Coronavirus Update From New York City: February 11, 2021

I hope that my readers are healthy and safe, regardless of where you are. I also hope that my readers exercised caution, if they did anything for Super Bowl Sunday last weekend. Here are the latest updates I have on how COVID-19 is going in my hometown.

Everyone in my family remains COVID-free. Some of us in the family are definitely experiencing burnout from all the time spent online and on Zoom, as well as the relative lack of time outdoors lately due to the snow, ice, and cold hitting my area the last couple of weeks. Spring is right around the corner (or already here, if you’re a believer in listening to a groundhog in New York City), so I believe that this weather too shall pass.

The test positivity rate in my zip code is at 13.1%, which is still among the highest test positivity rates of all the zip codes in New York City. The COVID rate remains high enough that I think it is of the utmost importance to continue acting with caution. It is out of this cautiousness that I’m not going for indoor dining, not gathering with other people right now, and not going in-person to my church–it just seems too risky with the positivity rate as high as it is in my neighborhood.

If anyone is interested in reading about the issues that have plagued my neighborhood in terms of both testing and vaccinations (namely, not being a priority for either until recently)–in spite of having one of the highest test positivity rates in New York City for a couple of months now–I encourage you to read a recent Washington Post article about said issues (assuming you can get through their paywall or haven’t exhausted your quota of free Washington Post articles for the month). I must admit that I’m somewhat amazed that the paper noticed issues in my neighborhood, but kudos to the writers of the article for noticing us in the first place, let alone writing a detailed article about the area by where I live.

Of concern is the fact that we are starting to record more cases of the COVID variant from the United Kingdom here in New York City.[1] In the past week, we have recorded 18 cases of the variant here in New York City, though I wouldn’t be surprised if that total were much higher, given how easily the UK variant of this spreads.

One person continuing to not act with caution is my governor, Andrew Cuomo. I reported in last week’s post that indoor dining is returning, albeit at reduced capacity, for Valentine’s Day. The start of indoor dining has been pushed up two days now, to February 12th, with the intention of giving restaurants the opportunity to profit off of a whole Valentine’s Day weekend worth of business.[2] Let me be clear–while there may be some areas where it is safe to return to outdoor dining, it is absolutely not safe to return to this in places like mine, places where the test positivity rate is well into the double digits. I know my governor has sometimes wanted to say that he “follows the science,” but I’m not aware of any science suggesting that indoor dining in a COVID hotspot is a good idea.

With regards to the vaccines, the fact of the matter is that the demand for the vaccines, even among the populations of those eligible for them, seems to far outpace the existing supply. While it sounds like supply is on the increase, demand is also quite high.[3] I expect this issue to continue for the next few weeks, at least.

That’s enough in terms of updates from me this week. How are all of you, my readers, doing?




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.