Coronavirus Update From New York City: March 11, 2021

I just listened to President Biden’s address to the nation on the COVID relief legislation he signed, as well as on the pandemic as a whole. As such, now seems as good a time as any to publish my weekly COVID update.

Ironically, the day I am posting this is also the day last year that I had my last relatively “normal” day in terms of heading to a work office, working at that office, and heading home. The following day, which was Thursday, March 12th, things were changing a lot. And, just a few days later, the whole world around me was getting topsy-turvy.

Since then, a lot of us around the United States and around the world have been through so much pain and loss, through loved ones and friends and friends of friends getting gravely ill or dying of COVID-19. The change of lifestyle has been jarring, but what really gets to me is the number of people who’ve been so severely affected by this pandemic. What also gets to me is the fact that, if we followed the public health guidance as a society, many of those deaths could have been avoided.

Now that I’ve ended my mini-rant on the anniversary of things starting to change, you all might be happy to know that my parents are getting their second COVID vaccines before long! I haven’t gotten my first dose yet, but I’m also much younger than they are and don’t have any conditions or occupations that justify my getting the vaccine at this stage. I’m really happy that my parents will be fully vaccinated soon, though. Hopefully, as more of us get vaccinated, and as enough of us hopefully take the precautions needed, we can maybe get to a “modified normal” before long where we can see family members and close friends. One can only hope.

This is a hope that President Biden shares. He thinks that with enough vaccination and cooperation with public health guidance, we could be able to gather around and celebrate on Independence Day, which is July 4th for my readers from outside the United States. Given the rebellious nature of some individuals and states, I am skeptical as to whether we will actually get there. Perhaps America will prove my skepticism wrong.

The test positivity rate for the virus is at just under 10% in my part of New York City, which is more or less stable compared to where we were last week. That seems to be a microcosm of the larger nationwide trend, which is also indicating that the number of positive cases for the virus has also plateaued from what I have heard. While that plateau is at a much lower level than where we were during the awful holiday season (in terms of number of cases and deaths), we really do need to try and get the infection rate even lower.

With all that being said, what are the memories that you, my readers, have from the first days of COVID (if they aren’t too wounding to share)? Obviously I have a lot of memories (some of which I posted here and some of which I didn’t), but I think it’s important to give voice to the stories of others too.

14 Replies to “Coronavirus Update From New York City: March 11, 2021”

  1. That’s great news about your parents Brendan. Biden’s speech reinforced my hope that we’ll soon all be able to be vaccinated. Well, those of us who aren’t followers of people like Tucker Carlson anyway. I can’t believe it’s been a year. My husband and I have been lucky in that neither we nor anyone we’re close to or know, have gotten sick. The worst for us has been the anxiety and feelings of isolation. I don’t think I’ll be completely relaxed, even after receiving the vaccine, but it will help.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I totally understand not feeling completely relaxed even after getting vaccinated. It’s been a stressful time and it can be tough to let go of that stress.

      All that being said, I’m glad that nobody you’re close to has gotten sick from COVID. Consider yourselves lucky. My dad knows someone personally who died of COVID a couple of weeks ago.

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  2. I wrote a month or so of entries for my isolation diaries – it was a bit of a rollercoaster here in the UK but I saw the writing on the wall. It was a time of relief that I wasn’t having to battle each morning with a commute, but also intense concern that the policies were nowhere near good enough and I was telling loved ones to stock up etc. Been a crazy year that’s pretty much accelerated my process of what I had planned for life – besides the fact I feel I’ve aged 5 years!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hopefully that acceleration will turn out to be a good thing for you! But yeah, it was a rollercoaster in the UK from what I heard, much like it was in a lot of other places.

      Interestingly, even though I live in a different part of the world (New York City), I had the same concern you did at the time about measures being nowhere near aggressive enough.

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  3. I’m grateful that my sons and I have survived the past year safe and well. Six more days and I’ll get my second dose of the vaccine. Before starting self-isolation on March 12 last year, I had my last dental appointment on March 10th and last writers’ critique group meeting on March 11th. I look forward to the day that I can feel safe among relatives and friends again.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay!!! I’m glad that you’ll be getting your second dose soon. That, along with public health precautions, will hopefully get us to some level of normalcy.

      So interestingly, it was around the same time last year that things really went downhill where I was. I find that interesting especially since I think we’re in two different parts of the U.S. (I’m in New York City).

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Glad your parents are being vaccinated. I remember thinking that this whole thing would give my husband an idea of how he will feel when he is retired. Not having things to do, well, that drives him crazy. He has been working, getting tested twice a week and has gotten his first dose of the vaccine. I also remember thinking this will bring out the worst in people and it has, but it has offered us a look at good people doing what they can for their fellow man.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your saying how you thought this would bring out the worst in people really resonates with me. I actually vividly remember a conversation I had with my younger brother at the start of the pandemic saying that I had a feeling this would bring out both the best and the worst in humanity. Little did I realize how right I would be, at least with that.

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  5. Where to start? As a pastor, caring for people who could not visit those they loved before their death and then couldn’t have funerals. Getting food to people who couldn’t eat. leading Holy Communion from a zoom box, losing close friends to the virus. Going a year and a half without seeing 5 and 3 year old grandsons and wicked fear because I have COPD and heart disease and know really well what it is to not get breath. Tough memories but they are totally balanced by the courage of people facing extraordinary situations, the kindness of people reaching out to isolated neighbors, a compassion which so often crept right across the political lines in that hugely divisive year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Those are some tough memories, Maren. At the same time though, I’m glad you also have some good memories to go along with those tough memories. Not that the good memories make up for things like not seeing grandsons or seeing close friends lost to COVID.

      Speaking of losing friends to COVID, I’m sorry for the losses you’ve had.

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