NY Daily News
Queens District Attorney Melinda Katz was shocked one recent Monday by a pair of borough suicides: A 49-year-old man found hanging in a parking garage. And a 29-year-old woman who jumped from her bedroom window.
The two deaths are among the 16 suicides in Queens since March 15, when New York schools were closed as the pandemic began to wrap the city in its lethal grip. The dead had nothing in common except “they were sheltered and not sure where to turn,” Katz told the Daily News on Wednesday.
For comparison’s sake, there were 17 total suicides in Queens from Jan. 1 through April 29, 2019, just one more than reported in the past six weeks. While there are no citywide suicide stats available at this point in the COVID-19 crisis, anecdotal evidence points toward a bump in New Yorkers taking their own lives.
“I started noticing the numbers coming in over the last month and a half, and I felt obligated to send a message that we need to be checking in on our colleagues, our loved ones, our friends," said Katz.
Queens was particularly hard hit by the pandemic, with 48,382 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 3,581 deaths as of Tuesday night — the most fatalities of any county from coast to coast, according to a data map by Johns Hopkins University.