Baby Ashton was born February 13 - it was an emergency delivery because Jimenez was battling COVID. His mom lost her battle, never having the chance to hold, in her arms, the baby she carried with care for nearly nine months.
JIM DOLAN: As the weary young travelers hurried from the gate at Newark Airport after returning from COVID-ravaged Italy, they did what they had always done-- not knowing it would become suddenly so dangerous.
- Hey, sweetie.
- At first it didn't seem too bad. But then Milan, which was up north of us, started getting a lot worse a lot quicker. But it was time to get out.
JIM DOLAN: That was January 28. And by then, with planes coming in every day from Italy and Iran and China, where the virus was already raging, it was here-- on American soil, and most certainly here in New York. The virus that would claim thousands of lives, that would shut down a nation and the biggest city in that nation, was working on its mission from the shadows.
- When the fever got added to it, that's when I started getting nervous.
- Everyone's scared.
- And I went over there and they were bringing him out. He says, I've been sick for two weeks.
- I'm scared for them.
- This is dangerous. Uh uh. My daughter has asthma. She got to go home.
- I'm scared for myself.
- You never know, you know? I got it? I don't got it? Who got it? Who don't?
JIM DOLAN: Soon we would all be a little confused and frightened for ourselves and for our loved ones. For a time, it seemed the ravages of the coronavirus were a world away.
- The number of cases worldwide has leapt to 60,000. That's up 15,000 since yesterday.
We've got new details out of China tonight about the spreading coronavirus. 259 people are now dead and there are nearly 11,800 confirmed cases there.
JIM DOLAN: But the lack of confirmed coronavirus patients in New York--
- Health officials are emphasizing that there are no cases of the coronavirus right now in the five Boroughs.
JIM DOLAN: --was an illusion.
- If you're not testing anybody, then no one's infected, right?
- In all likelihood, there is ongoing low level transmission.
JIM DOLAN: Even after tests were developed, the process was agonizingly slow in the beginning. It took weeks to distribute them. It took days just to analyze them. But the virus was moving much faster.
- The risk for all of us of becoming infected will be increasing.
JIM DOLAN: And for New York, it started March 1.
- The first confirmed case here in New York City.
JIM DOLAN: A woman in her 30s who had recently traveled to Iran.
- What we're seeing is the tip of the iceberg.
JIM DOLAN: Indeed, largely undetected, the novel coronavirus was busy.
- We will have more cases. We will have community spread.
- Washing your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds.
JIM DOLAN: Health officials were giving primers on the most effective ways to prevent the spread of the virus. And people were listening.
- People stocking up on hand sanitizer.
- Online just today we found three bottles of this-- 4 ounce bottles of hand sanitizer-- going for $110.
- The amount of people I've observed hoarding bottled water is unbelievable.
- It is no time to panic, but it is time to be prepared.
- While the numbers were still rising on the West Coast, New York had so far just a single case-- until New Rochelle.
- There are new developments on the coronavirus outbreak.
- A prominent member of the synagogue tested positive. The patient commuted to Manhattan via Metro North. The next day, there was a funeral and a bat mitzvah.
JIM DOLAN: A lawyer who infected his wife and two children, and another family, and a friend. And all of them went on to infect other people-- a total of 18 cases traced just to one man.
- We could well be at 100 cases or hundreds of cases over the next two or three weeks.
JIM DOLAN: The numbers, especially in Westchester County, were growing.
- This is the hot spot.
- Here in Westchester County the number of cases today nearly doubled.
- Now we have at least 80.
- New York state has 105 cases.
- 142 positive cases.
JIM DOLAN: The virus was fighting aggressively to take root in New York and New Jersey. And so far, there was little done to stop it. The MTA was sanitizing trains, but only every three days. And the subway stations were cleaned every other day. Crammed, bustling, packed New York was about to learn the virtue of distance.
- We simply want to reduce the number of people on mass transit, just to open up some more space. And this is really crucial.
- I know the words state of emergency can be jarring.
- This is not the time to be going to large gatherings. So use your discretion.
JIM DOLAN: The hot spot, growing still in New Rochelle, would force the state's hand to become more aggressive. Governor Andrew Cuomo would wage the first battle where the enemy was most aggressive.
- Starting Thursday, restrictions will be in place around the Young Israel of New Rochelle synagogue. It will impact the area within a one mile radius.
- Schools and houses of worship will be closed for cleaning. The National Guard will be brought in to help.
- So many cases in such a small area. Governor Andrew Cuomo says he's determined to contain it.
- The numbers continue to go up. The numbers are going up unabated.
- New Rochelle containment zone for a mile radius around the Young Israel synagogue would become deserted. Businesses shuttered. Restaurants empty. It was supposed to last 10 days, but in those 10 days, the state and the nation-- much of the world-- would shut down, too.
- The World Health Organization today declaring that the coronavirus outbreak is now a world pandemic.
ANTHONY FAUCI: We would recommend that there not be large crowds. If that means not having any people in the audience when the NBA plays, so be it.
- No fans for the NCAA tournament games.
- The New York City half marathon has been canceled for this Sunday. And the New York Auto Show scheduled for April has just been postponed.
JIM DOLAN: America's experience with the coronavirus was only starting. But in Europe, it had been raging for weeks. And planes full of tourists and business people were landing here every day. That, too, was about to change.
- From the Oval Office tonight, the president announced his boldest steps yet to combat the nationwide spread of the novel coronavirus.
DONALD TRUMP: To keep new cases from entering our shores, we will be suspending all travel from Europe to the United States for the next 30 days.
- Wall Street in a freefall once again over the coronavirus fears and economic fallout. The Dow plunging 2,300 points.
JIM DOLAN: The markets had been skittish since the outbreak began.
- Freefall, dramatic one. The Dow down more than 969 points.
- It keeps going lower and lower.
- The Dow dropping 1,400 points.
- I'm wondering, like, my investments, my 401(k), above all.
- The biggest one day point drop in the history of the country, the Dow down more than 2,000 points.
- How low is it going to drop? What's going to happen?
JIM DOLAN: Wall Street as confused as the rest of the world.
- The Dow soaring 1,167 points.
JIM DOLAN: Was taking dramatic swings up--
- The Dow climbing nearly 2,000 points--
JIM DOLAN: --and down depending on the news of the day. But the news of the day was getting darker at a dizzying pace.
- The number of big developments today-- head spinning.
- And the world around us seemingly grinding to a halt.
- It does seem like the world turned upside down in the course of just a few hours.
- No gathering with 500 people or more.
- New Jersey Governor Murphy has now banned gatherings of more than 250 people.
- Parades, rallies, concerts, sports events.
- Museums, Broadway shows, theme parks.
- One producer has $20 million invested in his show. And he may lose every bit of that.
- There you see it. The players have left the court.
- And the big news late this afternoon, Major League Baseball suspending operations.
- Just disappointed, and hopefully it's something that we get figured out pretty soon.
- In a day, the most vibrant city in America was closing its doors-- whole segments of the churning steam engine of an economy were shutting down and throwing thousands of people out of work. And it wasn't just New York. It was nationwide and happening in real time.
- Just got word that Disneyland and California Ventures will be closing.
- Now, this continues for a month, two months. All my staff is worried.
- It's just scary. I think we have to do this. We got to contain it.
JIM DOLAN: Restaurants and bars, gyms and casinos would all close in the days that followed. The economy would run now on what would be called "essential services." The governor banned groups of more than 50 people. But even those look dangerous now. Through all this, the mayor and the governor struggled to keep schools open. But that clearly was no longer an option.
- Closing the schools is a fraught decision for one day with a snowstorm coming. Now imagine this crisis, which could end up leading to schools closed for months.
- We have to close the school system. I said we have-- every time we open our school system, 1.4 million people move around the city of New York. That's students and staff. I said, we're being told that shouldn't be happening.
- It's chaos. It's pure, pure, utter chaos. I'm hoping they don't. What of parents who work? What are they going to do?
JIM DOLAN: Finally, on Sunday, March 15--
- As of tomorrow, our public schools will be closed.
- He made the announcement tonight, giving parents only one evening to make this reality work.
- I'm not sure how I'm going to put a five-year-old in front of a computer for several hours per day.
JIM DOLAN: The lockdown had begun. Bars and restaurants were closed. Businesses were shuttered. People were home and they knew it was just getting started. By March 16, a total of eight people had died from COVID-related illness in the state of New York. Before it was over, 100 times that many would die in a single day. The COVID crisis was beginning.