Coronavirus Update From New York City: August 19, 2021

I hope everyone is healthy and safe, regardless of where you are.

My family, who is entirely vaccinated, remains healthy. We, of course, continue to practice precautions such as wearing masks indoors, not eating indoors, and avoiding large gatherings as much as possible. This is sometimes labeled as living in fear, but in reality, we are doing what we can to prevent the virus from spreading to others, and particularly to unvaccinated kids and the immunocompromised.

However, COVID cases continue to be on the rise where I am, and rise at a startling rate, at that. Just to put into perspective how quickly things are increasing, in my county, we were at 10 cases per 100,000 just a few weeks ago, and now we are at nearly 22 cases per 100,000. Just as concerning (if not even more so) is the fact that hospitalization and ICU rates are quickly increasing again, and increasing to a point that if we’re not careful, many ICUs in our area will be under great duress in the next few weeks.[1] This would be a repeat of situations that I hear are playing out in other parts of the country, where ICUs are getting filled up already.

And this is all happening before school year even starts. The school year starts relatively late where I live (soon after Labor Day), so if we’re going through all of these problems now in New York, I am scared to think of what may happen after school returns post-Labor Day. If nothing else, at least I can take solace in the fact that mask mandates in schools seem to be the trend where I live, unlike with certain leaders (though I am still concerned that masks by themselves won’t be enough). I don’t think that mask mandates are enough (you need social distancing, good ventilation indoors, and vaccines, to name a few), but it’s better than nothing.

Speaking of leaders, by the time I write my next COVID update post, my state will have a new governor. As Governor Cuomo is resigning as a result of the sexual harassment scandal he’s implicated in, we will have a new governor in the current Lieutenant Governor, Kathy Hochul. We will find out in due time how good Hochul is in dealing with the dual crisis of the virus and the economic fallout resulting from it. My hope is that she won’t be distracted by scandals, and therefore able to focus on the crises she will confront.


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