New York must stand with Texas and Florida

We have been where you are and we know what is coming; we would not wish it on anyone.

John Skylar, PhD

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Photo by Matthew T Rader on Unsplash

By the time New York began its “PAUSE” order, we now know that COVID-19 had been spreading in the city for at least a month. By the time we had the testing infrastructure and surveillance in place to know that we had a problem, it was way too late for us to avoid the disaster that occurred.

And disaster is the right word. Even though it feels triumphant to have made it to a safer place, we lost 32,000 citizens of our state to the virus and there is no guarantee that it won’t come back. I check our new case counts daily, and immediately get nervous anytime things to up. The 500–1000 cases per day that we’ve had lately don’t put me much at ease.

But it’s nothing compared to what is happening in Florida and Texas right now. These are huge states, so it is hard to compare to what happened with a specific, local focus in NYC vs what is happening across those states, but there is only one part of the US that has seen numbers like FL and TX, and it’s NY.

We know what is coming in those states. And frankly, we need to open our hearts to the people who live there. The Internet media narrative about these states right now focuses on the callous and ignorant decisions of leaders who have not taken the virus seriously enough — and that narrative is justified, because these leaders do need to be held accountable.

But let’s not forget that in New York, as late as the first week of March, our own leaders were telling us to go out to bars and do things that without a doubt made the outbreak worse. Mayor DeBlasio set a terrible example by dragging his staff and a whole bunch of reporters with him to the gym. He also refused to close schools for quite some time, even after a large list of New York City virologists, among the best in the world, signed a letter begging him to do so. What happened here was a disaster and it was contributed to by the unwise decisions…

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John Skylar, PhD

Virologist, author, damn fool. Also found at www.johnskylar.com and www.betterworlds.org. Opinions my own, impressions yours.