act than as part of the drudgery of daily life. The first subway line, which ran from City Hall to 145th Street and Broadway, opened to “the tooting of whistles and the firing of salutes,” according to the New York Times’ report of the day, which noted the awe of those waiting in line for their turn to ride in the tunnels:

The general public would not be admitted until 7 o’clock, and its curiosity was vastly whetted all the afternoon by the unfamiliar appearance of crowds emerging from the earth.

Of this sight New York seemed never to tire, and no matter how often it was seen there was always the shock of the unaccustomed about it. All the afternoon the crowds hung around the curious-looking little stations, waiting for heads and shoulders to appear at their feet and grow into bodies. Much as the Subway has been talked about, New York was not prepared for this scene and did not seem able to grow used to it.

Ultimately, they did manage to grow used to it, and a modern level of malaise quickly took the place of curiosity and celebration. By 1932, when TIME reported on a proposal to unify the three different subway systems then operating independently, it referred to what this would mean for the “subway sardines” who read newspapers over their fellow passengers’ shoulders on the “humid, jam-packed” subway cars.

While the New York City subway was not the first rapid transit system to be built (London, Paris, and Berlin — as well as Chicago and Boston — had already developed the capacity to shuttle commuters like sardines) it made life both simpler and more annoying for the 3.25 million people who, by 1948, would twice daily “descend into the maelstrom of the subways with the haunted resignation of lemmings,” according to TIME, “there to die the small death of the rush hour.”

If there was still some circus-like curiosity to be found on the trains, the 1948 piece snarked, it was that “the subway rider is a sullen example of the incredible compressibility of the human frame.”

And if nothing else, subways had always been cheap. Per TIME: “They offered the longest uninterrupted ride in the world (if anyone could stand it) for a nickel — 22.65 miles from the remote reaches of The Bronx to even remoter reaches of Brooklyn.” That was, until later that year. If there was anything worse than being packed together like sweaty sardines, it was having to pay twice as much for the privilege, TIME concluded. But in the summer of 1948, it was announced, “New Yorkers would have to pay a dime to ride their dirty old subways.”

Read TIME’s 1948 take on the subway system, here in the archives: The Nickel’s Last Ride

TIME ebola

N.Y. State Relaxes Ebola Quarantine Rules

New York loosen's policies on Ebola
Governor Andrew Cuomo speaks during a press conference on the status of Ebola patient Doctor Craig Spencer and New York's new Ebola policies at the governor's office in New York on Oct. 26, 2014 Jason Szenes—EPA

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo relaxes rules he put in place on Friday

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Sunday that the state is altering its new quarantine guidelines for health care workers coming back from treating Ebola patients in West Africa. The change comes after significant pushback from public-health groups working in Ebola-affected countries, as well as the White House.

Originally, Cuomo and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announced a joint initiative to require a governmental quarantine for 21 days for all health care workers flying into their states. Illinois soon followed suit. But under the new guidelines, Cuomo said returning health care workers can instead quarantine themselves in their homes for 21 days, and will receive at least two unannounced house calls from local health officials.

The state will provide services like food and medicine if the health-care worker needs it. Health care workers will also monitor their symptoms, as has been the standard for the vast majority of people returning from work in the region. “If their organization does not pay for the three weeks, we will,” Cuomo said during a press conference Sunday night.

The initial guidelines caused controversy. TIME learned that the decision was made without the input of New York City health commissioner Dr. Mary Bassett or Mayor Bill de Blasio. Public-health groups expressed concern that the new regulations would hamper their efforts to recruit volunteers under the new rules, and on Friday, a nurse named Kaci Hickox landed in Newark Liberty International Airport from Sierra Leone and was forcibly quarantined in a tent at a nearby hospital. She ultimately tested negative for Ebola, and has hired a lawyer.

So far, Governor Christie has remained steadfast his decision.

Read next: Christie Says Nurse Quarantined for Ebola Can Go Home

TIME ebola

Meet the Woman Leading NYC’s Ebola Fight

Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, Commissioner Of the NY Dept. Of Health and Mental Hygiene speaks at a news conference in the Office of Emergency Management at Bellevue Hospital in New York City on Oct. 24, 2014.
Dr. Mary Travis Bassett, Commissioner of the NY Dept. Of Health and Mental Hygiene speaks at a news conference in the Office of Emergency Management at Bellevue Hospital in New York City on Oct. 24, 2014. Richard Levine—Demotix/Corbis

Dr. Mary Bassett, the health commissioner of New York City, is no nonsense

Dr. Mary Bassett, the New York City Health Commissioner, is already imagining the moment she’ll embrace Dr. Craig Spencer, the city’s first patient with Ebola, when he’s virus-free.

“When I saw that picture of Nina Pham being hugged by the president, I thought, ‘If he will agree, I am hoping to give [Spencer] a big hug,'” says Bassett after a press conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio at The Meatball Shop in New York—a restaurant Spencer had visited before being hospitalized—on Saturday. The Italian hotspot had reopened the evening before, after being temporarily shuttered.

“I understand that people are scared,” Bassett says. “Ebola is a scary disease and it evokes a lot of fear. In this country, the level of public anxiety is palpable.” But in New York City, she says, health officials and staff have been drilling for months.

On Oct. 23 Bassett received a call from Doctors Without Borders that Spencer had a fever of 100.3F. “From the beginning we thought that this one might be a real one,” says Bassett. The department had been fielding calls of possible cases for months but this time it was different. Even prior to Spencer’s confirmation, Bassett sent out her disease detectives to start contact tracing and corroborating every event on Spencer’s timeline.

Drill early, drill often

Back in August, Bassett and her team identified Bellevue Hospital Center as the hospital where they would funnel any patients in New York who appeared to have Ebola. The Bellevue unit they selected was built in the 1990s, initially created to treat patients with HIV or AIDS. It has also been used to treat people with multi-drug resistant tuberculosis.

Even though New York started planning early, Bassett says that what happened at Dallas Presbyterian Hospital, which was where the first U.S. diagnosis of Ebola took place—made them ramp up their efforts. “We really got to work. The devil is the details and thinking through all scenarios and how to address each one of them,” she says. “We had to be prepared, especially after Dallas. I think everyone agrees that a lot was learned from that experience. Having guidance is not enough. Having protocols is not enough. People need to be drilled. They need to practice. Practice, practice, practice.”

Changing party lines

On the evening of Oct. 24, governors Andrew Cuomo of New York and Chris Christie of New Jersey made an announcement that changes the way those states will be handling Ebola. The governors announced that health care workers who fly into either state from Liberia, Sierra Leone or Guinea will be issued a mandatory quarantine order for 21 days, whether or not they were sick or symptomatic. When asked if she was briefed about the announcement beforehand, Bassett says: “No, I was not.” Neither, apparently, was de Blasio. “I haven’t seen anything in writing yet about the quarantine. We haven’t seen any guidance yet,” she says.

Pressed for her opinion on the governors’ decision—which was made without the input of public health experts—Bassett says she will “have to work this through.” Adding that now more than ever it’s important for “all of us to work with one voice.”

TIME ebola

Obama Hugs Nurse Who Survived Ebola

President Barack Obama hugs nurse Nina Pham, who was declared free of the Ebola virus after contracting the disease while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas, during a meeting in the Oval Office in Washington on Oct. 24, 2014.
President Barack Obama hugs nurse Nina Pham, who was declared free of the Ebola virus after contracting the disease while caring for a Liberian patient in Texas, during a meeting in the Oval Office in Washington on Oct. 24, 2014. Saul Loeb—AFP/Getty Images

The nurse was cleared of Ebola Friday morning

A few days ago, Dallas nurse Nina Pham lay in bed in an isolated hospital room at National Institutes of Health (NIH) where her doctors donned hazmat suits to care for her. On Friday, President Barack Obama hugged Pham, now free of Ebola, in the open air of the Oval Office.

“Let’s give a hug for the cameras,” he told Pham.

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Burwell, NIH infectious disease head Anthony Fauci, along with several other doctors and family members, were also present at the Friday meeting.

Pham contracted Ebola while caring for Thomas Eric Duncan, the first person diagnosed with Ebola in the United States, who died Oct. 8 at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas. Pham was subsequently moved to NIH in Maryland to undergo treatment, and was declared Ebola-free Friday morning.

After a patient was diagnosed with Ebola in New York City on Thursday, the hug was a triumphant moment amid continued fear over the potential for Ebola to spread in the U.S. White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told journalists at press briefing Friday that Pham’s recovery served as “a pretty apt reminder that we do have the best medical infrastructure in the world.”

TIME ebola

NYC Officials Trace Ebola Patient’s Steps as Mayor Urges Calm

Three others have been quarantined

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio reassured residents Friday that the city is prepared to treat Ebola patients and is not at risk of a widespread Ebola outbreak, as health officials worked to clear anyone who may have come into contact with the city’s first patient.

“New Yorkers who have not been exposed to an infected person’s bodily fluids are simply not at risk,” said DeBlasio at a Friday press conference. “We’ve had clear and strong protocols from the beginning, and they have been followed to the letter.”

Health officials are currently contacting everyone Ebola patient Craig Spencer may have come into contact with since Tuesday morning “in an abundance of caution,” according to New York City Health Commissioner Mary Travis Bassett. Spencer, a doctor who returned from Guinea on Oct. 17, was diagnosed with Ebola Thursday.

Spencer’s fiancee, along with two friends, has been quarantined and restricted from public spaces. Gutter and Blue Bottle, a bowling alley and coffee shop visited by the patient, have been cleared and reopened, and a third establishment, the Meatball Shop, is closed temporarily but is expected to be cleared.

A Metropolitan Transportation Authority official told TIME that the city’s subway system is safe to ride, but noted that protocols had been updated to ensure safe handling of any potentially infectious waste. Spencer reportedly rode the subway from his home in Harlem to Brooklyn Wednesday.

Spencer is being treated in an isolation unit at New York’s Bellevue Hospital. He is in stable condition and communicating with friends via cell phone, officials said.

–additional reporting by Alice Park

TIME ebola

Does Insurance Cover Ebola Care?

Your chances of getting Ebola in the U.S. are very slim. But if you do, who's footing the bill?

Ebola care is pricey, with estimates ranging from $5,000 to $25,000 per day, according to several health care analysts and experts who spoke to TIME. Some patients will end up spending weeks at a hospital, racking up a bill of $500,000 or more. That includes everything from paying the medical staff to disposing of waste, to the cost of resources like protective gear.

“The cost of treating a patient is going to vary vastly from hospital to hospital, [starting with] length of stay,” says Andrew Fitch, a health-care pricing expert at NerdWallet. “A patient treated in Dallas was only hospitalized for two weeks while another was treated for six weeks. The cost of dialysis and IV fluids is going to add up pretty fast and that is going to be compounded by the cost of isolation.”

So who foots the bill?

If you have insurance in the U.S., your insurer is likely going to cover the costs under emergency and/or inpatient care coverage. Even though patients with Ebola often first present in the emergency room, the disease is typically intensive and can last for several weeks. Major insurance providers TIME spoke to said they would cover Ebola treatment—but bear in mind that coverage starts after a person has met his or her deductible, which can be upwards of $13,000 for some family plans and $6,000 for an individual plan, says Jeffrey Rice, CEO
of Healthcare BlueBook, a Tennessee company that calculates health-care prices for consumers.

Dr. Craig Spencer, the Ebola patient in New York City, has health insurance coverage through Doctors Without Borders. Missionaries like Dr. Kent Brantly, Dr. Richard Sacra and Nancy Writebol have insurance through their missionary groups. Nebraska Medical Center, which has treated two patients with Ebola, including Sacra and NBC freelancer Ashoka Mukpo, says all of its patients’ care has so far been covered by their insurance providers.

But what if you don’t have health insurance?

Despite numerous requests from TIME to Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital in Dallas, the hospital did not confirmed how the uninsured Liberian patient Thomas Eric Duncan’s care was paid for. Analysts believe it’s unlikely that Duncan’s family will be dealt a hefty bill given how high-profile the case was and the mistakes made by the hospital.

Nebraska Medical Center says it would go about treating an uninsured patient with Ebola the same way that it would treat any patient who comes into their emergency room without insurance. They are federally obligated to treat the patient, and then the patients who cannot pay for their care can apply for financial aid and become part of the hospital’s charitable care program. “We provide millions of dollars worth of this kind of care yearly,” a Nebraska hospital spokesperson told TIME.

What if you get sent to a hospital that’s out of network?

Being treated at out-of-network hospital or by an out-of-network doctor could, in theory, result in a hefty bill. Getting out-of-network treatment covered by your insurance company is decided on a case-by-case basis based on medical necessity. While insurers have the legal right to refuse to cover this type of treatment, says Sabrina Corlette of the Center on Health Insurance Reforms at Georgetown University, it’s highly unlikely that they would sack the patient with the bill.

If your stuff needs to be incinerated, does insurance cover that?

One of the surefire ways to get rid of any lingering virus within an Ebola patient’s home is to incinerate their belongings. But do they get reimbursed? Most likely. If a government body or medical professional recommends or requires the destruction of property as a preventative measure in the spread of the virus, the value of the destroyed items would most likely be covered at the cost to replace them, or at depreciated value under a home, business or renters policy, says Amy Bach, executive director of United Policyholders.

Does insurance cover experimental drugs?

No, but that’s because there’s typically no cost involved at all when a drug is still in research and development.


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