I hope that everybody had a good Memorial Day weekend!
Everyone in my immediate family remains healthy. That being said, I’m glad that I’m not spending tons of time in public, because at times I get allergies that can cause me to have coughing fits (and coughing fits that can result in people being concerned about me). Employment continues to not be an issue for me, though I am knowing more and more people who are having issues with being furloughed or unemployed.
The situation is continuing to move in the right direction in New York City and New York State.
At the state level, nine of the state’s ten regions are beginning the process of reopening their economies, though I must emphasize that it is a process. There are four phases involved in reopening a region in New York, and these regions are only beginning to enter the first phase. Nevertheless, it is a positive step that we’re seemingly having the pandemic enough under control that we can begin to reopen things. It is also a positive step that daily deaths from COVID-19 in New York State has dropped below 100 on a regular basis.
The only region that has not begun that process of reopening is…New York City. We don’t yet have the adequate contact tracing, and we don’t yet have a high enough availability of hospital beds to reopen safely; for those two reasons, we are not able to reopen yet. That being said, our numbers are trending in the right direction even in New York City, and I am hopeful that in the next couple of weeks, New York City will also begin the process of a measured and safe reopening.
With many places reopening (including most of New York State), I think it is worth discussing what the “endgame” is for these weekly COVID update posts. My plan is that I will continue doing these update posts until it is clear that New York City is opening up safely (which, to me, means that the situation in New York City looks okay for a month to six weeks after beginning to reopen). I think it is important to document for curious readers how the reopening process is going, and whether the situation continues to improve or not where I am. If, after four-six weeks, the reopening appears to be going safely, then I will wind down these weekly update posts. However, if the much-feared second wave of the virus comes, these weekly updates would return at a later point. And, of course, if the reopening doesn’t go well, then I will continue these updates, so that my readers know how things are going in New York.
I hope that others are doing well! I’m hearing mixed reviews of how reopening is going in various states and regions.
P.S. For those of you into numbers, I encourage you to visit New York’s Regional Monitoring Dashboard. This dashboard allows you to see how all the regions of New York State (New York City being one of them) is performing with several critical metrics that need to be met before reopening begins: decline in hospitalizations, decline in hospital deaths, new hospitalizations, hospital bed availability, ICU bed availability, testing capacity, and contact tracing capacity.
P.P.S. I actually intended to publish this tomorrow. I thought I had this scheduled for tomorrow at 6, but instead I published this today at 6. Oh well. Tomorrow evening is busy for me anyway, so perhaps it’s better that I have my update today. Future update posts will be on Thursdays, starting next Thursday.