Coronavirus Update From New York City: October 21, 2021

I hope all of my readers are well, regardless of where you are living.

The good news is that the rate of infection is continuing to slow down where I live. This continues to create hope that we are beyond the worst of the Delta variant of the virus, at least here in New York City. I do think we’ll have some further hurdles to clear in the holiday gatherings we’ll have over the next couple of months, and I still do not like the horrifyingly high rates of death and ICU bed occupancy that exist in parts of the country as we head into a time of year with these family gatherings.

At the same time, there is another vaccine mandate battle in my city, and this time, it’s over New York City mandating the rest of its public sector workers to get vaccinated, including agencies where vaccination rates are lower. There are some key New York City agencies with low vaccination rates, in some cases in the 60%-70% range. The police department and the fire department are among the agencies with low vaccination rates, at least as of a couple of weeks ago (when I see the most recent data from).[1] I am guessing that most workers, when faced with the choice between a paycheck and no paycheck (because these workers who don’t get vaccinated will end up on unpaid leave), will decide to get vaccinated, if grudgingly (and in some cases, perhaps even angrily) so. We’ll see if I’m right when this mandate is scheduled to go into effect one week from tomorrow.

Speaking of the low vaccination rates among some New York City agencies, I think one thing I’m definitely reflecting on is the fact that some of the agencies with the lowest vaccination rates are also some of the agencies serving the most vulnerable and disadvantaged populations. Among the ten agencies in my city with the lowest vaccination rates are the child welfare agency (the Administration for Children’s Services), the agency that deals with individuals experiencing homelessness (the Department of Homeless Services), the fire department, the agency responsible for overseeing public housing (the New York City Housing Authority), and the agency responsible for New York City’s prison population (the Department of Correction).[2] I wish that people in the media pick up on that fact, because it is definitely something interesting that I’ve noticed. I can’t help but wonder whether other cities are also seeing that agencies serving the most vulnerable also have the lowest vaccination rates. And if so, I can’t help but wonder why that is the case. Perhaps these musings can be the inspiration for a study from someone, some day.

On a different note, I must point out that where these ICU issues are happening seems to be in parts of the country where vaccination rates are lower. It is not as much of an issue in places like the New York City area, where 40% of ICU beds are still available.[3]

I should also follow up on something I talked about in last week’s blog post: holiday gatherings. My post last week noted that there were still real questions about what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance will be when it comes to holiday gatherings. This week, I can say that the CDC emphasizes the importance of good ventilation and vaccinations as the most important considerations in making sure you have a safe holiday season.[4] So, I guess the moral of all of this is for people who haven’t been vaccinated to get vaccinated.

That’s pretty much it from my part of the world. I’d be interested to hear how others are doing, though!





9 Replies to “Coronavirus Update From New York City: October 21, 2021”

  1. The mandates for government officials to get vaccinated is absolutely necessary, especially with the delta variant, how quickly it’s, currently, spreading, and, if the frontline workers, police, hospital staff, fire department, aren’t, fully, protected, then, the enite city will, fall, so that, is why, there’s, a mandate for vaccinations for, government officials, and I think that there should be one alsoo, for ordinary, citizens as well.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I am definitely concerned about what would happen to the most vulnerable in particular if vaccination rates remain low among the government agencies responsible for protecting the most vulnerable.


  2. It is certainly an interesting finding that workers who intersect with the most vulnerable in our society are those with lower vaccination rates (concerning on many levels). I was aware of this issue with law enforcement and the fire department, but was not aware of the lower rates in the social service agency’s you mentioned. This is interesting and causes me to want to understand that better. I see here in my community this same issue with law enforcement /fire department personnel and even sadly some in the medical profession. Driving forces seem to be, I think sadly simaltaneously surprising and not surprising, (considering all that has happened in the political arena) primarily political and religious in nature.

    In response to your prompt in hearing about how others are doing, I can offer I am truly glad to read that New York is doing better. It has been a long road and this is good and hopeful news.

    I live in Washington state and my local community borders an Idaho community. Here in my state it is reported that we have an estimated 62% vaccination rate (only 52% in my local community) and Idaho 43% state wide. In Washington we have a mask mandate. Idaho does not have a statewide mandate and leaves this to each county. Our neighboring community ( due to the number of cases and impact on their medical facilities) put in place just yesterday a “90 day mask mandate”. Both local communities have a large conservative population. Our ICU’s are full, and theirs truly have been overflowing with makeshift ICU’s spread across a handful of community facilities. Even with this data available to us, we are told “confirmed cases are trending down”. There is still a lot of (to understate it) work to do here.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hmmm. You, like a friend of mine, have pointed out that the issue I talked about (the issue of people in certain sectors serving the vulnerable not getting vaccinated quickly) is not just a New York City issue–it’s a nationwide issue in the United States, or so it seems. Your theory about politics and religion playing a role seems like an interesting one.

      I’m sorry to hear that the situation in your part of the world is not very good. I know that there’s been a rationing of medical care (or that’s what I hear on the news) happening in Idaho. Is that still happening in Idaho? Horror stories I’m hearing from your part of the country remind me a lot of horror stories from my part of the country back in Spring 2020.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. It does still seem to be issue in terms of low vaccination rates, and resistance to mask Wearing. They do still have an overwhelmed hospital
        System directly across the state line from us. Our hospitals are full to but it sounds like confirmed cases are being served within the hospital setting.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. I am really shocked by the attitudes of some who work with people, especially in fields where you’re supposed to be saving people. Too see Health, Medical, Police, Fire officers fight against it. Is pretty weird.
    We had a state politcian leader in Australia, say that he doesn’t have to worry about getting vaccinated, because he doesn’t have to see the public.
    Like I got vaccinated to help protect myself and others. I don’t get why so many who deal with the public, and the most vulnerable in our society, are against it? Why get into the business of helping people, face to face, if you don’t want to help protect them?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t know. I’m honestly asking the same questions you are–questions that may end up being a part of its own blog post at some point. I’m guessing that a fair bit of it comes down to vaccine hesitancy among the individuals, for various reasons, but it’s something I’ll want to look into.

      Liked by 1 person

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