CoVid - The Virus Everyone is Talking About
Ghost Town: One of Every 200 New Yorkers has been Tested
Last weekend I headed into Manhattan to take a few photos of what I expected to be a ghost town. While some folks were moving about - relative to normal activity - Manhattan seemed empty. With this report are a few of the photos. I'll include more of them in the upcoming weekend update.
I've also been fairly closely following Governor Cuomo's daily press briefing. The numbers, as mentioned in my last report, that I've been keeping a close eye on are the number of infections vis a vis the number of tests completed. The reason for this is that I have not yet heard anyone explain how they can truly ascertain the transmission rate, without being able to separate out the growth in the number of people who have tested positively, from the growth in the number of people they have tested.
NYC & NYS CoVid 19 Testing Metrics vs Infected Numbers
So I put together a chart, in which I had to make a few estimates using the data the Governor provided, as I had not captured all of it. Friday, March 20, 2020 is the starting point, where Cuomo reported 32,427 tests completed in NYS, of which 44% or 14,386 were completed in NYC. At that time there were 7102 and 4408 infected in NYS and NYC respectively, which means that 22% of those tested in NYS were infected, while 31% of those tested in NYC were infected.
In the briefing today, Tuesday, March 24, 2020 there were an estimated [my copy of Cuomo's NYS total number was unreadable] 94,289 tests completed in NYS, of which 41% or 38,390 were completed in NYC. At this time there were 25,665 infected in NYS, of which 14,904 of the infected were found in NYC. This translates to 27% of those tested in NYS being infected, while 39% of those tested in NYC were infected.
What does this mean? Actually since this virus is new, we don't really know for sure. What we do know is that about 26,000 people in NYS are infected, of which 15,000 of them live in NYC. And, according to Cuomo on Monday, the testing per capita in NYS is higher than anywhere else in the world including South Korea [see fact check correction below].
- CLICK here to read the rest of our report on the Corona Virus in NYC including how increased testing seems to account for the surging tested positive numbers, how well NYC appears to be following the guidelines outlined by Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio, how New Yorkers are responding by buying up vast amounts of groceries, and how the Trump Administration is responding by focusing on a bill to release money - borrowed on the backs of America's children - into the economy. I also ask the question as to whether we should be quarantining the vulnerable versus the rest of society.
CoVid - The Virus Everyone is Talking About
Ghost Town: One of Every 200 New Yorkers has been Tested
We're Coming up on the Two Week Anniversary of NYC's Behavior Change
Governor Cuomo declared a State of Emergency on March 7, 2020. Mayor de Blasio followed suit on Thursday, March 12, 2020. So we're right around two weeks away from when people first really started to change some of their habits [assume a couple / few days lag time between the declarations and people making changes].
At the time there was a run on supplies at grocery stores and pharmacies and toilet paper. But NYC's intrepid grocers and other critical retailers withstood the onslaught, and early this week I noticed that the emptied shelves were quickly being restocked. The photo at right shows the emptied shelves at a local grocery store in NYC.
The incubation period is about two weeks, so assuming those who are feeling the effects have been tested, then maybe the numbers will rise a bit more before descending as this allows lag time for the behavior change. By this time last week, people were seriously digging in, so perhaps by Sunday, March 29, 2020 [which is two weeks after the abrupt halt to normal life], we'll begin to see some impact from our collective response to the pandemic - show up in the number of infected - via a slowing of the newly infected.
The photo at right shows a number of grocery store and food delivery men working to restock the shelves of an NYC grocery early Monday morning.
Since declaring a State of Emergency Governor Cuomo first asked 50%, then 75% and eventually 100% of office personnel of non-essential services to work from home. This mandate was made between March 18 - 20, 2020 and essential services were defined as follows [copy & paste into your browser bar to go to NY.gov website page listing them],
Are the Growing Numbers of Infected, Mostly a Matter of the Testing Catching up to the Reality?
South Korea tested 327,000 people out of a population of 51 million, which is a 0.6% testing rate. New York has tested 94,289 out of a population of 19.6 million or 0.5% testing rate. Cuomo claimed NYS had done more testing per capita than South Korea, so one of us is using incorrect information to make the calculation above as my numbers indicate that South Korea has done more per capita testing [the South Korea testing number is from NBC 3/17/20 and the South Korea population is from Wikipedia 2018].
In any case, the testing per capita for NYS, is very high vis a vis the rest of world. So it seems by the end of this week, we should begin to be able to obtain a measure of things. Governor Cuomo says the rate of infection is doubling every three days - but is it the rate of infection or is it that the testing is just catching up to what's already out there?
As of March 13th, there were only 11,000 tests that had been conducted in the entire United States of America, so we had a long way to go. In the photo at right Governor Cuomo shows a chart depicting the rising infected numbers, which have increased greatly since the Trump Administration CDC testing snafu was worked through about a week ago, thus enabling healthcare professionals to begin to test / measure how many people have been infected by CoVid 19.
Government & Media Focus on Facilities & Supplies
A lot of the media coverage and government officials' focus has been on securing equipment for what they expect will be a wave of Corona Virus sick patients sweeping the healthcare system. Specifically they've been looking at beds, respirators, surgical masks and gowns, and trained staff to attend the patients.
One of the centers they're preparing is a 1,000 bed facility at the Jacob Javits Center in West Midtown. I went there on Monday to look things over at one of Governor Cuomo's press conferences. On the north end of the building there was a huge empty convention space, where there were already a good number of huge crates stacked, ostensibly with supplies needed to equip the facility into a medical treatment center - should that become necessary.
I spoke to a couple of people, one of whom who told me that there 100 National Guardsmen already there, and there were more on their way. And that the Javits Center could - if necessary - be converted into a 2,000 bed facility. I asked some of the other folks covering the conference whether they thought the Governor and Mayor were responding disproportionately to the virus. The reporters I questioned said no.
The photo at right shows the National Guardsmen at the Jacob Javits Center in West Midtown, with the supplies needed to equip the center as a hospital facility, should that become necessary to accommodate the growing numbers of infected from the Corona Virus.
Quarantine Most of Society or the 1% - 2% at Risk?
Governor Cuomo said that he had shut down the economy to save lives. But in thinking about things, I'm coming to question that judgment - allowing for the fact that it's easy to second guess people - and that hindsight is 20/20. My question is why are we quarantining everyone, when the real at risk people represent about 1% - 2% of the population? Shouldn't the 1% - 2% be quarantined - not all of us?
In the prior report we did, we looked at a report published in the Atlantic Magazine, which identified: 1) demographics as a contributor to Italy's high death rate [second oldest population on the planet, with youth living in or near them], and 2) the sudden spike in sickness overwhelmed their healthcare infrastructure, so many people weren't able to obtain the proper care.
So far 593 deaths and 46,805 cases of illness have been attributed to the Corona Virus in the United States. Live Science reported that the first CoVid case in tne United States was detected on January 20, 2020.
It's worth putting this in perspective. According to a March 19, 2020 Live Science report,
" ... In the U.S. alone, the flu has caused an estimated 36 million illnesses, 370,000 hospitalizations and 22,000 deaths this season, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) ... "
When seen in light of the flu, the Corona Virus doesn't seem as much a threat. But the broadcasters on the nightly TV news aren't so much journalists, as they are well groomed teleprompter readers. So none of them are asking the Governor the right questions, and perhaps Governor Cuomo and his staff aren't either.
Trump Tax Plan Plunders America's Youth ... Again
Once again the Trump Administration is poised to dig into the piggy bank of future generations of Americans by doling out another big tax brea - compliments of those who are too young to vote, or those who haven't yet been born.
It seems to me the Trump Administration could avoid the huge (multi-)trillion bailout by declaring a moratorium on all monthly bills for everyone - and then figure out on the back end, who needs to be subsidized because of the a disproportionate hit because of such a moratorium. In this manner young Americans' finances wouldn't be plundered to the tune of trillion(s) of dollars ... again.
We can't keep doing this to them. It's just not right to burden future generations with our debt.
In the photo Dr. Fauci, Head of the Corona Virus task force, is shown at far right - while the Donald is talking a blue streak about the Corona Virus. Look at the faces of the doctor and the other people in the photo.