MetroFocus

FULL EPISODE

MetroFocus: September 9, 2020

Without a new $12 billion Transit Relief package, the MTA will be forced to slash subway and bus service in NYC by 40%. New York Times Transit reporter Christina Goldbaum discusses the staggering financial crisis. Also, the Child Mind Institute’s Dr. Harold Koplowicz, joins us with tips to help parents, children and educators cope with the anxiety as they head back to school.

AIRED: September 09, 2020 | 0:28:21
ABOUT THE PROGRAM
TRANSCRIPT

>>> THIS IS "METROFOCUS" WITH

RAFAEL PI ROMAN, JACK FORD, AND

JENNA FLANAGAN.

"METROFOCUS" IS MADE POSSIBLE BY

SUE AND EDGAR WACHENHEIM III,

SYLVIA A. AND SIMON B. POYTA

PROGRAMMING ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM, BARBARA HOPE

ZUCKERBERG, JANET PRINDLE

SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD,

CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN

FAMILY, BERNARD AND DENISE

SCHWARTZ, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON,

DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN

FOUNDATION.

>>> WELCOME TO "METROFOCUS."

I'M RAFAEL P. ROMAN.

THE SUBWAYS ARE FACING A

FIVE-ALARM FIRE, THAT FROM THE

MAN WHO RUNS THE MTA ITSELF AND

THE HEAD OF THE TRANSPORT --

FINANCIAL CRISIS CONFRONTING THE

MTA.

IS THAT HIYPERBOLE OR REALITY.

THE MTA SAYS IT'S SFASING A $50

BILLION DEFICIT.

UNLESS THEY GET BILLIONS FROM

THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT THE WORST

CUTS COULD BE COMING.

ON TOP OF THAT THE MTA IS FACING

CONCERNS FROM RIDERS OVER MASS

TRANSIT BEING A SUPER SPREADER

OF THE CORONAVIRUS AND

INCREASINGLY OVER CRIME IN OUR

PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION SYSTEM.

SO WHAT IS THE REALITY AND WHAT

ARE THE SOLUTIONS?

JOINING US NOW TO TALK ABOUT ALL

THAT IS "NEW YORK TIMES" TRANSIT

REPORTER CHRISTINA GOLDBAUM.

THANKS FOR JOINING US.

>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

>> THE PANDEMIC HAS OBVIOUSLY

BEEN A CATASTROPHE FOR THE MTA.

THE AGENCY SAYING UNLESS IT GETS

$12 BILLION FROM THE FEDS IT'S

GOING TO HAVE TO IMPLEMENT

WHAT'S BEING CALLED A DOOMSDAY

PLAN.

WHAT'S IN THAT PLAN?

WHAT DOES IT ENTAIL?

>> THAT'S RIGHT.

SO LAST MONTH, PAT FOY, THE

CHAIRMAN OF THE MTA ALLOWED WHAT

WOULD BE THE WORST CUTS THE

SYSTEM HAS FACED, CUTTING BUS

AND SUBWAY SERVICE BY AROUND

40%.

THAT MEANS WAIT TIMES FOR SUBWAY

CARS WOULD BE UP EIGHT MINUTES,

BUSES 15 MINUTES.

REDUCE COMMUTER RAIL BY 15%.

THEY ALSO HAVE TO DO A AWAY WITH

A LOT OF PLANNED INFRASTRUCTURE

PROJECTS THAT ARE NEEDED TO

BRING THE SYSTEM INTO THE 21st

CENTURY.

THEY'D HAVE TO DELAY DOING

UPGRADES TO THE SIGNALS ON THE

SUBWAY WHICH ARE WHAT RUN THE

SUBWAY SYSTEM AND WHAT HAVE BEEN

THE CAUSE OF A LOT OF DELAYS IN

RECENT YEARS.

THEY'D HAVE TO DO AWAY WITH

PLANS TO COMMUTER RAILS IN PENN

STATION, EXPANDING THE SUBWAY

INTO HARLEM, PUT OFF BUYING

ELECTRIC BUSES, SUBWAY CARS.

DO AWAY WITH ACCESSIBILITY GAINS

LIKE ADDING ELEVATORS TO THE

SUBWAY, ON-DEMAND SERVICE FOR

PARATRANSIT RIDERS.

THESE WOULD BE DEVASTATING CUTS

TO THE SYSTEM AND MAKE IT REALLY

HARD IN YEARS TO COME TO GET

RIDERS TO COME BACK.

>> IT DOES SOUND LIKE A DOOMSDAY

PLAN, BUT IS IT REAL?

THEY'RE ASKING FOR $12 BILLION.

JUST A FEW MONTHS AGO THEY WERE

ASKING FOR ABOUT A THIRD OF

THAT, RIGHT?

AS YOU SAY, IF THEY IMPLEMENT

THIS STUFF, RIDERSHIP WHICH THE

MTA DEPENDS A LOT ON FOR REVENUE

WOULD DROP.

IT WOULD BE A VICIOUS CYCLE.

IS THIS REAL OR AN OPENING

GAMBIT INTO NEGOTIATIONS?

>> THE PICTURE THEY'VE PAINTED

IS JUST THAT, WHAT COULD COME TO

PASS.

EVEN THE SAVINGS WOULD ONLY BE

ABOUT $1 BILLION.

IT DOESN'T REALLY BEGIN TO HELP

THE SYSTEM DIG ITS WAY OUT OF

THIS CRISIS.

THE MTA ASKED FOR $12 BILLION TO

COVER ITS LOSSES THROUGH THE END

OF THIS YEAR AND THROUGH THE END

OF NEXT YEAR.

AS YOU SAY, BACK IN APRIL, MAY,

THROUGH THE SUMMER THEY WERE

ASKING FOR ONLY $3.9 BILLION TO

COVER THEM THROUGH THE END OF

THIS YEAR.

I THINK TWO THINGS ARE GOING ON.

ONE IS THAT THE SYSTEM IS

FACING, AGAIN, THE BIGGEST

CRISIS IN ITS HISTORY.

IF IT DOESN'T GET SOME FEDERAL

EMERGENCY AID, CUTS TO SERVICE

ARE INEVITABLE.

BUT AT THE SAME TIME I THINK

WHAT WE'VE SEEN HAPPEN IN RECENT

WEEKS, ESPECIALLY AS

NEGOTIATIONS IN D.C. FELL APART

IS A LITTLE BIT OF POLITICKING.

YOU KNOW -- REALISTIC THAT THE

MTA WILL GET IN THE NEXT ROUND

OF NEGOTIATIONS, WHAT THEY'RE

KIND OF DOING IS SETTING UP A

SCAPEGOAT FOR WHEN THESE

INEVITABLE CUTS COME TO PASS.

I THINK IT'S LIKELY THE MTA WILL

GET SOME FEDERAL DOLLARS IN THE

COMING MONTHS OR HOPEFULLY BY

NEXT YEAR, BUT EVEN WITH SOME

FEDERAL AID, A REALISTIC AMOUNT

OF FEDERAL AID, THEY'LL STILL

HAVE TO MAKE A LOT OF THE CUTS

THEY'VE OUTLINED BECAUSE THEY'RE

IN SUCH DIRE FINANCIAL STRAITS

COMING INTO THIS CRISIS TO BEGIN

WITH.

>> IF THE FEDS GO TO THE MTA AND

SAY WE'RE NOT GOING TO GIVE YOU

$12 BILLION, BUT A GOOD SUM, BUT

IN RETURN YOU HAVE TO DO SOME

THINGS.

YOU HAVE TO OPEN UP THE BOOKS TO

US, AND MAYBE YOU EVEN HAVE TO

LET US OVERSEE THE WORKINGS OF

THE MTA AND MAYBE EVEN LET US

HAVE SOME CONTROL OVER SOME OF

YOUR OPERATION.

WOULD THE MTA SAY OKAY?

>> I THINK RIGHT NOW THEY ARE

SAYING WE WILL DO WHATEVER YOU

NEED IN ORDER TO GET US FEDERAL

MONEY BECAUSE THE ONLY WAY FOR

US TO GET OUT OF THIS CRISIS IS

TO GET SOME INJECTION OF FEDERAL

EMERGENCY FUNDS.

BUT AGAIN, IT'S REALLY UNLIKELY

THEY'RE GOING TO COVER ALL THE

MTA'S LOSSES AT THE END OF NEXT

YEAR.

$16.2 BILLION DEFICIT THROUGH

2024.

>> ABOUT THREE YEARS AGO YOUR

PAPER HAD AN EXTENSIVE EXPOSE OF

THE MTA, THE WORKINGS OF THE

MTA.

AMONG THE THINGS IT SHOWED IS

HOW MUCH MORE COSTLY IT IS FOR

THE MTA TO RUN THAN OTHER

COMPARABLE TRANSIT SYSTEMS

AROUND THE WORLD.

I WONDER IF THE FEDS COULD GO AS

FAR AS TO SAY TO THE MTA, HEY,

WE WANT YOUR LABOR CONTRACTS TO

BE REOPENED AND RENEGOTIATED.

COULD THEY DO THAT IF THEY

WANTED TO?

WOULD THEY DO THAT?

>> I THINK RIGHT NOW IT'S ALMOST

INEVITABLE THAT THERE'S GOING TO

BE LABOR CONCESSIONS NO MATTER

WHAT, WHETHER THE FED ASKS FOR

IT OR WHAT.

ANY REDUCTIONS IN SERVICES GOES

HAND THE IN HAND WITH SLASHES TO

THE WORKFORCES.

IT'S A COMPLICATED ENDEAVOR.

THE UNION FOR MANY MTA WORKERS

HAS BECOME VERY CLOSE TO

GOVERNOR CUOMO WHO CONTROLS THE

SUBWAY SYSTEM.

IN THE LAST NEGOTIATION THEY GOT

A LOT OF CONCESSIONS THEY ASKED

FOR.

SO I THINK THAT THOSE

CONVERSATIONS BETWEEN THE

GOVERNOR AND THE LABOR UNION ARE

INEVITABLE.

WHETHER OR NOT THEY ACTUALLY

RESULT IN THE KIND OF CUTS THAT

ARE NECESSARY TO MAKE UP THIS

HUGE BILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT IS

UNCLEAR.

YOU HAVE TO KEEP IN MIND THAT

TRANSIT WORKERS WORKED

THROUGHOUT THE HEIGHT OF THE

CRISIS.

131 MTA TRANSIT WORKERS DIED,

MORE THAN ANY OTHER TRANSIT

AGENCY IN THE COUNTRY.

ASKING TRANSIT WORKERS TO GIVE

UP ANYTHING RIGHT NOW IS A

REALLY HARD ASK GIVEN WHAT WAS

JUST ASKED OF THEM.

>> YOU SAY IT'S INEVITABLE.

JOHN SAMUELSON, THE

INTERNATIONAL TRANSIT WORKERS

UNION, A LOCAL LEADER FOR MANY

YEARS, HE'S ALREADY SAID NO,

HE'S NOT GOING TO DO THAT AND

BECAUSE OF WHAT YOU SAID.

THEY ALREADY PLAYED WITH THEIR

BLOOD.

MOST OF THOSE 131 WERE UNION

MEMBERS, BUT YOU THINK HE'S

GOING TO HAVE TO DO IT?

>> I THINK THE CONVERSATION IS

GOING TO HAVE TO HAPPEN.

THAT'S THE KIND OF POINT WE'RE

AT RIGHT NOW.

YOU HAVE TO KEEP IN MIND, WHEN

THE MTA FACED PAST FINANCIAL

CRISES, TYPICALLY WHAT THEY'VE

DONE IS RAISED FARES, TRY TO CUT

SERVICE, BORROWED MORE AND ALSO

LOOKED FOR NEW REVENUE STREAMS,

NEW SUBSIDIES.

RIGHT NOW ALL THOSE OPTIONS ARE

PRETTY TOUGH GIVEN THE NATURE OF

THIS CRISIS.

IF YOU RAISED FARES WHEN YOU

ONLY HAVE 25% OF YOUR RIDERSHIP,

THAT DOESN'T YIELD A LOT OF

MONEY.

YOU'RE ASKING ESSENTIAL WORKERS

AND WORKERS WHO ARE LOWER INCOME

TO CONTINUE TO GO TO WORK AND

PAY MORE WHICH IS A TOUGH

ASKING.

REDUCING SERVICE COMES WITH

HEALTH CONCERNS BECAUSE OF MORE

CROWDED SUBWAYS.

THE STATE AND THE CITY ARE

FACING THEIR OWN MASSIVE

FINANCIAL CRISIS IT'S GOING TO

BE REALLY HARD TO FIND REVENUE

THERE AS WELL.

>> ON TOP OF ALL THIS, MAJOR

SAFETY CONCERNS FACING THE MTA,

BOTH IN TERMS OF COVID AND IN

TERMS OF CRIME.

LET'S START WITH THE PANDEMIC.

HOW SAFE ARE SUBWAY AND COMMUTER

RAILS RIGHT NOW FROM COVID?

>> WE LOOKED AT THIS A FEW WEEKS

BACK.

RIGHT NOW I THINK THE SUBWAY IS

MUCH SAFER THAN PEOPLE IMAGINE

IT TO BE.

PUBLIC HEALTH EXPERTS DESCRIBED

IT SAYING IT'S MAYBE NOT AS SAFE

AS WALKING OUTDOORS BUT SAFER

THAN EATING AT A RESTAURANT

INDOORS.

THE MTA ESTIMATES ABOUT 90% OF

RIDERS ARE WEARING MASKS.

PEOPLE DON'T TEND TO TALK TO NOT

PRODUCING AS MANY VIRAL

AEROSOLS.

BECAUSE THERE'S ONLY 25% OF THE

USUAL RIDERS, CROWDING HAS NOT

BEEN MUCH OF AN ISSUE DURING

WHAT USED TO BE RUSH HOUR.

THERE'S ONLY A FEW OTHER PEOPLE

ON MY SUBWAY CAR.

THE VENTILATION IS SURPRISINGLY

EFFECTIVE.

WE DID A DEEP DIVE INTO HOW THE

VENTILATION SYSTEM WORK, WE

FOUND IT MANAGES TO REPLACE ALL

THE AIR INSIDE A SUBWAY CAR WITH

AIR FROM THE OUTSIDE THAT HAS

BEEN FILTERED 18 TIMES A HOUR,

EVERY THREE MINUTES AND 20

SECONDS.

THE CRITICAL VARIABLE THAT COULD

CHANGE VERY SOON IS THE CROWDING

ISSUE.

WHEN WE HAVE SCHOOLS REOPEN, WE

HAVE BOTH KIDS AND THEIR PARENTS

RETURNING TO WORK AND THE SYSTEM

BECOMES MORE CROWDED, THAT MEANS

IT COULD BECOME RISKIER.

IT REALLY DEPENDS ON RIDERSHIP

AND THE IMPACTS OF THE CITY.

>> SOME OF THE SERVICE CUTS COME

INTO EFFECT, THERE ARE PROBABLY

GOING TO BE MORE CROWDED SUBWAYS

BECAUSE THERE WILL BE LESS

SUBWAYS.

>> EXACTLY.

>> LET'S TURN TO CRIME.

THE WHOLE COUNTRY HAS SEEN THE

HORRENDOUS VIDEO OF A MAN

SEXUALLY ATTACKING THIS WOMAN IN

THE UPPER EAST SIDE, VERY WELL

TRAVELED UPPER EAST SIDE SUBWAY

PLATFORM, SATURDAY MORNING,

11:00 A.M.

IT WAS CRAZY!

IS THIS REPRESENTATIVE OF THE

KIND OF THINGS GOING ON ON THE

SUBWAY NOW?

SHOULD WE BE WORRIED ABOUT

TAKING THE SUBWAY CRIMEWISE?

>> IT'S INTERESTING.

RIGHT NOW AS THE SYSTEM HAS

EMPTIED OUT, WHAT COMES WITH IT

IS A SLIGHT RISE IN CRIME.

FOR EXAMPLE WE HAVE SEEN

ROBBERIES INCREASE, ABOUT 400

ROBBERIES ON THE SYSTEM SO FAR

THIS YEAR COMPARED TO AROUND 300

UP TO THIS POINT LAST YEAR.

THERE'S BEEN AROUND 20

BURGLARIES COMPARED TO AROUND

FIVE LAST YEAR.

THERE'S A SLIGHT INCREASE IN

CRIME.

IN TALKING TO FOLKS IN THE

TRANSIT BUREAU OF THE POLICE

FORCE, IT SEEMS PART OF THAT --

WHEN YOU DO HAVE AN EMPTIER

SUBWAY SYSTEM AT ALL TIMES OF

DAY AND NIGHT, THEY'RE NOT

SURPRISED TO SEE A SLIGHT RISE

IN CRIME.

THE POLICE SAID THEY'RE

BEGINNING TO MONITOR AND SURVEIL

SUBWAY CARS MORE, KEEPING THIS

IN MIND.

IT SEEMS TO GO HAND IN HAND

WITH, AS IT'S EMPTY -- AGAIN,

GETTING BACK TO THIS QUESTION OF

HOW DOES THE SUBWAY SYSTEM

SURVIVE THE CRISIS.

IF WE CONTINUE TO SEE THIS TREND

WHERE CRIME IS ON THE RISE, IT'S

GOING TO AGAIN BE HARDER AND

HARDER TO COME BACK TO THE

SYSTEM.

PEOPLE ALREADY HAVE CONCERNS

AROUND PUBLIC HEALTH.

THEY'RE ALSO THINKING NOT ONLY

IS IT DANGEROUS BECAUSE OF THE

CORONAVIRUS, BUT ALSO AN

INCREASE IN CRIME, IT'S GOING TO

BE A HARD SELL TO GET PEOPLE TO

COME BACK TO A SYSTEM ESPECIALLY

IF THERE'S CUTS AND FARE HIKES

ON TOP OF THAT, TOO.

WE TRANSIT ADVOCATES AND

ADVOCATES CALL A DEATH SPIRAL

TRANSIT.

BECAUSE YOU'RE IN A HUGE

FINANCIAL CRISIS, YOU HAVE TO

CUT SERVICE AND RAISE FARES AND

AT THE SAME TIME ASKING PEOPLE

TO COME BACK TO THE SYSTEM.

THAT BECOMES A REALLY HARD SELL.

THE LONGER THEY DON'T COME BACK,

YOU'RE NOT GETTING THE FARE

REVENUE.

THE MTA OPERATING BUDGET DEPENDS

40% ON FARE REVENUE.

>> WE TALK ABOUT RIDERSHIP

COMING BACK OR NOT.

AS KIDS GO BACK TO SCHOOL,

PEOPLE HAVE TO GO BACK TO THEIR

WORKPLACE TO WORK, MAYBE NOT AS

IT WAS BEFORE COVID, PEOPLE --

LET ME PUT IT THIS WAY, DO MOST

NEW YORKERS REALLY HAVE AN

ALTERNATIVE TO PUBLIC

TRANSPORTATION?

>> A LOT OF PEOPLE DON'T, AND WE

SEE THAT.

THIS IS WHY RIDERSHIP IS STILL

AT 25%.

PEOPLE HAVE TO TAKE THE SUBWAY

TO GET TO WORK.

WHAT WE'RE ALSO BEGINNING TO SEE

IS THAT THOSE WHO DON'T HAVE TO

TAKE THE SUBWAY ARE STARTING TO

LOOK AT OTHER WAYS OF GETTING

AROUND THE CITY.

JUST IN JULY, THE DMV SAW A 30%

INCREASE IN CARS REGISTERED IN

NEW YORK CITY.

WE'VE SEEN FROM CAR SALES UP IN

THE CITY AS WELL.

I THINK IT'S SAFE TO SAY THERE

IS A PORTION OF FOLKS WHO ARE

LOOKING AT DRIVING TO WORK

RATHER THAN TAKING THE SUBWAY OR

TAKING A BUS TO GET THERE.

BIKE SALES HAVE ALSO BOOMED,

SCOOTER SALES HAVE BOOMTD, E

BIKES ARE ALSO UP IN THE CITY.

PEOPLE ARE LOOKING AT WAYS TO

AVOID PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION.

WHAT WE'RE ALSO SEEING IS

TRAFFIC HAS INCREASED.

THE TRAFFIC GOING INTO

MANHATTAN, THOSE LEVELS ARE

ALREADY AT NEARLY PREPANDEMIC

LEVELS AND EVERYBODY ISN'T BACK

TO WORK.

THE CONGESTION IS GOING TO BE A

PROBLEM.

TO TRY TO GET NEW REVENUE FOR

THE MTA AND CRACK DOWN, IT'S

BEEN SKAULD.

THE MTA HASN'T SAID WHAT KIND OF

ENVIRONMENTAL PROCESS TO USE

MOVING FORWARD WITH THE PLAN.

THERE IS A MASSIVE CONCERN OF

THIS CARMAGEDDON WHERE YOU HAVE

GRIDLOCK ACROSS MANHATTAN.

>> WE HAVE 20 SECONDS LEFT.

WHAT'S YOUR BEST GUESS?

TWO YEARS FROM NOW WHAT'S THE

SUBWAY SYSTEM GOING TO LOOK LIKE

RIDERSHIP WISE AND SERVICEWISE?

TEN SECONDS?

>> RIDERSHIP IS DOWN -- DELAYING

UPGRADES FOR YEARS AND YEARS TO

COME.

>> ALL RIGHT.

CHRISTINA, THANK YOU SO MUCH.

WE'LL HAVE TO END IT THERE.

WE'LL ASK YOU BACK.

THANK YOU.

>> THANKS FOR HAVING ME.

>> WELCOME TO "METROFOCUS."

I'M JACK FORD.

ACROSS THE TRI-STATE AREA AND

ACROSS THE COUNTRY, FAMILIES ARE

EMBARKING ON A NEW SCHOOL YEAR

UNLIKE ANY OTHER.

WHETHER STUDENTS ARE LEARNING

REMOTELY OR IN PERSON OR THROUGH

SOME COMBINATION OF THE TWO

THERE'S AN EXTRAORDINARY LEVEL

OF CONCERN, UNCERTAINTY AND

INDEED ANXIETY.

HOW DO WE DEAL WITH ALL THAT?

WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE JOINING

US SOMEBODY WHO CAN PROVIDE SOME

INFORMATION, SOME TIPS FOR NOT

JUST STUDENTS BUT ALSO FOR

PARENTS AS TO HOW TO HANDLE THIS

UPCOMING SCHOOL YEAR AND THESE

UNCERTAINTIES.

WE'RE DELIGHTED TO HAVE DR. HALL

COP WITS, A RENOWNED ADOLESCENT

PSYCHIATRIST AND THE PRESIDENT

OF THE CHILD MIND INSTITUTE.

DOCTOR, WELCOME, ALWAYS GOOD TO

SEE YOU.

>> JACK, IT'S GOOD TO SEE YOU.

>> YOU'VE GOT A LOT OF POINTERS

FOR US HERE.

I'M GOING TO GET TO THEM IN A

MINUTE.

LET'S SET THE STAGE FOR THE

CONVERSATION WE'RE GOING TO

HAVE.

LET'S FOCUS FIRST ON STUDENTS

AND THEN PARENTS.

FOCUSING FIRST ON STUDENTS, YOU

TALK ABOUT TWO AREAS OF MAJOR

CONCERN FOR CHILDREN.

ONE YOU REFER TO AS A SEPARATION

ANXIETY CONCERN, AND THE OTHER

IS THE CONCERN THAT CHILDREN ARE

GOING TO HAVE -- FOR SAFETY,

FORGETTING OUT THERE IN THE

WORLD.

TALK FIRST ABOUT WHAT YOU MEAN

BY THE SEPARATION ANXIETY.

>> LET'S THINK ABOUT THE FACT

THAT THERE IS A PERCENTAGE OF

CHILDREN ON A GOOD DAY WHO HAVE

AN ANXIETY DISORDER.

IN FACT, LET'S REMEMBER THAT

MENTAL HEALTH DISORDERS ARE THE

MOST COMMON ILLNESSES OF

CHILDHOOD AND ADOLESCENCE.

THERE ARE 17 MILLION, ONE OUT OF

FIVE KIDS, STRUGGLE AND SUFFER

WITH ONE OF THESE DISORDERS.

THE NUMBER ONE DISORDER IS AN

ANXIETY DISORDER.

THESE ARE KIDS WHO WORRY ABOUT

THE SAFETY OF THEIR PARENTS,

THAT SOMEHOW THEY'LL BE A THREAT

TO THE INTEGRITY OF THEIR

FAMILY, THAT SOMETHING BAD WILL

HAPPEN.

THEY HAVE TROUBLE UPON

SEPARATION, SO GOING TO SCHOOL,

GOING TO SLEEP, SLEEPING OVER.

FOR THE PAST SIX MONTHS, THEY

HAVE BEEN AT HOME.

THEY HAVE LOTS OF ACCESS TO

THEIR PARENTS.

THEY DON'T HAVE TO SEPARATE, AND

THERE'S ALSO A GROUP OF KIDS WHO

HAVE PATHOLOGICAL

SELF-CONSCIOUSNESS WHEN THEY

HAVE TO CEREBRAL LIES.

THESE KIDS HAVE BEEN AVOIDING

THAT.

ALL OF A SUDDEN YOU HAVE THIS

SMALL BUT SIGNIFICANT GROUP OF

KIDS WHO HAVE TO GO BACK TO

SCHOOL.

THEY HAVE TO SEPARATE FROM MOM

AND DAD.

SO IT IS PARTICULARLY DIFFICULT

BECAUSE IT'S BEEN SIX MONTHS.

IT'S KIND OF -- IMAGINE HOW HARD

IT IS FOR KIDS AFTER CHRISTMAS

VACATION OR A NORMAL SUMMER

VACATION.

HERE WE'VE BEEN DOING THIS SINCE

MARCH, THE SCHOOLS HAVE BEEN

CLOSED.

SO FOR THOSE KIDS, GOING BACK TO

SCHOOL IS GOING TO BE VERY, VERY

TOUGH.

THERE'S GOING TO BE A LOT OF

ANTICIPATORY ANXIETY.

THESE KIDS ARE ALREADY

SUFFERING, IF SCHOOL IS STARTING

TOMORROW OR NEXT WEEK, THEY'RE

ALREADY SUFFERING BECAUSE

THEY'RE WORRIED.

YOU WOULDN'T BE SURPRISED TO SEE

THESE KIDS MAYBE HAVE STOMACH

ACHES, HEADACHES, TELL THEIR

PARENTS THAT THEY MAY HAVE A

FEVER.

THEY JUST DON'T WANT TO BE APART

FROM THEIR PARENTS.

THAT'S ONE GROUP.

>> HOW ABOUT -- LET ME GET TO

THE NOTION OF SAFETY AND

CONCERNS FOR SAFETY.

FOR MONTHS NOW WE'VE BEEN

TELLING OUR CHILDREN, BE

CAREFUL, YOU CAN'T GO NEAR

PEOPLE.

THERE'S SICKNESS.

MY GRANDSON -- MY 5-YEAR-OLD

GRANDSON SAID TO ME THE OTHER

DAY, HE SAID, SO, WHEN THE

SICKNESS GOES AWAY, CAN WE GO

BACK TO THIS LITTLE MUSEUM.

I THOUGHT IN THEIR LITTLE MINDS

TO BE CONCERNED ABOUT THE

SICKNESS HERE.

NOW WE'RE SAYING TO THEM, OKAY,

LET'S GO BACK OUT.

>> IT'S WORSE THAN THAT, JACK.

WE'RE SAYING GO BACK AND BE

CAREFUL.

THERE'S STILL A VERY CATCHY OR

CONTAGIOUS VIRUS OR SICKNESS OUT

THERE, THAT THEY HAVE TO WASH

THEIR HANDS AND SING HAPPY

BIRTHDAY TWICE.

THEY HAVE TO WEAR A MASK.

TAKE A BASELINE, AN ANXIOUS

CHILD AND TELL THEM THEY HAVE TO

GO BACK TO SCHOOL WITH ALL THESE

PRECAUTIONS.

YOU CAN UNDERSTAND WHY MOM AND

DAD AND THE CHILD ARE ALL GOING

TO BE QUITE ANXIOUS.

YOU ALSO CAN TAKE A

HAPPY-GO-LUCKY TYPICALLY

DEVELOPING CHILD AND THEY'RE

GOING TO BE A LITTLE MORE

WORRIED THAN USUAL.

SO FOR PARENTS, PARENTS HAVE TO

BE ASSURED THAT THE SCHOOL IS

SAFE, THAT THEIR KIDS WILL BE

ABLE TO WEAR A MASK OR WASH

THEIR HANDS OR THEY'LL BE SOCIAL

DISTANCING AND THERE ARE

PRECAUTIONS THAT THEIR CHILD

WILL NOT BE PUT AT RISK AND

THEIR CHILD IS NOT PUTTING THEM

OR THEIR GRANDPARENTS AT RISK

FORGETTING COVID.

THEREFORE, PARENTS DON'T HAVE TO

SHARE ALL THEIR WORRIES WITH

THEIR KID.

THERE HAS TO BE A CERTAIN AMOUNT

OF YES, WHEN THE SICKNESS IS

GONE, WE'RE GOING BACK TO THAT

MUSEUM AND GETTING ON TOP OF IT.

THE WAY WE PROTECT EACH OTHER IS

BY WEARING MASKS, BY WASHING

HANDS AND WE, THE ADULTS, ARE

DOING THE RIGHT THING.

IF A PARENT E CAN'T FEEL

COMFORTABLE WITH THAT, THEY'LL

HAVE TO FIND SOME ALTERNATIVE TO

SCHOOL BECAUSE ANXIETY IS VERY

CONTAGIOUS.

THEIR KID WILL PICK UP ON YOUR

WORRY AND YOUR ANXIETY.

THERE'S NOTHING WRONG BE SAYING

I HAVE CONCERN -- THE FACT THE

SCHOOL IS DOING EVERYTHING

POSSIBLE.

EITHER TESTING OR TAKING YOUR

TEMPERATURE EVERY DAY OR THEY'RE

DOING ALL THE THINGS BETWEEN US

AND THEM TO MAKE SURE YOU'RE

SAFE.

>> ONE OF THE THINGS I ALWAYS

ENJOY ABOUT OUR CONVERSATIONS --

AND YOU AND I HAVE BEEN DOING

THIS FOR DECADES NOW -- IS THAT

YOU BRING TO THESE CONVERSATIONS

SOME TIPS, SOME POINTERS SAYING,

OKAY, HERE IS THE PROBLEM, HERE

IS HOW YOU DEAL WITH IT.

LET ME TAKE YOU THROUGH SOME OF

THESE.

YOU MENTIONED THE VALIDATING OF

HOW THE CHILD IS FEELING,

SETTING THE TONE FOR THEM.

ONE OF THE THINGS YOU TALK ABOUT

IS HELPING THE CHILDREN TO THINK

POSITIVELY.

HOW DO YOU DO THAT?

>> A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL KIDS AND

MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH

SCHOOLCHILDREN.

WE SHOULD SPLIT THAT UP.

THEY'RE DEVELOPMENTALLY

DIFFERENT.

BEING POSITIVE IS A MATTER OF

WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR IN

SCHOOL TODAY.

I WOULD ALWAYS SUGGEST TO THE

PARENT, WHEN YOU'RE DRIVING YOUR

CHILD TO SCHOOL, WALKING YOUR

CHILD TO SCHOOL, DON'T ASK THEM

WHAT THEY'RE WORRIED ABOUT.

THAT'S OPENING A PANDORA'S BOX.

ASKING THEM, WHAT IS THE GOOD

THING THAT'S GOING TO HAPPEN IN

SCHOOL TODAY?

WHAT'S YOUR FAVORITE ACTIVITY

GOING TO BE TODAY AND MAKING

SURE WHEN THE SCHOOL DAY ENDS,

ASKING WHAT GOOD THING HAPPENED

TODAY, IS A GOOD WAY TO START.

IT MEANS WE HAVE TO MODEL.

ONE OF THE THINGS I WOULD TELL

EVERY PARENT IS DURING THIS

PANDEMIC, GRATITUDE IS REALLY

IMPORTANT.

THEY SHOULD FIND TIME AT THE

DINNER TABLE OR BREAKFAST TABLE

TO SAY WHY THEY FEEL LUCKY AND

WHY THEY FEEL THANKFUL.

THAT'S THE WAY TO GET A CHILD TO

FEEL MORE POSITIVE.

BY THE WAY, MOST CHILDREN WANT

TO GO BACK TO SCHOOL.

THEY HAVE BEEN DYING TO

SOCIALIZE WITH THEIR FRIENDS AND

BE AWAY FROM THEIR PARENTS JUST

A LITTLE BIT, NO MATTER HOW MUCH

THEY LOVE GRANDMA AND GRANDPA

AND THEIR PARENTS.

THEY WANT TO BE BACK AT SCHOOL.

LOTS TO BE POSITIVE ABOUT.

PARENTS HAVE TO HIGHLIGHT THAT

FOR THEM INSTEAD OF HIGHLIGHTING

THE WORRIES AND CONCERNS.

>> YOU HAVE OTHER TIPS.

ON THE SURFACE YOU MIGHT SAY

THESE SOUND CONTRADICTORY BUT

THEY'RE CLEARLY NOT.

ONE THING IS TO HAVE A ROUTINE,

BUT ALSO ENCOURAGE SOME DEGREE

OF FLEXIBILITY.

EXPLAIN THOSE TWO.

>> THINK ABOUT IT.

FOR MANY PARENTS WHO HAVE HAD

THEIR KIDS ONLINE FOR EDUCATION,

AND THERE WILL BE MANY PARENTS

WHO WILL CONTINUE THIS, WHO WILL

NOT FEEL COMFORTABLE, THE DAY

COULD BE IN PAJAMAS THE WHOLE

DAY LONG.

THE WHOLE DAY COULD FEEL LIKE A

RAINY SATURDAY.

INSTEAD, EVERY DAY WE SHOULD

WAKE UP THE AT THE SAME TIME,

WASHING OUR FACE, BRUSHING OUR

TEETH, HAVING BREAKFAST AND

GETTING SET FOR THE DAY, WHETHER

IT'S IN FRONT OF THE SCREEN OR

WALKING TO SCHOOL, IT'S A MATTER

OF THIS IS WHAT THE DAY IS LIKE

BECAUSE SCHOOL IS WORK AND WE

HAVE TO WORK TODAY.

THAT'S REALLY IMPORTANT.

AT THE SAME TIME, WE NEED SOME

FLEXIBILITY.

IF THE SCREEN FREEZES, IF YOUR

KID HAS A HEADACHE, IF ALL OF A

SUDDEN THE CHALLENGES OF THE

LESSON ARE TOO MUCH ON THE

SCREEN, WE HAVE TO BE ABLE TO

TAKE BREAKS AND SAY DON'T WORRY

ABOUT IT, WE'LL FIX THIS AND

FIGURE OUT ANOTHER WAY FOR YOU

TO LEARN THIS PIECE OF

INFORMATION.

REMEMBER, THERE ARE MANY PARENTS

WHO ARE WORKING SIMULTANEOUSLY

TO HAVING THEIR CHILDREN BE

EDUCATED ON A SCREEN.

THIS IS A TRIPLE WHAMMY.

THEY WORK, THEY'RE A PARENT AND

NOW AN ASSISTANT TEACHER.

WE HAVE TO BE FLEXIBLE AND

UNDERSTANDING TO OURSELVES AND

TO OUR CHILDREN, THE DEMANDS

WE'RE PUTTING ON OUR CHILDREN.

>> WE'RE TALKING WITH DR. HALL

COP WITS, THE PRESIDENT OF THE

CHILD MIND INSTITUTE WITH TRIPS

FOR GOING BACK TO SCHOOL.

YOU MENTIONED EARLIER A

SIGNIFICANT DIFFERENCE BETWEEN

THE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL AGE AND

THE MIDDLE AND ESPECIALLY THE

HIGH SCHOOL.

TALK MORE ABOUT THE MIDDLE AND

HIGH SCHOOL AGE AND WHAT THEY

BRING IN TERMS OF CHALLENGES FOR

THIS TYPE OF SCHOOLING.

>> LET'S REMEMBER THAT

ADOLESCENCE IS AN INCREDIBLY

EXCITING TIME TO LEARN BUT ALSO

GET BAD HABITS, BUT ALSO WHERE

OPPORTUNITY TRUMPS RISK.

THERE'S A REASON YOU -- EVEN

THOUGH YOU CAN DRIVE WHEN YOU'RE

18.

THEY RECOGNIZE, THEY GO OVER THE

SPEED LIMIT, THEY DON'T THINK

ABOUT CAUSE AND EFFECT.

SO THEY WILL BE REALLY EXCITED

ABOUT GOING BACK TO SCHOOL, BUT

THEY COULD VERY EASILY FORGET

ABOUT THE RULES AND REGULATIONS.

WE'RE SEEING THAT IN COLLEGES

ACROSS THE COUNTRY WHERE SMART

KIDS ARE DOING STUPID THINGS.

THAT'S GOING TO REQUIRE PARENTS

TO CHECK IN WITH THEIR KIDS A

LOT FOR TWO REASONS.

ONE, TO MAKE SURE THEY'RE ABLE

TO FOLLOW THOSE RULES.

REMEMBER WHEN YOUR MOTHER SAID,

YOU KNOW, I WANT TO BE JUST LIKE

EVERYONE ELSE, AND YOUR MOTHER

SAID, WELL, JACK, IF EVERYONE

JUMPS OFF THE GEORGE WASHINGTON

BRIDGE, WOULD YOU -- MOST

PROBABLY.

>> FIRST OF ALL, ALL OUR MOTHERS

SAID THAT TO YOU.

AND SECONDLY, THE ANSWER IS

YEAH, PROBABLY.

>> THEREFORE, WE HAVE TO BE THE

CONSCIENCE FOR OUR KIDS,

REMINDING THEM IT'S DANGEROUS TO

JUMP OFF THE BRIDGE, DANGEROUS

TO TAKE OFF THE MASK, DANGEROUS

TO HOOK UP.

THE OTHER THING WE CAN BE FOOLED

BY IS OUR TEENAGERS CAN LOOK

LIKE THEY'RE HAVING A GREAT TIME

AND EVERYTHING IS FINE.

I WOULD RECOMMEND TO PARENTS OF

MIDDLE SCHOOL AND HIGH SCHOOL

AGED KIDS, CHECK IN MORE

FREQUENTLY.

ASK THEM HOW THEY'RE FEELING

AFTER SCHOOL, NOT BEFORE SCHOOL.

ASK THEM HOW THEY'RE DOING WITH

THEIR SUBJECTS.

IS IT DIFFICULT TO BE IN SCHOOL

AND NOT TOUCH PEOPLE?

IS IT HARD NOT TO HAVE LUNCH?

REALLY TRY TO MAKE CONNECTIONS.

REMEMBER, THOSE CONNECTIONS ARE

SMALL CONNECTIONS.

DO NOT GO INTO LECTURE MODE.

ASK A FEW QUESTIONS, AND IF YOU

DON'T GET THE ANSWERS YOU WANT

OR YOU DON'T HAVE THE ENGAGEMENT

YOU WANT, LET IT GO AND PICK IT

UP A LITTLE LATER.

NOTHING WORSE THAN A LECTURE TO

KILL A CONVERSATION.

>> I DO WANT TO -- LAST QUESTION

FOR YOU.

I DO WANT TO TOUCH BASE WITH

SOME OF THE THINGS THAT YOUR

ORGANIZATION, THE CHILD MIND

INSTITUTE IS DOING IN

CONJUNCTION WITH THE NEW YORK

CITY DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION.

I FOUND IT FASCINATING.

GIVE ME A SENSE OF SOME OF THE

ACTIVITIES THAT YOU'RE ENGAGED

IN WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF

EDUCATION.

>> LET'S REMEMBER THAT NEW YORK

CITY HAS THE LARGEST PUBLIC

SCHOOL SYSTEM IN THE WORLD.

AND I THINK IT'S REMARKABLE WITH

EVERYTHING THEY HAVE TO DO, THAT

THEY ARE RECOGNIZED THIS IS

GOING TO BE A DEMANDING YEAR

PSYCHOLOGICALLY FOR THEIR

STUDENTS.

SO WE'VE ESTABLISHED A PROGRAM

WITH THEM WHERE WE'RE OFFERING

WEBINARS THAT HOPEFULLY EVERY

EDUCATOR IN THE SCHOOL SYSTEM

WILL SEE AS TO HOW TO UNDERSTAND

ANXIETY, HOW TO UNDERSTAND BASIC

CHILD MENTAL HEALTH 101 AND SO

THEY ARE BETTER PREPARED TO

RECOGNIZE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS IF

THEY COME UP WITH ANXIETY IN

THEIR STUDENTS.

NUMBER TWO, WE DECIDED TO

DEVELOP AN EDUCATOR HELP LINE.

IF THEY FEEL LIKE THEY'RE HAVING

TROUBLE WITH CLASSROOM

MANAGEMENT, IF THEY SEE A CHILD

THEY'RE WORRIED ABOUT, IT'S

REALLY IMPORTANT WITHOUT ANY RED

TAPE THEY CAN GET ON THE PHONE

AND GET A TRAINED CLINICIAN TO

TALK TO THEM FOR AT LEAST 30

MINUTES TO RECOGNIZE WHETHER OR

NOT THIS IS REAL PATHOLOGY OR

THIS IS REACTION TO COVID OR IF

THIS IS JUST NORMAL DEVELOPMENT.

THIRD WE'VE DEVELOPED WELLNESS

TOOL KITS WHICH ARE A DIGITAL

VERSION OF THE SOCIAL AND

EMOTIONAL LEARNING THAT WE GIVE

TO TEACHERS ALL OVER THE

COUNTRY.

THIS WAY THEY'RE BETTER PREPARED

THAN EVER BEFORE WHICH IS REALLY

WHAT THEY NEED THIS YEAR.

IT'S ALMOST LIKE THE FIRE DRILL.

THEY HAVE NEW TOOLS IN THEIR

TOOL BOX SO WHEN THIS YEAR

STARTS, THEY KNOW THAT THEY ARE

MORE REASSURED ABOUT THEIR

ABILITY TO TEACH THESE KIDS.

>> I THINK THE BOTTOM LINE FOR

ALL OF US, AS ALWAYS FROM YOU

WONDERFUL IDEAS AND POINTERS,

THE BOTTOM LINE IS THERE ARE

PLACES TO GO FOR HELP IF YOU

NEED HELP AS A PARENT AND AS A

TEACHER.

ONCE AGAIN, DR. HALL COP WITS,

ALWAYS A PLEASURE TALKING WITH

YOU.

WE ALWAYS LEARN SO MUCH.

YOU BE WELL.

WE'LL TALK AGAIN SOON.

>> YOU, TOO, JACK.

STAY WELL.

>> TAKE CARE.

>>> "METROFOCUS" IS MADE

POSSIBLE BY SUE AND EDGAR

WACHENHEIM III, SYLVIA A. AND

SIMON B. POYTA PROGRAMMING

ENDOWMENT TO FIGHT

ANTI-SEMITISM, BARBARA HOPE

ZUCKERBERG, JANET PRINDLE

SEIDLER, JODY AND JOHN ARNHOLD,

CHERYL AND PHILIP MILSTEIN

FAMILY, BERNARD AND DENISE

SCHWARTZ, JUDY AND JOSH WESTON,

DR. ROBERT C. AND TINA SOHN

FOUNDATION.