New Yorkers share mixed feelings following Brussels bombings, some say they are ‘desensitized’ - Metro US

New Yorkers share mixed feelings following Brussels bombings, some say they are ‘desensitized’

Commuters arriving at the Fulton Center in Manhattan.
Angy Altamirano/Metro

For some New Yorkers, the recent bombings in Brussels have added an extra reason to keep an eye out when commuting to and from home but for some, the attacks just seem like a part of every day life.

A day after the deadly bombings that claimed the lives of over 30 innocent people in Belgium, Metro spoke to commuters on how they feel in the wake of the attacks.

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Commuter Anne Wu said that she hadn’t thought about the attacks since Tuesday but that alone makes her worried that the violence has become such a norm that she has become desensitized to it all.

“Honestly I haven’t even though about it since yesterday when it happened, which in itself is kind of scary,” Wu said. “Like, just moving on since this seem to keep happening.”

She added that she doesn’t really know enough of what the city is doing in terms of keeping resident safe, which could mean everything being done is actually making a difference.

“Maybe that means it’s working, since it’s not on my mind. That, or I’m now desensitized to all of this, which is so much worse,” Wu said.

Nesha S. from Brooklyn, who goes to school in Manhattan, also feels like New Yorkers are used to always feeling like they have to keep an extra eye out on things surrounding them, especially after the Sept. 11 attacks.

“I guess because we’re New Yorkers we tend to keep an eye out. We’re not going to let something happen,” she said. “We’re experienced with it.”

She added that she does feel safe when commuting because she notices there is a lot of police presence and sites with a lot of people — like the Fulton Center or World Trade Center — are always being watched to prevent anything from happening.

“I do feel secure, there’s always a lot of protection,” she said.

However for Angela Morales, who has been living in New York for 16 years and lived only blocks away from the Twin Towers during the Sept. 11 attacks, the recent bombings have made her terrified.

“I feel so scared about ISIS,” Morales said. “I want to be home all the time. I feel nervous on the trains.”

She said that she is now making sure to avoid largely populated areas such as Times Square or Union Square out of fear that something might happen. Although she said she sees a lot of police presence, she feels like more can be done because thing still seem vulnerable.

She added that she suggest places have explosive detectors and also dogs that could sniff out any danger that a regular person would not notice.

Commuter Paul Alarcon from Brooklyn also agreed that Tuesday’s bombings in Brussels have left people feeling nervous about what could happen next especially for a city as big as New York.

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He added that he thanks the NYPD for doing everything they are doing and hopes that it is enough to prevent anything from happening.

“With these people you never know,” Alarcon said. “You don’t know if the guy next to you is a friend or someone who wants to hurt you.”

On Tuesday, the NYPD said additional counterterrorism resources have been deployed across the city and teams have been deployed to crowded areas and transit sites to “provide police presence and public reassurance as they closely follow the situation overseas.”

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