Coronavirus Update From New York City: April 16, 2020

Let me start by saying that I apologize for the delay in getting this post to you all! I had some evening work to do, and then there were some other things I needed to do after my work was done for the evening. Better late than never, I guess!

Even now, nobody in my family has gotten any coronavirus symptoms. I’ve said this before and I will say it again–I am really wondering whether we’ve had this before without realizing and we have immunity built up, or whether we had coronavirus and were asymptomatic, or what. All of us in my household at this point (myself, my brother, and my parents) personally know multiple people who’ve fallen ill from the coronavirus, and all of us know of people (friends of friends, at minimum) who have died from the coronavirus.

Speaking of deaths, it appears that deaths have flatlined, but they have flatlined at a horrible rate. Each day in the last week (maybe longer), New York’s Governor Cuomo has reported somewhere between 600 and 800 deaths per day. One death is a death too many, but 600-800 deaths per day is just an incomprehensible level of tragedy and grief. I sincerely hope that these numbers go down quickly, and go down soon. I also hope that whenever we do reopen my city, my state, my country, that we don’t do so in a way that results in our ending up with this level of loss of life again, because honestly, it’s too much loss.

On the topic of death (and sorry if this is too much talk of death for some people), I do want to address something that President Trump suggested: that the number of deaths due to the coronavirus in New York City is inflated.[1] The issue at-hand is that New York City recently reported an additional 3,700 or so “probable” deaths from the coronavirus (surging the number of deaths from the coronavirus in New York City past 10,000). These probable deaths are cases where the coronavirus or something similar to the coronavirus is listed on the death certificate as the cause of death, but the dead person never officially got tested for the coronavirus.[2] These are deaths that could probably be attributed to the coronavirus, hence probable deaths.

I know today wasn’t the most fun or hopeful of posts, but I hope my readers are doing okay, and that you all are staying healthy!


[1] https://www.silive.com/coronavirus/2020/04/trump-suggests-nyc-is-padding-coronavirus-death-count-with-presumed-cases.html

[2] https://www.politico.com/states/new-york/albany/story/2020/04/14/new-york-city-coronavirus-death-toll-jumps-by-3-700-after-uncounted-fatalities-are-added-1275931

Coronavirus Update From New York City: April 9, 2020

It’s hard to believe that it has been only three weeks since I started giving weekly updates on my blog on how I’m doing, and how my city (New York City) is doing with the coronavirus pandemic. So much has changed in that time, and so much will likely continue to change. Today’s coronavirus update post will focus on what has changed with me and with my city since last week’s update.

Everyone in my family is still healthy. Sure, some of us struggle with a little bit with allergies, but many people struggle with allergies this time of year. None of us are showing symptoms of the coronavirus, though, so we all count our blessings. While it has been quite jarring to see how just about every aspect of life, from how I interact with people to how I do my professional work, has changed, I remain glad that I am healthy. I do need to make sure to take breaks for the sake of my own mental health though, because both my professional work and my volunteer work is at times very focused on the coronavirus.

With the extra free time available to me during the pandemic, I’m not sure if I have gained any new skills, but I helped build a new website! Long story made short, an organization I volunteer for (Gray Panthers, who are focused on anti-ageism work) partnered with another organization to help build a resource website for seniors in New York City during the coronavirus crisis (which you can find here). I was one of the Gray Panthers who helped put together the website.

The news in New York is very much a mixed bag. Here’s the good, the maybe good, and the bad:

  1. One piece of news is that it appears that hospitalizations for the coronavirus are flat. This is good news because it means hospitalizations are no longer on a sharp rise. At the same time, I’ve heard rumors that the numbers might be misleading because the threshold for taking COVID-19 patients to the hospital is much higher now than it was even days ago. Please note that this is only a rumor I’ve heard, so do not promote this rumor unless you have a reputable source backing you up.
  2. Another piece of news is that it appears most people are taking the social distancing, the wearing of masks, and the suggestions to stay at home as much as possible seriously. Hopefully, people will continue taking all of this seriously. A few people don’t take this seriously, but at least where I am, those people seem to very much be in the minority. Also, since I have readers who might be celebrating Passover now or Easter over the weekend, let me say this: just because it’s a holiday doesn’t mean that we should be relaxing on the social distancing.
  3. In grim news, as of today (April 9th), New York State has over 7,000 deaths confirmed from the coronavirus. To put this into context, nearly 3,000 people died on 9/11…total (spread across multiple states). I am not saying this to lessen the significance of 9/11, but to instead show the magnitude of the crisis where I am. This number is likely to significantly increase in coming days, as New York had a record number of deaths from the coronavirus confirmed today.

So, that’s pretty much it for my update and my city’s update. How are you doing during this coronavirus, and how is your little corner of the world doing?

Coronavirus Update From New York City: April 2, 2020

As is the case with my previous two coronavirus updates, I am writing this impromptu because the situation with the coronavirus around New York City is just so fluid. It remains fluid, even though the virus has only had the attention of New Yorkers for a few weeks now.

At this point, I’m continuing to do fine, and so is the rest of my family. None of us have come down sick with the coronavirus; given that we’re all still healthy, we’re left wondering whether we already had it and didn’t realize it, or whether we had coronavirus and were asymptomatic, or what. Regardless, I just count my blessings that we are all still healthy, and I hope it remains that way. Especially since everyone in my household knows people who have coronavirus symptoms, and all of us at the very least know friends of friends who either fell critically ill or passed away from the coronavirus.

It has become spooky just how quiet things are around my neighborhood. It is literally quieter than it often is on a Sunday morning, with one exception: the number of sirens we hear. As for the sirens, we hear them all…the…time.

As a whole, the situation in New York City is not good. However, if readers really want to see exactly where in New York City the situation is worst, I would encourage you to take a look at a map published by the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene that details the number of cases in each zip code as of March 31st. It is not a perfect map, as not all zip codes contain the same number of people; however, it gives people a picture of some of the places where the highest number of people have tested positive for the coronavirus. I won’t analyze the numbers in every zip code, but there are a few observations that people should be aware of, in order to better understand the situation in New York City:

  • I live in one of the zip codes shaded in light purple on the map. What this means is that some areas have been hit harder than mine, but that my area has its fair share of positive tests for the coronavirus.
  • A number of the zip codes shaded in dark purple include neighborhoods such as Elmhurst and Corona in Queens, East New York in Brooklyn, and Morrisania in The Bronx. Many of these hard-hit neighborhoods are socioeconomically not exactly what you call well-to-do. That’s concerning, because it means that the coronavirus is ravaging neighborhoods where many of their residents may not have access to high-quality health care even in the best of circumstances (let alone under the circumstances of a pandemic).
  • Since the aforementioned areas are socioeconomically not exactly what you call well-to-do, residents in those areas who aren’t experiencing hospital-level coronavirus symptoms may not have the sort of access to testing that many wealthier people have. Therefore, I’m guessing that the number of coronavirus cases in the aforementioned neighborhoods may actually be underreported, even though the numbers are already high as-is.

Speaking of access to care, I’ve been telling people not to to treat Governor Andrew Cuomo (my governor), who has suddenly become a darling of many on the left, as a hero. Why? Because in the middle of a freaking pandemic, Governor Cuomo’s Medicaid Redesign Team is recommending cuts in funding to hospitals and Medicaid.[1] I understand my state is facing a significant budget deficit, but a hero would not propose to cut health care funding in a pandemic. I know that’s somewhat off topic (but maybe somewhat on topic, as cuts might hurt New York’s response to another round of coronavirus or some other pandemic), but I just had to get that off my chest.

That’s pretty much it on my end. I hope my readers are hanging in there!


[1] https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/politics/ny-looking-at-hospital-budget-cuts-even-as-coronavirus-crisis-deepens/2347157/

Coronavirus Update From New York City: March 19, 2020

Let me first start out by saying that this post is being written impromptu, so this will be much less polished than most of my content on here.

That being said, with how much the coronavirus situation has escalated in New York City just in the last couple of days, I thought that it was important to provide my readers an update on how I’m doing and how my city is doing. I hope to do this on a weekly basis, usually on Thursday evenings (though the timing of these updates, just like nearly everything else during this time, is subject to change). Note that this is in addition to, not instead of, my regularly scheduled posts on Monday evenings. Also note that all of these posts will tend to be impromptu in nature, so all these updates will have content less polished than most of my content on here.

Personally, I am doing about as well as I could be, considering the circumstances. I have job stability, so I am in no danger of losing my job. Furthermore, starting next week, I will be working from home. Finally, many (but not all, by any means) of the things I do at work are things I can do at home as well, so the change won’t be quite as jarring for me as it will be for some people.

However, the situation in New York City is not good at all. As of the time I’m writing this, over 3,600 New Yorkers have tested positive for the coronavirus (with 22 deaths). Worse yet, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a press conference late this afternoon that the city could be 2-3 weeks away from running out of some medical supplies. I am hoping Mayor de Blasio was being hyperbolic about the situation with our hospitals, but fear that he is not.

Needless to say, for those of you who are believers in prayer, please keep New York City in prayer. For those of you who are not believers in prayer, please keep New York City in your thoughts.

Election Day Coming Up: Remember to Vote!

For those of my readers who are in the United States, please remember to vote tomorrow.

While much attention may be focused on the election for President that is about one year from now, the smaller elections are important as well. Elections for local and state offices, as well as referendums on your ballot, can have a major impact on whether certain injustices are addressed or not.

So, while the excitement may not be there for the elections in 2019 quite like there will be for the elections in 2020, I encourage all of my American readers to vote. As for all of my non-American readers, I hope that you will also vote when/if you have elections.