By Cathy Burke New York Daily News
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz is urging people to reach out to friends and neighbors to check in on each other during this time. Adding, "nobody should be alone in this and there is absolutely no shame in reaching out for help."
Suicides have doubled in Queens during the first six weeks of the city's coronavirus lockdown, data released Tuesday night showed.
Queens has been hit particularly hard by the virus, and data from Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz suggests the disease may be taking a heavy emotional toll as well.
According to figures released by Katz, between March 15 and Tuesday, 16 people died by suicide in Queens County, compared with just eight in the same time period last year.
By comparison, nearly as many people have died by suicide during the lockdown as in the first four months of 2019. Queens saw 17 suicides between Jan. 1 and April 17, 2019, the data shows.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered the state locked down on March 20.
There have been 48,382 confirmed cases of the coronavirus in Queens, with 3,581 deaths as of Tuesday night, a grim tally that tops every county in the nation, a data map by Johns Hopkins University shows.
"There is a mental health component to this health crisis that needs our attention," Katz said in a statement Tuesday night.
"Since this pandemic began the numbers of suicides in Queens County have soared. The victims are young and old – no one is immune. Please reach out to your friends and neighbors. Check in on each other because nobody should be alone in this and there is absolutely no shame in reaching out for help." ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.