Saturday, May 9 update

NYS update: “CUOMO KILLED MY MOM.”

That’s what’s painted on a blanket or bedsheet that was photographed along a highway in a photo that was posted on Twitter today. I’m not going to post the photo here, because I don’t know the story behind it and don’t know who put it up. I want to believe that it’s some opportunistic redneck who’s pretending and trying to make a hated politician look bad. Because if it’s not, and the sign is for real and actually was made by a grieving relative, it’s enough to make you want to cry. A “Jesus, this situation is truly horrible” moment.

I’m disgusted with the state’s inability or unwillingness to communicate critical data points to the local governments… and I’m exasperated with how this state really operates like a medieval kingdom. I have no idea why New York and all of America did not take the situation in China seriously, or why it got to this point. But…

I know basically why Cuomo and his health department did what they did in the beginning with nursing homes. They panicked, just like they did when they threw $60 million at a fly-by-night ventilator salesman (and haven’t even gotten it all back yet). They believed that all of New York’s hospitals were imminently about to be overrun. (They mostly were, in NYC, but statewide not at all.) This was the reasoning behind their bizarre and damaging order that nursing homes had to accept COVID patients. I’m not saying it was the right thing to do… but at that point, they were completely unprepared, not even in a position to do the right thing.

This kind of mismanagement takes years to breed, and is finally borne out when the unexpected happens. And there have to be consequences for this, long-lasting consequences. But I do not believe that even the highest, most out-of-touch officials in Albany callously wanted to kill anyone. This is part of the sadness too. And another layer of sadness is that this is supposed to be the state where the government looks out for the little people. New York State’s reputation is in tatters, and hundreds of moms and grandmothers are dead. And that is tragedy.

The Post-Standard has a lengthy article about the confusion over nursing home deaths and data.

There was more confusion today when some reporters discovered that Cuomo had issued another executive order earlier in the week seemingly extending the Pause until June 6. However, this isn’t the case — it was just the governor giving himself the option to do it. The various regions that are on track for Phase 1 of reopening, are still on track for a possible May 15 start if they jump through all of the hoops.

Onondaga County update: A short briefing today. As the CE predicted yesterday, the hospitalization count has begun to deflate to more expected levels now that many of the asymptomatic nursing home “dropoffs” have been sent to a COVID-equipped nursing home. It was noted, however, that at least one local home is still dropping their COVID-positive seniors off.

A reporter asked if McMahon could reassure local business owners that Phase 1 will start on May 15. This reassurance can’t be made — because the state could change its shit up again at any time — but since the Central New York region is required to do at least 700 tests per day, and Onondaga County alone managed 677 in one day, we’ve done everything humanly possible to hit all seven of the magic metrics for reopening.

How will businesses get the word that they can open? I was a little shocked to hear the CE respond that “the state will send out guidelines” — like, there’s not going to be any more specific “go word” than that. Shocked because, well, jeez, it’s not like the state has been too forthcoming with vital information so far. I hope this confidence is warranted.

It was confirmed that Onondaga County has not seen any cases of the mysterious inflammatory pediatric ailment that has been front and center at Cuomo’s briefings lately. Another piece of good news: the pace of community spread has calmed down a bit since earlier in the week.