I hope that my readers are healthy and safe, regardless of where you are. I also hope that my readers exercised caution, if they did anything for Super Bowl Sunday last weekend. Here are the latest updates I have on how COVID-19 is going in my hometown.
Everyone in my family remains COVID-free. Some of us in the family are definitely experiencing burnout from all the time spent online and on Zoom, as well as the relative lack of time outdoors lately due to the snow, ice, and cold hitting my area the last couple of weeks. Spring is right around the corner (or already here, if you’re a believer in listening to a groundhog in New York City), so I believe that this weather too shall pass.
The test positivity rate in my zip code is at 13.1%, which is still among the highest test positivity rates of all the zip codes in New York City. The COVID rate remains high enough that I think it is of the utmost importance to continue acting with caution. It is out of this cautiousness that I’m not going for indoor dining, not gathering with other people right now, and not going in-person to my church–it just seems too risky with the positivity rate as high as it is in my neighborhood.
If anyone is interested in reading about the issues that have plagued my neighborhood in terms of both testing and vaccinations (namely, not being a priority for either until recently)–in spite of having one of the highest test positivity rates in New York City for a couple of months now–I encourage you to read a recent Washington Post article about said issues (assuming you can get through their paywall or haven’t exhausted your quota of free Washington Post articles for the month). I must admit that I’m somewhat amazed that the paper noticed issues in my neighborhood, but kudos to the writers of the article for noticing us in the first place, let alone writing a detailed article about the area by where I live.
Of concern is the fact that we are starting to record more cases of the COVID variant from the United Kingdom here in New York City. In the past week, we have recorded 18 cases of the variant here in New York City, though I wouldn’t be surprised if that total were much higher, given how easily the UK variant of this spreads.
One person continuing to not act with caution is my governor, Andrew Cuomo. I reported in last week’s post that indoor dining is returning, albeit at reduced capacity, for Valentine’s Day. The start of indoor dining has been pushed up two days now, to February 12th, with the intention of giving restaurants the opportunity to profit off of a whole Valentine’s Day weekend worth of business. Let me be clear–while there may be some areas where it is safe to return to outdoor dining, it is absolutely not safe to return to this in places like mine, places where the test positivity rate is well into the double digits. I know my governor has sometimes wanted to say that he “follows the science,” but I’m not aware of any science suggesting that indoor dining in a COVID hotspot is a good idea.
With regards to the vaccines, the fact of the matter is that the demand for the vaccines, even among the populations of those eligible for them, seems to far outpace the existing supply. While it sounds like supply is on the increase, demand is also quite high. I expect this issue to continue for the next few weeks, at least.
That’s enough in terms of updates from me this week. How are all of you, my readers, doing?