Tuesday, March 31 update

NYS update: I admit that in recent days I have not been really tuning in to Cuomo’s briefings, particulary the photo-oppish ones. Today was not the day to miss out, however. Whether it was yesterday’s all-hospital planning meeting, or the alarming news that his brother has tested positive, Cuomo seems to have gotten religion, and he has gone into what the mainstream media calls “wonk mode” (i.e., talking about the particulars of governing a state rather than looking presidential).

So yes, now it’s gotten this bad: it’s now time to talk about inter-regional state unity, and smart ways of using upstate and downstate resources to create good outcomes for all, and the breaking down of silos, which is basically every effing thing that everyone upstate has ever wanted out of being part of this alleged Empire State, and basically every thing that every decent normal person anywhere in the state wants; but which the uber-rich and their petty Albany crapshooters have never given a thought about for the last thirty years. The same stuff that sounds so logical when you say it about a good, hardworking but distressed hospital in Queens not being helped by the wealthy private hospitals in Manhattan. That same stuff which sounds so golden coming out of President Cuomo’s lips these days.

“One coordinated system. It won’t be easy, but we have to do it.” We’re all ears.

Onondaga County update: I had a feeling this would not be as good a day as yesterday and it wasn’t. More than one hospital is running out of PPE (some worse than others). Although there were less new cases than the day previously, hospitalizations went from 20 to 31, and ICU admits also increased, a worrying sign about how severe the illness can get. Secure all the extra toilet paper you wish, but when a Wegmans employee tests positive, expect the community-Facebook s— to hit the fan. (In truth, you’re probably walking around with all sorts of COVID-positive people if you go out to Wegmans at this point.) With seven positive tests among employees of St. Joe’s, this could be the inflection point when we too start descending into the orange zone that our neighboring cities have been in for some time, and we’ll start hearing about these “institutional” transmissions more every day.

CE McMahon pointed out that Onondaga County, with its 467,000 official population and “up to 1 million” hospital-served population, currently has more COVID cases than at least eight other states. It’s strange to hear an upstate county official pleading the same case that we often hear when cities on the coasts ask for more money — we’re a population center! (That broader rural population is growing ever smaller, though.)

The irony on both ends is as thick as the COVID-fog these days, even if it still seems like needless “gotcha” to be pointing it out.