Sunday, March 29 update

NYS update: After spending yesterday evening fending off the Mouse That Roared (who backed down later), and pondering acts of “civil war,” Cuomo finally has got something to say about internal travel. (It would have been nice if he had just addressed this directly the other day, when asked, by a journalist from his own state asking about concerns of people from his own state. These are unprecedented times, but not that unprecedented I guess.)

Predictably, all nonessentials will remain at home until April 15.

Cuomo also brought up potential hospital load-bearing plans which, theoretically, would involve larger UNY hospital centers. (My guess: Albany, Utica-Rome, Syracuse if they came up this far; places like Olean certainly not). Although I’m not a health professional, I admit I struggle to understand what “overflow” means – would these be COVID patients? Would they be “regular” patients? Would it just be easier to send upstate equipment down south, and if so, would that raise the hackles of previously sanguine county leaders? (“They’re coming for your ventilators…”)

Suddenly, the physical distance between NYC and upstate seems farther than ever. (Never mind the social, political and financial distancing that, alas, didn’t just start last week.)

Onondaga County update: A large jump in confirmed cases, with 48 new cases for a total of 194. However, this is seemingly due to a large number of backlogged tests returning (something that Tompkins County may have also experienced this weekend). The other statistics seem more promising: No net increase in numbers of hospitalized (still 20). A net decrease in the number in intensive care (now 7). Four people have been discharged (still sick), and five have been classified as “recovered.” And no new deaths have been reported here.

Dr. Gupta was on hand to explain the (brand new) CDC and NYSDOH guidance on the ending of isolation/quarantine, where all three criteria must be met – 7 days since first appearance of symptoms; 3 days without fever (no fever reducing medicine allowed – if you took fever reducer, the 3 days has to reset); symptoms must continue to improve. This last criterion requires intensive and individualized evaluations. Once isolation/quarantine ends, things don’t go “back to normal”: strict social distancing must be maintained.

The “no more normal” theme continued regarding economic questions, with the open-endedness of this period of time stressed, and also that businesses who can come up with proposals (“evolve”) to adapt to uncertain conditions should receive help from the county. The only other major question concerned the possible transfer of downstate patients. I felt McMahon did a good job of explaining that critically ill medical transfers are not the same thing as AirBNB’ers running amok, and that, if Syracuse was managing the needs of CNY and NNY patients, it would be “ridiculous” not to accept downstate patients if necessary.

(One shudders at what the answers to these questions would have been if we lived in the home range of Republicanus trumpi, rather than the home range of the extinct R. rockefellerius and their as-yet-unclassified descendants.) May we all continue to evolve.