Coronavirus Update From New York City: March 18, 2021

It is only appropriate that I start my post tonight by talking about the recent shootings that happened in three Atlanta-area spas.

While there are still investigations into the exact motive(s) of the shooter, the fact that six of the eight people killed were Asian women is striking. It is especially striking in light of the wave of anti-Asian hate crimes that has happened in this country in the past year. While the shooter himself blames the shooting on his sex addiction (an addiction he “wanted to eliminate”) and not on anti-Asian hate, I would not be surprised if the perpetrator had an unconscious anti-Asian bias. Regardless of whether anti-Asian bias was a factor in these shootings, we are overdue for a reckoning on how scapegoating people of Asian descent during COVID has led to a spike in anti-Asian hate crimes.

I do have some positive news to report this week, which is that my parents have received their second vaccine doses! They received their second doses yesterday, so they should now be fully vaccinated. They do have some side effects, but side effects that beat having COVID. There is obviously some question as to how long the vaccine doses last, but for now, at least they are fully vaccinated.

There is also some question as to when exactly I will be vaccinated or when exactly my brother will be vaccinated. Everyone should be eligible for the vaccines by May 1st, per President Biden, but just because everyone will be eligible for a vaccine doesn’t mean that everyone will be able to get a vaccine. We shall see. What I will say, though, is that as soon as I can get a vaccine, I will want to get one.

It’s rather ironic that their second vaccinations are coming nearly one year after my first COVID update post–a post that had a downbeat attitude at the time because my city was in danger of running out of medical supplies. It’s nice that this post can be at least somewhat more upbeat on the public health front

That’s not to say that everything is rosy, for the test positivity rate stubbornly remains just above 10%–a rate it’s been at for the past few weeks, it feels like. I’m hoping that it’s a number that will go down again as more people get vaccinated, but for now, the test positivity numbers are stubborn. It’s a number that reminds me that while I hope for some degree of normality to come back, there’s work to do in preventing the spread of this before we get back to normal, even if it is a modified normal.

Additionally, nearly 30% of hospital beds total and over half of ICU beds at the hospital closest to where I live are occupied with COVID patients–numbers that are still considered high to extreme stress from COVID, albeit not quite as much stress as the hospital felt a few weeks ago.

Before I close this post, I want to issue a call to action to all of my readers. The call to action is that, once you receive your vaccines, let others know that you have received them, with the intention of communicating to others that the vaccines are safe. There is still some vaccine hesitancy around, and I think it is important to address that hesitancy in the circles we’re in, to the best of our abilities.

21 Replies to “Coronavirus Update From New York City: March 18, 2021”

  1. Hey Brendan. So happy to hear about your parents getting their second shot. How long does it take for it to be effective? Do they have to wait a couple of weeks or ??
    That shooting you speak of is so sad. I cut off cable about a month ago so don’t get too much news anymore. The anti-Asian sentiment was fueled and it makes me so angry. Is it a blip? Will we return to “normal” and forget abut it? I hope not because then it’ll just happen again.
    No vaccine hesitancy in me…I can’t wait. In Canada we had a more difficult time getting the vaccine so a slower roll out.
    Did you know that the border between Canada and the USA is the longest unprotected border in the world? and it’s been closed for a year now! Un-flippin’ believable.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. From what I hear, it takes a few weeks for the vaccines to essentially become effective.

      I don’t think what happened with the shootings was a blip. There’s been a ton of anti-Asian sentiment for some time, and some are viewing this as the culmination of that sentiment over the past year.

      Yes, I know the border quite long! But the longest unprotected one? That somewhat surprises me. Well, mildly surprising.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That’s great news about your parents Brendan. I hope you and your brother can get vaccinated soon. And I will definitely pass on the news when I get vaccinated, although I’m not sure when that will be. As far as the shooter in GA goes, in my mind he’s guilty of both gender and race based hate crimes. Obviously he targeted women, and if he wasn’t after Asian women, why didn’t he go to one of the several strip clubs that were in the area?

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m also guessing that the shooter is guilty of both gender-based and race-based hate crimes. But we’ll see what the investigation finds. The shooter denies anti-Asian bias, but one can have unconscious biases.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Congrats, Brendan, on your parents getting their second vaccine doses, and thank you for posting on the Asian-targeting: I’ve been having great difficulty explaining to someone I know that when you scapegoat people as has been happening, those people get attacked, and it is not ok.

    I shall post when I get my vaccine(s), though I have no clue when that may happen.

    Stay safe up there in the Big Apple,

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Indeed.
        Apart from not allowing, encouraging or using scape-goating to begin with, have you got more ideas on how to lower the levels of hatred? I remember some of the PSAs and public service campaign commercials we had, back in the early to mid 70’s, that tried to get folks to understand that we are all the same flesh and blood human beings. I wonder if that could be part of a solution now?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Not allowing or encouraging scapegoating would be a start. It’s possible public service announcements would help, but those PSAs would need to cover a lot of different forms of media–not just television and radio like back then. And then there’s the question of how to reach people who are out of the news and media cycle, and people who might be skeptical to such messages (questions I don’t have definitive answers to myself).

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Brendan, I will be addressing the hate crime in my Poetry Corner March 2021, to be posted on Sunday, March 21st. Like your parents, I got my second dose yesterday. While I had no side effects after the first dose, the second top up is different. I have pain in the injection site, chills, and joint pain. Nothing life-threatening. My two sons are still awaiting their turn.

    Liked by 1 person

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