While these posts on Thursdays during the worst of the pandemic have focused on the Coronavirus, I feel that it is appropriate that I start off this post by giving an update on how I, as well as my city, are doing after the remnants of Hurricane Ida slammed the New York area.
This may be old news for anyone who likes my blog’s page on Facebook or follows it on Twitter, but thankfully, I am doing okay, and so is the rest of my immediate family. My family lives in a house that did not get any flooding, in spite of rainfall that was over 2 inches an hour. Many other places did get flooding, and severe flooding at that, so I know we were lucky. I was also lucky that I didn’t have to go anywhere, either in the torrential rains of last night or the residual flooding from Ida. I’m especially glad that I didn’t have to use any subways today, because even now, which is well over 12 hours after the storm ended, every single subway line in New York is experiencing delays, partial suspensions, or complete suspensions. Our subways aren’t built to handle that much rain in that little time, and neither is our city. Granted, we’re not used to getting so much rain in so little time, either.
I want to send my best wishes to all of those affected by Hurricane Ida, from those devastated by winds, rain, and storm surge on the Gulf Coast to all who’ve been affected by its heavy rains in the Tennessee Valley, Ohio Valley, mid-Atlantic, and New England, to name a few. I hope all my readers in all those parts of the country affected by Ida are remaining safe. And if anyone who reads this has lost a loved one to Ida, I send my condolences to you and your family.
As for Coronavirus where I live, it’s a bit of a mixed bag of news.
On one hand, the ICUs are not packed in my area like they are in some parts of the United States. To show some examples of how packed ICUs are getting in some parts of the country, as of yesterday, 100% of ICU beds are currently in use in the Orlando metro area, 96% are in use in the Birmingham, Alabama metro area, 96% are in use in the Dallas metro area, and 90% are in use in the Atlanta metro area. At the same time, only 55% of ICU beds are in use in the New York City metro area. I could be wrong, but I think what’s going in my area’s favor, at least as far as ICU beds are concerned, is that the vaccination rates are significantly higher where I am than in some of these other parts of the country where ICU beds are packed. That, in combination with a decent level of mask compliance (at least where I am), definitely helps.
Yet, at the same time, it doesn’t seem like infections from the Delta variant are going down. If anything, there are parts of the city where the infection rates seem to be going up. And, with school years around the corner or beginning in my part of the United States, I am nervous about what the beginning of the school year might do to the transmission of the virus, especially since the Delta variant can affect kids. And, of course, kids under 12 can’t get vaccinated yet, so that fact means that kids may be at a high risk of not just getting the virus, but getting really sick from it. I certainly hope that school reopenings will go more smoothly in New York than they have in certain parts of the country. If they don’t go smoothly, we can start to see a situation where pediatric ICUs fill up. But, let’s hope that this doesn’t happen, and that we have a smooth start to the 2021-22 school year. The last 18 months have been trying ones for students at all levels of school, so hopefully we can have something go smoothly, for the sake of the kids, if nothing else.
If anyone wants to talk about how they are doing, how the virus is going in their areas, and/or how they managed with Hurricane Ida, please feel free to comment below.
Please note that I will not have a blog post next Monday, on Labor Day. However, I plan on having a Coronavirus update post next Thursday.