After seeing the death rate effectively level off for three days here in New York, I thought we might have reached our peak at around 600 deaths a day. Unfortunately, yesterday the death toll shot up past 700 and my hopes for that were dashed. To be perfectly honest, seeing that yesterday was so depressing to me that I decided to take a break from blogging for the day. But, today I am here to check back in with Cuomo for updates. This is what he said at today’s press conference.
- He says that the “NY Pause” program is working, and that it has flattened the curve SO FAR.
- This curve is a reflection of how well we social distance, so it is very important that we continue what we’re doing.
- The number of people who are being hospitalized is coming down, and our hospital capacity has increased.
- If the hospitalization rate keeps decreasing, the system will stabilize.
- He again cautions that this all hinges on us continuing to do what we’ve been doing. This is not a sign that we can begin socializing again. He tells us to remember what happened in Italy, and to remain diligent and disciplined.
- QUOTE: “The bad news isn’t just bad. The bad news is actually terrible.”
- 779 people died yesterday in the state of New York. That is the highest single-day death toll yet.
- QUOTE: “The number of deaths may continue to rise as those hospitalized for the longest periods pass.”
- The longer you are on a ventilator, the less likely it is that you will ever come off of a ventilator.
- Every number is a face. Every number is a family.
- On 9/11 we lost 2,753 lives. COVID-19 has cost us 6,268 lives in New York State and counting.
- PERSONAL NOTE: I moved here two and a half years after 9/11, so I would never presume to speak on behalf of other New Yorkers about that day. I know some New Yorkers feel that there is not a fair comparison between 9/11 and what’s happening now, and I think that’s fair if that is someone’s point of view. There is a world of difference between watching human bodies fall from a doomed building and just sitting at home while thousands of people get sick. I don’t think these two events compare in terms of PTSD. However, I think comparing these two numbers gives people outside of New York some perspective on just how overwhelming this problem is here. I personally know many people that were affected by 9/11, but the number of people I know who are affected by this virus will end up being infinitely larger. Just as air travel was forever changed that day, the way we interact with one another will change because of this. And just as no one can know the trauma of being present when the twin towers fell unless they were there, I’m not sure that people outside of New York (or other hard hit places like Italy) can fully understand what these past few weeks have been like for us. To wake up to a new person dealing with the loss of a loved one, oftentimes alone and unable to mourn, every single day for weeks… if the 9/11 comparison helps you to think about what that feels like, then I think it’s apt.
- All flags in the state will be flown at half-mast in honor of everyone we have lost to this virus. May we all recover soon. ❤
- He speaks about the disparities in death rates among different races. It’s interesting to note the disparities between the boroughs in NYC as well. People in my borough, The Bronx, are twice as likely to die from COVID-19 as any other borough. We’re the poorest borough with the least access to healthcare, and it’s actually killing us.
- QUOTE: “You know it always seems the poorest people pay the highest price. Why is that? Why is that? Whatever the situation is, natural disaster, hurricane Katrina… the people standing on those rooftops were not rich, white people. Why? Why is it that the poorest people always pay the highest price? But, let’s figure it out. Let’s do the work. Let’s do the research. Let’s learn from this moment, and let’s learn these lessons, and let’s do it now. We’re gonna do more testing in minority communities, but not just testing for the virus. Let’s actually get research and data that can inform us as to why are we having more people in minority communities, more people in certain neighborhoods, why do they have higher rates of infection? I get the comorbidity. I get the underlying illness issue. But, what else is at play? Are more public workers latino and african-american, who don’t have a choice frankly, but to go out there everyday and drive the bus and drive the train, and show up for work, and wind up subjecting themselves to, in this case, the virus? Whereas many other people who have the option just absented themselves. They live in more dense communities, more urban environments, but what is it? And let’s learn from that, and let’s do it now.”
- Additional testing and outreach in minority neighborhoods will begin immediately.
- PERSONAL NOTE: I think he forgot to mention another key group from minority communities who put themselves at risk every day; medical professionals. As I’ve mentioned many times on this blog, I have been a patient in the New York City public hospital system for many years, and I would say the majority of the hospital staff at Bellevue are minorities. I think it’s important to add that, so the characterization of minorities in New York isn’t limited to “bus driver and train conductor”. So many people of color are out there fighting this virus on the frontlines. When I nearly died of a virus a few years ago, my nurses at Bellevue were nearly all West Indian. When I had a 104.5 degree fever, I remember the calming voices that brought me back down from my hallucinations pretty much all had caribbean accents. Those nurses are SAINTS, and they are risking their lives for us everyday! Never forget that!
- New York State will be depositing an additional $600 to anyone who filed for unemployment. He expects the federal government to reimburse the state for this cost. This would be fantastic news for me if I was ever able to get through to anyone on the phone to get my claim in, but… lol.
- Unemployment benefits are also being extended for an additional 13 weeks. This means you can now collect unemployment for a total of 39 weeks.
- By executive order, all New Yorkers can now vote absentee in the June 23rd election so no one will have to risk their health to go to the polls. ❤
- Thank you to Mercury Medical, who donated 2,400 brand new bipap machines to the state of New York. We also thank our hometown airline, JetBlue, for flying them here from Florida for free.
- We also thank Oregon, Washington State (NOT YOU, DC! lol), and California for sending us ventilators as well.
- HUGE THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR ESSENTIAL STATE WORKERS! ❤
- The state is also starting a social media campaign to talk about who we are staying home for. Who are you staying home for? Personally, I am staying home for all of us. The hashtags to use for the campaign are #NewYorkTough and #IStayHomeFor.
- Happy passover to our Jewish community!
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