New York State shut down non-essential businesses on Mar 23. A bit more than two weeks ago, but it seems like ages.
Construction was included in the list of essential businesses. Some projects continued for a while, but they are all shut down completely now. Getting UI plus $600 a week was probably the carrot to stop working, and the increase in local infections was the stick.
An employee in a local supermarket tested positive for Covid-19 on Saturday. So far 500 people have gone for testing because of it, but results aren’t back yet. I checked in at the (different) supermarket where I left N95 masks last week: apparently the manager gave them to her family members. So much for making it safer for everyone else in the county.
People are dying in New York City, but it’s less serious upstate. This site has projections for hospitalizations vs hospital beds for each country and state, assuming current social distancing. It predicts that deaths in NYS will peak today and then drop steadily to almost zero at month end. Last week the site was pessimistic about ICU beds for most states, but it’s looking better today. Hopefully their math and assumptions are accurate.
I went back to Cornell 2008 to 2013 and finished a degree in Molecular Biology. It’s fascinating to read the scientific journal articles that cover SARS and Covid-19. Coronavirus in general has many sneaky ways to bypass our robust anti-viral systems. It won’t be easy to create a vaccine against it.
In a sense, the world was lucky with Covid-19. It definitely has been scary enough that nobody will ignore its family in the future. Good thing, because SARS had a 10% death rate and MERS 34%. This pandemic could have been a whole lot worse.
If you read European history, from the Stone Age until the 20th Century it was a constant stream of war, epidemics and famine. However, the last big war ended in 1945, the last big epidemic was 1909 and the last famine in USA or Europe was 1814. Since then, most of us have had a comfortable, peaceful, prosperous time. We have smartphones, Internet, laser levels, cordless power tools. It’s unsettling to have death sniffing up close again.
But, here we are. It’s time to think about where to go from here.