Weather: Today will be cool, sunny and breezy — the way that I always want it to be. Temperatures are expected to top out in the high 50s around 4 p.m.
Alternate-side parking: In effect until April 18 (Holy Thursday).
New York City is experiencing one of the largest measles outbreaks in the United States in decades, with 285 confirmed cases since the fall, mainly in ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities in Brooklyn.
On Tuesday, city officials declared a public health emergency, requiring people in four ZIP codes in Brooklyn to get vaccinated or face penalties.
“We are absolutely certain we have the power to do this,” Mayor de Blasio said at a news conference in Brooklyn. “This is the epicenter of a measles outbreak.”
[Read more about New York City’s public health emergency and the fight against measles.]
[“Monkey, rat and pig DNA”: How misinformation is driving the measles outbreak among ultra-Orthodox Jews.]
The city declared a public health emergency. Now what?
The city is focusing on four ZIP codes in Williamsburg and Borough Park, Brooklyn: 11205, 11206, 11211 and 11249.
People living, working or going to school in those areas who also have come into contact with someone who has measles now have three options:
• Get vaccinated.
• Prove that they already were vaccinated.
• Pay a fine of $1,000 for each time they were exposed to the disease.
How will the city know if someone was in contact with a person who has measles?
That’s the job of disease detectives. No, seriously: That’s what they’re called.
Disease detectives figure out who is sick, when they became sick and how they might have gotten sick, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. This information helps doctors and health officials trace the source of an outbreak and ultimately contain it.
Or, if you prefer another reference point: A disease detective is like the character Brad Pitt played in the movie “World War Z.”
Will the city vaccinate people against their will?
“We will not be forcibly vaccinating individuals,” a City Hall spokeswoman, Marcy Miranda, wrote in an email to The Times. Officials “will work with people to educate them about the safety and importance of vaccines and will issue necessary fines as needed,” she wrote.
Why is measles spreading? Wasn’t it eradicated?
Years ago, the number of confirmed measles cases in the United States dropped to a very low point, but the virus was never eliminated.
In recent years, vaccination rates worldwide fell, largely because of misinformation about the dangers of vaccinations.
To be clear: Vaccines are safe, and not getting vaccinated enables the disease to spread.
What have other places done to stop measles outbreaks?
Rockland County, a suburban area north of the city, tried banning unvaccinated individuals from public spaces, restaurants, shopping areas and houses of worship last month.
A judge recently halted the policy.
From The Times
A New York City firefighter went to serve in Afghanistan. He was killed by a roadside bomb.
“Jane Doe Ponytail” died in New York. Now her brother is taking her home to China.
Bob Slade, a distinguished voice on black radio, has died. He was 70.
Two women were killed on a beach vacation in 1973. A DNA test just led to an arrest.
A night at the museum with beer and skulls.
How Gold’s Horseradish became a Passover staple.
[Want more news from New York and around the region? Check out our full coverage.]
The mini crossword: Here is today’s puzzle.
What we’re reading
Bad veterinarians rarely face punishment in New York. [The City]
Cardinal Timothy Dolan announced plans to create up to 2,000 units of below-market-rate housing in New York City over the next decade. [amNew York]
Meet the 16 people who may decide the fate of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
A Mount Vernon couple missing since last month may have been found dead in the Dominican Republic. [Daily News]
Yes, new bars and restaurants are trying to look vintage. [Grub Street]
Coming up today
Marc Lamont Hill, a professor at Temple University, talks about the concept of solidarity at New York University’s Kimmel Center for University Life in Manhattan. 6:30 p.m. [Free]
A night of comedy dedicated to “Game of Thrones,” ahead of the HBO show’s final season, at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater in Manhattan. 9 p.m. [$10.50]
“Ask Me Another,” the NPR and WNYC live show that mixes trivia games with comedy and music, returns to the Bell House in Brooklyn with a special guest, the actress and comedian Retta. 6:45 p.m. [$20]
— Iman Stevenson
Events are subject to change, so double-check before heading out. For more events, see the going-out guides from The Times’s culture pages.
And finally: Bionics and brain waves, on display
Are humans shaping technology, or is technology shaping us?
You may find answers at an exhibit called “Bionic Me,” at the New York Hall of Science in Queens.
There’s an ethics test in which participants record their answers not by filling out a sheet of paper or pressing buttons on a keyboard, but with “eye-motion tracking technology,” said Lauren Parikhal, a marketing and communications manager at the Hall of Science.
There is also an exoskeleton that children can climb into and, with a little help from a computer screen, act “as if they were a superhuman-strong robot on a factory floor,” she said.
One of the more challenging features involves two balls inside a tube, connected to a computer that measures brain waves.
The goal is to get the ball to hover higher than your opponent’s. To get the ball to hover higher in the tube, you have to lower your brain wave activity.
“You can see the calmness of your brain directly related to the position of the ball in the tube,” Ms. Parikhal said. “I see some kids struggle with it because they don’t really understand what it means to take a deep breath and clear your mind.”
“Bionic Me” is open until May 5.
Admission to the Hall of Science is $16 for adults, $13 for children and seniors.
It’s Wednesday — let your geek flag fly.
Metropolitan Diary: Close to home
I am an inveterate jogger. Once, when I was out for a run on a Wednesday night in 1979, I had a memorable meeting with a motorist in distress at the northbound 96th Street exit off the F.D.R. Drive.
I had run up that way from my apartment in Stuyvesant Town on East 20th Street.
I was about to turn around at 96th Street and head back south when I saw a driver stopped at the side of the road in a way that suggested car trouble. It was my sister. She worked on the West Side then and commuted from Westchester County.
Adding to the magic of the coincidence was that even though I have never been mechanically inclined, I was able to make a temporary repair that got her back on the road.
The problem was a disconnected exhaust pipe. I asked my sister to give me her stockings. Then I shimmied under the car and used them to tie the pipe to the chassis.
In about five minutes, we were on our way: she to Westchester, and me back to 20th Street.
— John McMahon