New York Praises Covid-19 Return, But There Are Hidden Dangers Ahead | United States News

PAtience and Fortitude are proud advocates of social estrangement and wearing masks. The famous marble lions that guard the steps of the New York Public Library at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street have been separated 90 feet for more than a century, and this week they were adorned with giant blue facials.

Today’s masked lions are the symbols of extraordinary change in this recently affected city. Just three months ago, New York was the world capital of the coronavirus, with more confirmed cases than any other country outside of the United States.

More than 14,000 New Yorkers were hospitalized every day, with a daily death toll of more than 1,000.

Weeks of aggressive closure and increased testing have finally led the city to contain the disease. Hospital admissions for Covid-19, which ran at 850 a day at the top, were Monday at 51; The number of infected patients in the ICU decreased from 887 to 297.

“The history of New York City is pretty good when it comes to the comeback we’re making,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

The success story seems even more surprising given what is happening to the rest of the country. According to a group of epidemiologists and public health experts, Covid Act Now, all but four states are failing to get ahead of the disease, while 30 states are at risk or already facing alarming waves of infection.

Everything makes New York seem quite superior. But there is a hidden danger to the dramatic and widening chasm between the city and states like Alabama, Arizona, Florida and Texas, which are battling major Covid-19 outbreaks.

As much as she likes to see herself as her own sovereign entity, separate from the rest of America, New York as a major travel destination, she is deeply exposed to the rest of the US That was evident at the start of the pandemic. , when international travel imported the virus without anyone noticing for days.

It could happen again, with the virus re-imported to New York from other parts of the US That’s why a new quarantine requirement has been introduced for travelers entering the city from 16 states with high rates of positive results. .

“We cannot assume that we are disconnected from what we are seeing in the south and west. It would be naive of us to think that we are isolated from the increases and spread of the virus, “said Mark Levine, chairman of the New York City Council’s health committee.

Dining outside at a restaurant in the Little Italy neighborhood.  New York City will not proceed to eat indoors as of next week as planned due to a national increase in the coronavirus.

Dining outside at a restaurant in the Little Italy neighborhood. New York City will not proceed to eat indoors as of next week as planned due to a national increase in the coronavirus. Photograph: Angela Weiss / AFP / Getty Images

As a warning sign, Covid Act Now on Thursday changed its New York state designation from being on track to contain the virus to the highest-risk category, “controlled growth of the disease.” The slippage in the state could foreshadow more problems to come.

The vision of big states like Texas and Florida on fire at Covid-19 is troubling for New York for other reasons. Many of the current increases are being led by the more reckless behavior of young Americans, a substantial proportion of whom are asymptomatic, making it difficult to detect the spread of the disease.

That is a phenomenon familiar to the city. Many New York neighborhoods saw resistance to the shutdown orders even before the reopening began on June 8.

Large crowds began to congregate outside bars, parents sneaked onto playgrounds, and thousands of official warnings were issued against those who failed to follow orders to stay home.

“Citizen compliance is decreasing. It’s a fact: look at the East Village, the West Side, Brooklyn, Queens. ” Andrew Cuomo, the governor of the state of New York, said Wednesday. “It is a very real problem. Young people can get sick and young people can infect older people. “

The risk that such behavior could bring New York back to the dark days of April and May is even greater given the gradual reopening of the economy. Phase three of the reopening is scheduled for Monday, which initially allowed indoor meals to return to 50% of capacity.

Given the conflagration that is now sweeping through states like Florida that reopened precipitously, Cuomo this week delayed indoor dining, a significant move for a city with such a great culture and restaurant economy. The cost of going too fast and seeing the virus increase again would far outweigh the economic benefits.

“The only thing we don’t want to happen is for things to get out of control and for us to have to close again, which would be devastating,” Levine said.

There is another good reason for New York to avoid complacency about its current relatively happy state. The fact that he got into such a dire situation in the first place, with data compiled by the independent newsroom THE CITY which puts the latest confirmed number of cases at 212,072 with 23,096 deaths, should itself pause.

On Wednesday, Cuomo boasted that “we’ve been smart from day one about how we handle Covid.” But it was not so for many observers.

The Governor and De Blasio were slow to understand the scale and speed of the Covid-19 threat when it first erupted. The two leaders returned to their predetermined position, paddling among themselves, with the result that vital days were lost in ordering the closure.

The April experience of such a traumatic explosion of Covid-19 cases (images of patients parked on stretchers in hospital corridors and of refrigerated trucks waiting to receive dead bodies will forever be etched in the minds of New Yorkers). left the city reflective mood.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday: 'Citizen compliance is decreasing.  It's a fact: look at the East Village, the West Side, Brooklyn, Queens.

Governor Andrew Cuomo said Wednesday: ‘Citizen compliance is decreasing. It’s a fact: look at the East Village, the West Side, Brooklyn, Queens. Photography: Vanessa Carvalho / Rex / Shutterstock

“We have been through unimaginable hell,” Levine said. “I don’t think any of us got through all of this well.”

Cuomo in particular has been heavily criticized for its management of nursing homes that have seen concentrated groups of infection and death. On March 25, he introduced an order that older patients with Covid-19 who were “medically stable” should be transferred out of the hospital and back to their nursing homes.

The governor abandoned the order on May 10, but by then considerable damage had been done. Cuomo has tried to defend himself against the accusations, calling them “political”, but questions about that decision are likely to haunt him for some time.

The hope is that the mistakes of the past have been learned and that New York does not suffer a second time from the disaster that now unfolds in other parts of the United States.

Certainly, there are indications that New York has reached a level of seriousness in its response to the pandemic that makes other states appear to be in complete denial, especially this week’s announcement that there is sufficient probative capacity for any New Yorker to have a Coronavirus test at any time.

Wan Yang, an epidemiologist at Columbia University who has been preparing projections on the virus for the city’s health department since March, said that huge challenges remain for the virus to remain under control.

“We have to monitor a lot of factors,” he said. “The city has a test and trace program, but a large part of the infections are asymptomatic. Therefore, we must monitor hospitalization rates, track people without symptoms, and assess high-risk populations. “

For an expert like Wang at the center of the storm, there is no room for complacency.

“There is still a lot of work to do. You can never be too careful to reduce transmission, especially after what happened to this city. “