Day 22

Cuomo said in his briefing today that he’s estimating the peak will be in the next seven-day range. Of course, three days ago he said all the models were saying the peak would be at the end of April. Earlier in the week he was talking about the peak being in May. 

Studies by CDC show 25% of coronavirus cases are asymptomatic, studies in Iceland show up to 50%. 

As of tonight, New York has given 283k tests. That’s 1.4% of New York’s 19.5 million population. If we look just at NYC, the epicenter, only 1.44% of its 8.6 million people have been given a test. (124,652 tests – 4/4/20) Beyond those who are asymptomatic, there are many with mild symptoms that aren’t being tested as well. 

These models are operating off of selection skewed data (those in hospitals and severe are most likely to get tests) representing only 1.4% of the population, for a disease that might be non-symptomatic for 50% of those it infects but’s as contagious as wildfire. Oh, and we don’t know when it first started spreading either. Hmmm….

We don’t know, nobody knows. And there’s no better symbol of that than the colorful charts with moving goalposts that they present to us to pretend they do.

Serological testing.  The value of seeing antibodies isn’t so people can get an immunity passport to get out of lockdown (talk about a Black Mirror episode), or harvesting antibodies for treatment of those still sick. 

If we can ramp up serological testing, we can start seeing how many have actually been exposed (including those who were asymptomatic.) Then we could start making informed decisions, instead of reacting to an algorithm driven to schizophrenia from being starved of data. 

In the meantime we wait, because we don’t know. We sleeplessly prepare for the worst, adapt to the new normal, and keep our fingers crossed that the damage the economy can be recovered from, anxiously hoping each day for the numbers to slow.

It’s Saturday

60 degrees, sunny, with a slight breeze that was just beginning to warm – today was gorgeous. It’s been raining on and off all week, which only added to today’s allure. The lines at the grocery stores were a little bit longer, there were a few more people scurrying about the city – almost everyone’s faces now covered. You can’t blame people for escaping their tiny new york apartments.

There’s a suspicion in the air though – stores that are still open brandish a sign “Only 5 people allowed in at a time.” Grocery store workers actively remind everyone in the long line to stay six feet apart – some of the stores even have pieces of tape on the ground for “proper distancing.” 

I pulled out my bike today. It was freedom. Riding through the empty streets of New York, never getting close to anyone, and being able explore farther into the city…for the first time since I can remember, this Saturday actually felt like a Saturday.