Crown Heights Community Celebrates From Afar With Jewish Couple Having Downsized Wedding Due to Coronavirus Outbreak
The Brooklyn community of Crown Heights celebrated with a Jewish couple whose wedding plans on Thursday night were altered due to the widespread outbreak of coronavirus, the website COLlive reported.
JJ Deitsch and Fraida Jacobson originally were to get married at a ballroom in Crown Heights with a large crowd of family and friends, but instead had a small group of 10 people attend their wedding celebration at a small venue following a chuppah ceremony.
Their families also intended for the newlyweds to drive around the community in a convertible for a few blocks and have a “wedding parade” so that neighbors could join the celebration, but more and more members of the community called the family and asked if they could be part of the couple’s route. The route was eventually expanded to the entire neighborhood so that the entire community could celebrate together with the newlyweds.
Crown Heights residents of all ages gathered around the couple’s car, stood outside their homes, greeted the newlyweds from afar, and sang and danced along with music blaring from their loudspeakers or from a music truck that accompanied the couple down the street. The couple also stopped to dance and cheer with others outside the home of Jacobson’s grandmother, who was unable to attend the wedding celebration.
City Health Department officials warned Chassidic medical professionals in Crown Heights that as much as 80 percent of the neighborhood may have already been exposed to COVID-19, Gothamist reported.
A spokesperson for the Department of Health confirmed that the estimate came from an online survey conducted by a Crown Heights-based physician who asked community members to record their symptoms.
The spokesperson said, “Over a 3-hour period, more than 300 people self-reported symptoms. More than 80 percent of those respondents had symptoms that meet the current case definition for ‘possible COVID-19.'”