I was out of town and off grid over the long weekend, and I just returned to this. The COVID map that I like best just pushed New York from the “On Track to Contain” to the “Controlled Disease Growth” bucket, like a common Texas. This is due to an uptick in cases reported prior to the holiday. On the worst day of the last week, 918 (1.3%) of the 66K people tested were positive. By US standards, we’re still doing OK, but by the standards of the rest of the world, we’re not.
For example, the state of Victoria, Australia just announced that they’re re-entering stage 3 lockdown in Melbourne, which means no trips except for groceries, exercise, medical care and education. Melbourne’s lockdown will extend for 6 weeks. The day it was announced, Victoria had 191 positive cases for 6.4 million population. Victoria is about 1/3 the size of New York state, so we’d have 573 cases if we had the same result as Victoria. We had close to double that number last week, and we’re still “on track”, though Cuomo wisely delayed opening of indoor seating in bars and restaurants in the NYC region indefinitely.
In a week or so, I’m sure we’ll see another surge in cases due to the 4th of July weekend. The question is whether contact tracing will work. Last week, Rockland County had to issue subpoenas with $2,000 daily fines to get some COVID-exposed partygoers to cooperate with contact tracing. This week, I’m assuming contact tracers on Long Island will have their hands full with a maskless party where Don Jr and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle attended. She later tested positive. There were over 100 people at that party.
At some point, the positive rate driven by reckless behavior will overwhelm our tracking system. Then we’ll have a decision to make. It will be very ugly.