Coronavirus Update From New York City: April 8, 2021

First of all, I hope people have had a good Easter, Passover, or whatever holiday you celebrate.

This evening’s post, unfortunately, is starting on a sorrowful note. The reason for that is because I learned this week that a couple of people in a family who live in a house near mine lost their lives to COVID-19. As if I don’t already have enough reminders of how serious this pandemic is, I received yet another reminder this week. I don’t know when the two individuals passed away, but regardless, I keep these two individuals in my own thoughts and prayers.

This news also is a reminder of how fickle the pandemic can be. Nobody in my family has gotten COVID to our knowledge, yet we have people nearby who got COVID, and people nearby who even died of the pandemic. It’s so fickle that at this point I don’t know if it’s the strict following of public health precautions, dumb luck, or some combination of the two that has kept my family COVID-free. Personally, I think that it’s a combination of the two.

The other downer in the past week, albeit a downer in a different way, was the nature of the Easter Sunday holiday for me. Now, I went to church, but it was not like going to church on a regular Easter. I say that because I didn’t sing any hymns last Sunday, while in contrast I would passionately sing hymns on a regular Easter Sunday. I realize that from a COVID transmission standpoint, it was for the best that I didn’t sing, because droplets from your mouth travel much further when you sing than when you speak in a normal tone of voice. Yet, it it was still painfully difficult for me to abstain from singing–so much that I was in tears from resisting that temptation to sing the songs played on my church’s organ. While it was not as difficult as having to do Easter from home last year, it was challenging nevertheless.

The irony is that according to the church calendar of in the Catholic tradition and some other Christian religious traditions, we have just passed through Lent–a season that involves some form of sacrifice for many believers. And yet, even though the church calendar says that this season is over, emotionally and spiritually it feels like I haven’t even exited Lent 2020, even though Lent 2021 has already passed. I say this because the COVID-related sacrifices started in Lent 2020 and for me, at least, they haven’t stopped since then. I guess I can hope that the COVID situation turns around so that it spiritually feels like Easter by late summer? Fingers crossed.

On a different (and better) note, the test positivity rate for COVID in my neighborhood is at 8.2%, which is down from where it was last week. This seems to be bucking the trend (in a good way) compared to many parts of the United States, where COVID is again on the rise to the point that there is debate about whether there is now a fourth wave of the pandemic. This is also bucking the trend compared to the rest of New York City (at least at the moment), where the test positivity rate is stable.

The other positive piece of news is that vaccine distribution seems to be accelerating, to the point that 38% of adults in New York City have received at least one vaccine dose. As vaccine supply continues to expand, and as vaccine eligibility has expanded massively in the past couple of weeks (to the point that all New Yorkers 16 and older are now eligible for a vaccine), I trust that this number will go up even further. It is concerning, though, that there continues to be racial disparities in who is getting vaccinated–Blacks and Latinos are getting vaccinated at much lower rates than whites.

I know my post was a bit of a downer in parts today, but in spite of that, I do retain hope for better days ahead.

Coronavirus Update From New York City: December 17, 2020

Currently, many of us here in the northeastern region of the United States are in the process of digging out from a major snowstorm. I hope that all of my readers who were hit by the storm are warm and safe.

Everyone in my family is continuing to avoid the coronavirus, but it is getting more and more nervy as zip codes around us are seeing concerning rises in positivity rates. To add insult to injury (in terms of being on edge with COVID) is the fact that my parents in particular have seen a few places in our neighborhood where people are not wearing their masks and practicing social distancing as they should. I know I’m a broken record in saying this, but please wear your mask and practice social distancing! Also, when you wear your mask, wear it over your mouth and your nose, like the person in the photo below.

The person in the photo is me, by the way.

It’s not just my family who’s getting nervous about COVID, either. New York City is also getting nervous, as evidenced by a shutdown of outdoor dining that started last Monday, as well as noises of a more complete shutdown after the holidays (as to why we’re waiting for the holidays to do this if the situation is that serious, I’m not quite sure). The nervousness is understandable–with stories across the country of hospitals being overwhelmed, the fact that hospitalization and ICU rates are on the increase at a time when we don’t have a ton of hospital and ICU beds available to begin with in New York City is a cause for nervousness.[1]

At this time that many hospitals are being stretched thin due to this pandemic, I offer a simple plea: please listen to guidance from your public health officials about holiday gatherings, even if it means staying home. I know, understand, and appreciate that it is tough to not visit family you desperately want to visit–I know that because I desperately want to visit my mom’s parents too. However, a visit to them, even if it were allowed by their senior living community (which it is not), could potentially put them at severe risk because of their age and the condition they are in. Many of us here in the states could put our relatives in similar potential peril if we visited them. As much as we may love our relatives, the best way to love them may be to stay home and minimize the chances of relatives getting the virus.

My warning aside, I do wish everyone a good, healthy, and safe holiday season. Let’s care for each other and love each other at this time by doing all we can to keep each other healthy.

My last post for this calendar year will be on December 28th. That post will function as a combination of a COVID update post and an end-of-year wrap-up post for this blog.


[1] https://projects.thecity.nyc/2020_03_covid-19-tracker/?_ga=2.239467267.1478419328.1608083101-1077310081.1606063751

Shared Post: Looking After Your Well-Being During the Holidays

The holidays can be a busy and stressful time for some of us. Gift shopping, meeting with family you don’t get along with, changes in schedule, and much more, in addition to trying to keep up with the usual responsibilities, can be stressful. Thankfully, Jenny at Jenny in Neverland has some tips on how to look after your well-being during the holidays. I definitely benefit from following these tips, and so would many others, which is why I’m sharing her post today.

Also, if any readers have additional tips on looking after one’s well-being during the holidays, feel free to comment below!

Jenny’s post, titled “Looking After Your Well-Being During the Holidays”

You can find Jenny’s blog here.

Note: Since it is just to take care of yourself during the holidays, this is a ‘Blindly Just’ post/shared post.

Fall/Winter 2019 Blog News

With Election Day now behind us, there are a couple of announcements I want to make about my upcoming blog schedule, as we head into the holidays:

  1. I will not publish posts on the following Mondays over the next few months: November 11 (Veterans Day), November 25 (Monday before Thanksgiving), December 23 (Monday before Christmas), December 30 (Monday before New Year’s Day), January 20 (Martin Luther King Jr. Day), and February 17 (Presidents Day). These breaks from publishing have given me much-needed breaks in past years, especially around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Day.
  2. That being said, during this stretch around Christmas/New Year’s, I will publish a blog wrap-up for this calendar year. Last year, I experimented with publishing a series of social media posts that highlighted my most read post, my most liked post, the post that received the most comments, etc. However, doing this became challenging for me to keep up with during a time when I was hoping to take it easy. Instead, I will try to publish a single blog post that makes note of some (if not many) of the same highlights (as well as some highlights I didn’t mention in my social media posts last year, such as the blogging awards I received), and this will come in the form of a blog wrap-up for the calendar year. I’m tentatively thinking of publishing this post the day after Christmas, but this is very much subject to change depending on how the holidays are for me. It’s the first time I’m trying this, so I’ll welcome the feedback when/after the post is published!

That’s it for now. Happy reading, and I hope everyone is having a good fall (or spring, if you’re in the Southern Hemisphere)!

Autumn Blog News

Now that people are settling down from Election Day, and maybe gearing up for the holidays, I want to provide you all with two pieces of blog news:

  1. I will not publish blog posts on the following Tuesdays: November 13 (Tuesday after Veterans Day), November 27 (Tuesday after Thanksgiving), December 25 (Christmas Day), January 1 (New Year’s Day), January 22 (Tuesday after Martin Luther King, Jr. Day), and February 19 (Tuesday after Presidents’ Day). These breaks (especially around Thanksgiving, Christmas, and the New Year) allow me (and hopefully my readers) to spend plenty of time with family.
  2. If I need to make a major change to a blog post, I will make the change and then announce the change through a blog news post. There has only been one time when I needed to make a change to a blog post: when additional barriers were placed on Native American voting in North Dakota. Hopefully such a situation (having to change a blog post because I discover additional injustice that is relevant to my post) will never happen again, but if it does, my readers now know how I will handle such a situation.