Coronavirus Update From New York City: January 14, 2021

I hope all my readers around the country and the world are staying healthy and safe. Here are some updates from how my family is doing, and how New York is doing, during this pandemic over the past week.

My family is continuing to stay physically healthy. We’re all missing the in-person interaction with people other than each other (as much as we love each other), but at the same time the caution we’ve exercised has, I think, helped us stay healthy. This is not to say that all people who catch COVID refuse to follow precautions, but I am saying that our precautions are helping.

That’s not to say that practicing precautions are fun and easy. Among the tougher precautions has been not going to church, even though theoretically I could go to church since Catholic churches in my area are remaining open. While I would love to go to church, it seems unwise for me to go to an enclosed church in a COVID hotspot (and I think it is unwise for churches to be open in COVID hotspots as bad as mine by the way). For those from church who are reading this, I look forward to going back to church, but only once COVID is more under control in the neighborhood.

How out of control is it? The positivity rate is over 15% in my neighborhood–high enough that it seems to be of utmost importance to act with caution right now about the virus. Even more concerning to me is the fact that Jamaica Hospital in Queens, the closest major hospital to where I live, reports using 1/3 of their adult impatient beds on COVID-19 patients and an astonishing 73% of their ICU beds on COVID-19 patients.[1] When everything is added up, as of January 11th, 92% of total adult impatient beds are filled at my neighborhood hospital, and 95% of total ICU beds are filled. I think it is important for me to be transparent about these statistics because I don’t think even a lot of people in my own neighborhood realize quite how serious things are–serious enough that we run the real risk of not being able to care for everyone.

So, I beg people in general, but particularly people in my area, to wear your masks, to practice social distancing, to be cautious if you have COVID symptoms, and to minimize the amount of time you spend interacting with people outside your COVID bubble. People’s lives and livelihoods depend on it.

[1] To put these numbers into context, based on what medical experts are saying, these percentages indicate that Jamaica Hospital is under “extreme stress” from COVID-19. Also, I’m getting my hospital capacity data from a National Public Radio article using data from the Department of Health and Human Services as well as the University of Minnesota COVID-19 Hospitalization Tracking Project. This was where I found the data from NPR: If you want to do a search for how your local hospital is doing, scroll down in the article I link to and do a search for your county.

30 Replies to “Coronavirus Update From New York City: January 14, 2021”

      1. Over the past few months, I know a lot of people who have lost parents and other relatives. It is really horrible and tragic. My family is still safe, and we work hard to remain that way. I am glad your family are recovered.

        Liked by 3 people

  1. Glad you are staying safe and following precautions. This have gone from bad to worse here in Windsor/Essex, Ontario. They are now having to send patients over an hour away to hospitals that have room. Our ICU beds are full and they have cancelled all non-emergency surgeries. We are in lockdown and told to stay home unless essential, but so many non-essential services are open for curbside pickup. Our churches are closed except to prepare for online services, our schools are closed and they are fining people who are not following the requirements. I pray this ends soon. The vaccine can’t get into my arm soon enough.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. Goodness me, it sounds like you all are in crisis mode in your part of Canada. At least you all over in your part of Canada is willing to really ramp up the precautions if needed–a willingness severely lacking in parts of the United States.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m glad most people by where you are seem to be taking the precautions seriously. If I’m honest, one issue we’ve had in the U.S. is that people often haven’t taken the precautions seriously.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Glad you and your family are doing well, it is scary how quickly the hospital beds fill. What scares me is that once vaccinations start in earnest people with stop adhering to the restrictions. We don’t know how long it will be effective for etc.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Yep. And I am definitely quite concerned about how much hospital beds have been filling up.

      With regards to the vaccines, you’re right–people need to continue taking precautions even after they take the vaccines. But I worry that people will instead let their guard down.

      Liked by 1 person

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