Rant of the Day

I rarely read the New York Post and I doubt that I’ve linked to anything in the Post more than a time or two but I found this cri du coeur by columnist David Marcus powerfully written:

By prolonging the coronavirus shutdown long after its core mission was accomplished, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have plunged tens of thousands of New Yorkers into poverty.

It needs to end. Now.

In mid-March, we were told we have to endure a lockdown to ensure that hospitals didn’t get overrun. We did. The hospitals were not overwhelmed. We turned the Javits Center into a hospital. We didn’t need it. We brought in a giant Navy ship to treat New Yorkers. We didn’t need it.

We were told we were moments away from running out of ventilators. We weren’t, and now the United States has built so many, we are giving them away to other countries.

Meanwhile, the Big Apple is ­dying. Its streets are empty. The bars and jazz clubs, restaurants and coffeehouses sit barren. Beloved haunts, storied rooms, perfect-slice joints are shuttered, many for good. The sweat equity of countless small-business owners is evaporating. ­Instead of getting people back to work providing for their families, our mayor talks about a fantasyland New Deal for the post-coronavirus era.

Open the city. All of it. Right now. Broadway shows, beaches, Yankees games, the schools, the top of the freakin’ Empire State building. Everything. New Yorkers have already learned to socially distance. Businesses can adjust. The elderly and infirm can continue to be isolated.

I have no idea of what New York should or should not do but I think the figures speak for themselves. The NYC metro area is home to about 20 million people, about 6% of the U. S. population, and it is probably more detached from the economy and affairs of the rest of the country more now than at any time in its history. As Mama Rose puts it in the musical Gypsy New York is the center of New York. And that was written more than 60 years ago.

Something between a third and half of all of the cases and deaths in the entire United States have been in the NYC metro area. The prevalence and morbidity of the disease there is an order of magnitude greater than what most of the country is experiencing.

3,000 miles away, the Los Angeles metro area is home to 13 million people. The Washington, DC metro area is home to another 6 million people. Together those three metro areas account for roughly 12% of the population of the U. S. but for at least 90% of the national opinion-making apparatus. For that to continue is unhealthy. It is distorting.

8 comments… add one
  • janz Link

    During an interview with David Marcus he said what motivated him to write that piece was seeing a long line of people waiting in a food line early in the morning. It relayed to him the desperation people felt, the reversals in their lives, because of the lockdown and sudden loss of their livelihoods.

    I agree Marcus’s words are compelling, but are not unusual in their descriptions of the everyday adjustments and sacrifices forced on people throughout the country. And, as a backdrop to hearing so many stressful stories, there is an increasing flow of doctors, infectious disease experts, respiratory team members who dispute the prevailing scientific conclusions fueling the harsh, protracted shelter in place guidance. Such people, who dissent from the dictates of government mandates or media opinion makers, receive little attention, their remarks or videos are often arbitrarily removed from social media sites, expunged as “misinformation.”

    However, IMO, it’s maddening, creepily Orwellian, and, unlike what the incessant marketers of this pandemic soothingly repeat, non-stop, “We are not all in this together!”

  • Greyshambler Link

    And what do you say to the grieving family of those who die because you decided that a good time was worth more than their lives? Look, I get it. But I think we need to be able to explain the trade off. I’ll start.
    1. That’s your problem.
    2. Tough, sorry.
    3. They should’ve been careful.
    4. Everyone dies sometime.
    5. Look Away.
    6. Don’t guilt trip me.
    7. Hey, I got my own problems.

  • jam Link

    Gray, let’s start with the huge swath of deaths being in senior long term care facilities. In Los Angeles, alone these facilities accounted for 50% of all coronavirus deaths. These places can be targeted, given extra protection, testing, and isolating those patients who came down with COVID, rather then seeding them in the general population of the facility. Incredibly, states like NY, MI. seemed totally dismissive of creating such medical firewalls around medical environments housing the elderly, unlike FL and Louisiana who did, and had far less loss of lives.

    Secondarily, a more moderate guidance can be adhered to – one that stressed hand washing, discouraged large public gatherings, and basically scaled down life and events without turning them off completely. I don’t think guilt or shame has to be a by-product when reasonable measures are undertaken, respectIng all aspects of something so overwhelming as a pandemic – that includes physical, mental, emotional and livelihood considerations.

  • TarsTarkas Link

    Florida was supposed to become COVID-19 death camp two like New York. It didn’t. Why? They targeted the most vulnerable population – seniors – and pretty much quarantined them and when one got sick quarantined THEM away from the others. Not only saving mucho lives that would have been lost under a universal lockdown but used scarce resources of manpower, equipment, etc. more efficiently. But Cuomo is the magnificent hero and DeSantis is a heartless dollar-conscious monster. I’m tired of the F**kin narratives the MSM keeps flooding us with.

  • CuriousOnlooker Link

    I do not think it is a binary choice between lockdown forever and let it rip.

    For example; daycares are retooling; putting in all sorts of procedures to reduce risk. There are fever scans on checkin; windows are left open for fresh air; as many classes are possible spent outside, rearranging lunch seating for the 6ft rule. Every aspect is looked over.

    There is concern about churches; it is a real risk, super spreader events have occurred in houses of worship. I believe they can be mitigated. For example, worship (ie singing) is really risky, but silent prayer is not. Communion may have to be adjusted.

    Every part of our society should be invited and take initiative on how they can reduce risk in a COVID world.

  • Guarneri Link

    “Together those three metro areas account for roughly 12% of the population of the U. S. but for at least 90% of the national opinion-making apparatus. For that to continue is unhealthy. It is distorting.”

    And it goes far beyond a virus. And it’s how you get Donald Trump. The opinionmaking apparatus still doesn’t get it.

    “And what do you say to the grieving family of those who die because you decided that a good time was worth more than their lives? Look, I get it.”

    No, you don’t. You say the same thing you say to the family of a victim of typical flu, a car accident, and on and on. Life has risk. My liberties don’t end where your fears begin. Turn it around. What do you say to the un- or late detected cancer victim who stayed away from a check up due to lockdown. We are very good at focusing on the obvious subjects of life’s risks, but very poor at acknowledging the costs of preventative actions.


    That’s exactly what FL did, Tars. With its age demographic it should have been ground zero for death. Obviously the “experts” blew it, big time.

  • Andy Link

    “I do not think it is a binary choice between lockdown forever and let it rip.”

    I think this is a key point that, for whatever reason, most of our political and partisan class is missing. The debate about Covid and shutdowns has become completely detached from reality.

    Once again I feel fortunate to live in a state with generally competent governance. We are lifting restrictions here methodically and the state government has been clear and transparent about the criteria they are using and the reasoning for why and when various restrictions will be lifted.

  • jan Link

    Putting this post under the ”Rant” thread is generally consistent with that topic:

    It’s Saturday, approximately 73 days of shelter in place orders behind us in the state of CA, with only minor adjustments and nuanced reassurances as to when this will end.

    In the meantime mental health flares are going up, with some doctors, warning the powers that be, they have seen more suicides, people intentionally hurting themselves, than there have been in a year’s time. 39 million are unemployed. Millions of children are socially isolated. Other children are missing early vaccination schedules, while treatments, annual check-ups, elective surgeries are put on hold. Nursing homes are still racking up most of the deaths. Some cities are drawing circles 6 feet apart in parks, designating acceptable social distancing. People are obediently wearing a variety of facial coverings (bras, bikinis, scarfs) to fulfill what is socially mandated. Substance, spousal abuse has heavily increased, jamming crisis help lines. Small businesses are walking a fine line between being barely open/making it and just kissing it off entirely. For example, a good friend with a beautiful N CA inn is talking about throwing in the towel, on a place she lovingly built some 30:years ago.

    These are dismal stories being lived in times where the virulent, contagious aspects of this virus keep getting downgraded. The only thing is, if actual data demonstrates how overly hyped the media, infectious experts, politicians made it out to be, how does everyone else apply for a refund on their unnecessary misery?

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