My Final Coronavirus Update From New York City (For Now, and Hopefully Forever): June 25, 2020

First of all, I want to apologize to my readers for a late post this evening. I was working a meeting related to where I work, and that meeting ended literally right before I started typing this. Hence, the delay in writing and publishing this post.

I should address the elephant in the room: the title of tonight’s post. I was thinking that I would continue these weekly update posts until we got to about mid-July, which would be a month or so into the reopening process in New York City. I wanted to wait to wind down this series until mid-July because I wanted to see whether the reopening process went safely in the city first. I said all of this in a post about a month ago.

However, a lot has changed in the past month.

Namely, there are now major hotspots emerging in states like Alabama, California, Washington, Florida, and Texas. In contrast, my home state, once the epicenter of the virus, is now one of only four states on track to contain the virus.[1]

This weekly update was created so that readers could get insight into what it was like to be living in a hotspot of this horrid pandemic. However, we are most certainly not a hotspot in New York–in fact, we’re likely one of the safest places to be in right now, from a COVID-19 standpoint. Given how much the situation is under control here, I’ve concluded that these weekly updates have run their course.

This is not to say that the pandemic is over, by any means. Far from it. The end of this series just means that the pandemic is under control enough in my area, at least for the time being, that I didn’t feel it was right to continue these weekly updates. Of course, if the dreaded second wave comes to New York, I would resume my weekly updates. I sincerely hope we don’t have a second wave, though.

Nor should anyone interpret the end of this series as a sign to stop practicing the mask-wearing and the social distancing, even if you live in New York. In fact, this series would be continuing for many weeks to come if not for the fact that so many New Yorkers were on board with wearing their masks and social distancing.

I want to thank all of you, my readers, for being a part of this journey by liking, commenting, and sharing these posts. It has been a wild and at times trying journey, but a journey that I am thankful to have survived in good health, and a journey that I’m glad I documented.


[1] https://covidactnow.org/state/NY?s=56971

Coronavirus Update From New York City: June 18, 2020

I hope all of my readers are well today, wherever you all may be.

Last week’s post talked about how we in New York City are in Phase One of reopening. As I’m typing this, we’re on the verge of entering Phase Two, which is expected to start next Monday. It came as a bit of a surprise to me, as I had expected to maybe wait until July to get to this phase.

What does this mean? In short, a lot of places will be able to reopen, including many offices, more retail, vehicle sales, and much more. For details on what Phase Two in New York State involves, you can learn about that here.

The reopening process is by no means over (there are four phases, and we’re about to enter Phase Two here), but we have come a long way. We used to have hundreds of deaths a day in New York City alone from the coronavirus, but yesterday, we had 20 new confirmed deaths. Furthermore, our hospitals are nowhere near capacity like they were at the beginning of the pandemic. We are by no means in a perfect place, especially economically, but health-wise, we’re in a much better place than we were a couple of months ago.

And how is that? How has New York seemingly succeeded in curbing the spread of the virus while some other states have failed? While I still strongly believe that we waited too long to act in New York, we also ended up acting aggressively and in-line with the recommendations from public health experts, especially in terms of strongly urging people to wear masks and socially distance. Furthermore, as we are reopening, it’s being made clear that it is not a return to the old normal, but instead a new normal where we socially distance and wear masks; therefore, I don’t think New York State has thus far experienced the spike in cases that many states have experienced as they reopened.

How is COVID-19 in your part of the United States, or your part of the world (if you’re not in the U.S.)? I’m more than happy to hear updates from my readers.

Coronavirus Update From New York City: June 11, 2020

First of all, I apologize for getting this post out very late in the evening. Today,,and this week, quite frankly, have been extremely busy and hectic for me, and one result of that is a post that’s coming out later than I had hoped.

Anyway, New York City started the first phase of reopening last Monday. What this means is that industries such as non-essential construction, manufacturing, and wholesale trade (to name a few) are getting back in business here. For more details on what this first phase involves, I encourage you to visit the section of my state’s website that addresses what industries can open up during this first phase.

I must emphasize that this is only the beginning of the reopening process. Not everything is open–far from it. In fact, different regions in New York State are opening in phases, and there are four phases involved in reopening. I’ve heard that some regions are up to the third phase of four, which means that said regions are seemingly getting close to normal. New York City, however, has some work to do before getting to even the third phase, as we have barely entered the first phase. We are continuing in the right direction here in New York City, but we still have a little ways to go, I think, before we get back to “normal,” whether that be the old normal or a “new normal.”

As to where that leaves me, I have an office job, so I am in what you may call a “Phase Two” industry (the next phase of reopening). What this means is that, as we head towards the end of June, I might have the ability to go to my physical office again, with “might” being the key word. The reason I use the word might is because there’s no rush to get back to the physical office I work in, as the office I work in has discovered that we can by-in-large do 95% of our the tasks from home. Even when we do reopen our physical office, I’m expecting this “new normal” to look different from the old normal.

So, that’s pretty much it from me, and again, my apologies for getting this post published so late today. I hope others are doing well!

Coronavirus Update From New York City: May 27, 2020

I hope that everybody had a good Memorial Day weekend!

Everyone in my immediate family remains healthy. That being said, I’m glad that I’m not spending tons of time in public, because at times I get allergies that can cause me to have coughing fits (and coughing fits that can result in people being concerned about me). Employment continues to not be an issue for me, though I am knowing more and more people who are having issues with being furloughed or unemployed.

The situation is continuing to move in the right direction in New York City and New York State.

At the state level, nine of the state’s ten regions are beginning the process of reopening their economies, though I must emphasize that it is a process. There are four phases involved in reopening a region in New York, and these regions are only beginning to enter the first phase. Nevertheless, it is a positive step that we’re seemingly having the pandemic enough under control that we can begin to reopen things. It is also a positive step that daily deaths from COVID-19 in New York State has dropped below 100 on a regular basis.

The only region that has not begun that process of reopening is…New York City. We don’t yet have the adequate contact tracing, and we don’t yet have a high enough availability of hospital beds to reopen safely; for those two reasons, we are not able to reopen yet. That being said, our numbers are trending in the right direction even in New York City, and I am hopeful that in the next couple of weeks, New York City will also begin the process of a measured and safe reopening.

With many places reopening (including most of New York State), I think it is worth discussing what the “endgame” is for these weekly COVID update posts. My plan is that I will continue doing these update posts until it is clear that New York City is opening up safely (which, to me, means that the situation in New York City looks okay for a month to six weeks after beginning to reopen). I think it is important to document for curious readers how the reopening process is going, and whether the situation continues to improve or not where I am. If, after four-six weeks, the reopening appears to be going safely, then I will wind down these weekly update posts. However, if the much-feared second wave of the virus comes, these weekly updates would return at a later point. And, of course, if the reopening doesn’t go well, then I will continue these updates, so that my readers know how things are going in New York.

I hope that others are doing well! I’m hearing mixed reviews of how reopening is going in various states and regions.

P.S. For those of you into numbers, I encourage you to visit New York’s Regional Monitoring Dashboard. This dashboard allows you to see how all the regions of New York State (New York City being one of them) is performing with several critical metrics that need to be met before reopening begins: decline in hospitalizations, decline in hospital deaths, new hospitalizations, hospital bed availability, ICU bed availability, testing capacity, and contact tracing capacity.

P.P.S. I actually intended to publish this tomorrow. I thought I had this scheduled for tomorrow at 6, but instead I published this today at 6. Oh well. Tomorrow evening is busy for me anyway, so perhaps it’s better that I have my update today. Future update posts will be on Thursdays, starting next Thursday.

Coronavirus Update From New York City: May 14, 2020

I have now been updating readers on how I’m doing, and how my city is doing, with this coronavirus for about two months now! That time has flown by.

Everyone in my immediate family continues to remain both physically and financially healthy. As for mental health, let’s just say that there is a reason that I often try to limit my news intake, even though I value the importance of knowing what’s going on in my city, state, country, and world.

As for how New York is doing, it’s…complicated.

Deaths continue to go down. It’s still horrifyingly high, but when you consider that the number of deaths per day was in the 700-800 range a few weeks ago, it’s a massive improvement that we now have some days when we have fewer than 200 COVID-19 deaths. Many of the other major indicators, such as hospitalizations and intensive care unit admissions, continue to trend in the right direction. That being said, we are by no means out of the woods in New York City, and in fact we have more recently learned of the disturbing development that there’s an increasing number of cases of children experiencing symptoms similar to those of Kawasaki disease that is likely related to the coronavirus.[1] The children who receive this sickness seem to fall extremely ill, and several of them have died. This story just feels like a new twist in what has been an ordeal (with the coronavirus) that has gone through many twists.

You may be hearing stories about how parts of New York State will be starting to reopen (albeit, reopen carefully). New York City, which is where I am, is not one of those parts. In order for a region in New York to reopen again, that region must be in a satisfactory state with all seven of the following metrics: decline in total hospitalizations, decline in deaths, new hospitalizations, hospital bed capacity, ICU bed capacity, diagnostic testing capacity, and contact tracing capacity. New York City has only met four of these seven metrics, which means that no region of New York State has met fewer metrics than New York City (new hospitalizations are still too high, plus we don’t have enough hospital beds or ICU beds available).[2] Needless to say, it would not be surprising if New York City ends up being the last part of New York State to start reopening.

How are your areas doing? While today’s post definitely offers a mixed bag of news, I feel like I’m in a different world here as compared to other areas, in that the situation is slowly improving in New York City while it is regressing in parts of the United States, and some parts of the world.


[1] https://www.nbcnewyork.com/investigations/kawasaki-disease-up-to-5-ny-children-dead-85-sickened-by-rare-covid-related-illness/2411571/

[2] At the bottom of this piece from NBC New York, you get an explanation of the various metrics required to be met for reopening: https://www.nbcnewyork.com/news/local/new-york-nears-reopening-on-brink-of-another-grim-milestone-as-pandemics-tragic-scope-may-never-be-fully-understood/2414771/