NYS update: So did anyone believe we were really all going to be going back to work on April 15? Anyone? Oh well.
Cuomo, who is looking and sounding beyond flattened these days, has the difficult task of convincing everyone that there really is no “corner” to be turned on this curve, at least not until some weeks have passed. The “high plateau” Powerpoint slide he displayed was gulp-inducing, I think because everyone knows it’s probably true: we’re not going… anywhere… for a few weeks. And this same pattern is beginning to show in Syracuse and in Buffalo as well.
Social. Distancing. Works.
Now we probably have to start worrying hard about “the rurals,” the parts of Upstate America that have got F’s in social distancing, and also the other people who might be innocently listening to them. How do you make the noncompliant people comply? Cuomo is irritated at this question. It’s not the job of the state to do this, he says; in a stance that might come back to bite him someday, he says the municipalities and the counties should take the lead. This response is still producing bad blood all around in Rockland.
Yossi Gestetner, co-founder of the Orthodox Jewish Public Affairs Council, said violations of social-distancing mandates are happening throughout the state and county, not just in the Orthodox community. “(Day) keeps on obsessing about small crowds at 10, 15-minute burial ceremonies while golf courses are open,” Gestetner said Sunday. “If we were all to stay home now in the name of coronavirus, why does he not advocate against golf courses?”
Onondaga County update: Who knew that closing golf courses was such an unprecedented and shocking move that we apparently were the first? And that other counties in CNY are now planning to do it, to prevent refugee golfers from bringing COVID into their communities? We live in amazing times when a GOP county executive not only calls out suburban males on their privilege on live television, but also implies they are overgrown babies who need to be told “no.” Well, not in those exact words — CE McMahon first alluded to sacrifice of city teens who aren’t allowed to play basketball any more, and then delivered the choice quote of the day: “If kids aren’t allowed to have play dates, why do the adults get play dates?” (Who is this guy, anyway?)
At today’s briefing were two new placards laying out the (still easily forgettable, sorry) guidelines for the voluntary shelter-in-place order. A red placard and a green one showed what days of the week are kosher for the Even People to grocery shop or go to county parks, and what days are OK for the Odd People. (I was half expecting him to promote a #teamred or #teamgreen.) Good news: married people can go shopping together, they just have to pretend they were born in the same year. But you really shouldn’t be going out together. But you can, because (as the reporters’ line of questioning tended) it’s not like anyone is actually being forced to do anything. There have apparently been no arrests of people who have been behaving unhelpfully. Not even any public namings and shamings, which at this point would be fun, especially if they’re golfers. McMahon hinted that maybe the sheriff should do this sort of thing, now.
As Cuomo and NYC officials also know, now we are in the real weeds, where long-term, widescreen thinking have to capture the imagination of an America which has for four years been content with witty little poo-poo fights between Their Side and Our Side. But, “This is bigger than a recreational activity – people are dying. This is bigger than all of us.”