Coronavirus Update From New York City: August 26, 2021

Wow, what a week it has been, both Coronavirus-wise and otherwise!

The biggest news coming out of my state (New York) is that we have a new governor. Andrew Cuomo, who at the beginning of this pandemic was hailed as a hero, left his governorship disgraced and under a cloud of scandal. I know my third ever Coronavirus update begged my readers to not treat Cuomo like a hero, but good gosh–not even I could have predicted things happening in the way that they did! In any event, with Cuomo having left, in comes Kathy Hochul, who served as Lieutenant Governor for just over 1 1/2 terms before ascending to the position of governor as a result of Cuomo’s resignation.

Just hours after coming into office, Hochul did something that Cuomo should’ve done: have a school mask mandate.[1] Mask mandates in schools have been controversial, seemingly because kids and their parents feel they should have the freedom themselves to choose whether to wear a mask or not. However, my take is that, to put it bluntly, people need to care about more than themselves. People need to care about others, and namely, care about preventing others from getting sick–something that masks can help with. Mask mandates are the right thing to do.

Of course, Hochul will have more to do on the Coronavirus than just have the school mask mandate. She will, in my personal opinion, need to recognize the basic reality that certain things that were possibly safe before the Delta variant are not safe anymore. Things like indoor dining, big crowds that aren’t socially distanced (even outdoors), and large indoor social gatherings do not seem safe right now, even for those of us who are vaccinated (since there’s a significant body of scientific evidence showing that even vaccinated people can get and spread the virus). My hopes aren’t high for this, as the only place that I hear has started reinstating some restrictions on such things is the State of Hawaii, though perhaps Hawaii will end up becoming a trendsetter if the Delta variant grows worse.

Speaking of big crowds outdoors that aren’t socially distanced, I should provide an update on what happened to the so-called “Homecoming Concert” that I talked about on my blog a couple of weeks ago. This concert was billed as a return back to normalcy, of sorts, for New York City, a concert where people can come and enjoy some major musicians. Such a concert may’ve seem reasonable a couple of months ago when the virus appeared to be subsiding, but with the spreading of Delta, we aren’t exactly heading back to normal and it didn’t seem like a wise time to have a massive outdoor gathering with tens of thousands of people like that. Well, the concert got ruined, not because of the Delta variant, but because some dangerous weather courtesy of Hurricane Henri (a storm that delivered heavy rain to New York City, though thankfully I didn’t experience any of the flooding that certain other parts of the northeast United States had). I wished the concert wasn’t even a thing in the first place, though, because then we could’ve avoided the non-socially distanced scrambles for safety as a result of the weather issues.

While I thought this concert was a mistake, I am hoping that this (as well as schools, which are supposed to return in the next few weeks) don’t end up being super spreader situations. We shall see…


9 Replies to “Coronavirus Update From New York City: August 26, 2021”

  1. Thx for the update Brendan. Here on the other side of North America we too are struggling with the delta variant and people who refuse vaccination. So tired of it all. We were just mandated to mask up again. I like the mask šŸ˜·. Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hello Brendan. These anti-mask / anti-vaccine people like to shout about their freedoms yet they never speak a word about their responsibility. To live in a community, a society, is more than just taking, it is also giving back. To make a community work people must take care of each other, do for others what you want them to do for you, protect the common good. But these people think only of themselves, their comforts, their wants, their needs, and never the wellbeing of others. Hugs

    Liked by 2 people

  3. That’s, just it, the American people, are, too used to, having, these, “personal freedoms”, for granted, that, when it’s, absolutely, necessary, that they put the masks on, to protect themselves, they see it as, government’s, taking away their, rights to live however they want to live, like how there’s, still, a large group of, anti-vaxxers in the U.S., when, the only way to ensure that we are, all safe and sound, is by, vaccinating, and, masking up, they don’t, do, it!

    Liked by 2 people

  4. Cuomo IS a hero. He singlehandedly (as governor) took on covid when the federal government refused to act. He was alone and a trail blazer in organizing hospitals and the rest of the state. No matter what one may think of his sleezy behavior, his actions saved thousands of NY lives. Had he waited for the feds to take action we would have looked like Florida does today.

    I hope Hochul succeeds. But frankly, her first address to the state was filled with pomposity and arrogance. She acted like she was somehow a person of great moral superiority. We shall see. Keep your eyes on the financial conflicts of interest with hr daughter-in-law and her husband. Time will tell.


    1. Personally, I think that the federal government set a very, very low bar from a leadership standpoint. But I also think Cuomo wasn’t a hero.

      The “Cuomo’s not a hero” comment from early on in the pandemic was a reference to the fact that his Medicaid Redesign Team recommended funding cuts to hospitals and Medicaid…in the middle of a pandemic. Though obviously we’ve learned a lot since then–how so many lives could have been saved if Cuomo (and de Blasio in NYC) acted just a week earlier, the handling of nursing homes (and data related to nursing homes), and so much more. I don’t think of him as an arch-villain, but there were a lot of deep flaws with his COVID response, in my opinion.

      As for Hochul, I was not aware of the conflict of interest issues. I wish her the best, but the best I can have is a “wait and see” attitude.

      Liked by 1 person

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