Back in March, when the pall of the pandemic hung over the city, and long stretches of Broadway were as desolate as a dry creek bed, the New York Police Department began enforcing a mandate to observe social-distancing measures. Between March 17th and May 4th, the Times reported, the police made forty arrests for social-distancing violations; thirty-five of those arrested were African-Americans. Deployed to fight a virus, the N.Y.P.D. delivered the same kind of slanted tallies that result when it is deployed to fight narcotics. COVID-19 has been the defining crisis of the year. But the racially skewed arrest numbers—like the racially skewed numbers associated with infections, hospitalizations, and fatalities—suggest that our perennial problem remains the disparities that mar the society into which the virus was introduced.