. . . . "Reopening the City Too Soon Is, Effectively, Age Discrimination" -- and other kinds of descrimination too. Centers NYC, but applies across the board, particularly to totalitarian capitalist sociopathic 'leadership' states, such as the USA, Brasil, the UK, Sweden, and Russia. By design and by lack of ability to lead and deal with such a crisis, it has been decided to lose a huge number of lives forever into the future (and let's remember climate crash is also going on and not stopping) to this virus, rather than contain and eradicate -- allo for the sake of the bloated corporate richies and their minions to get RICHER. Thus here we have no tests, no tracking, no tracing, disappearing stats.
NOTE: not all nations have chosen this route, see: New Zealand; Cuba, Austria, etc.
Soon, New York will start pulling up shutters and setting out chairs. Work-from-homers will venture beyond their neighborhoods from time to time. Employees will trickle back into offices. Housekeepers, electricians, dentists, and security guards will repopulate the subway, because they will have no choice. The city is gambling that we have learned enough in these past months to keep the risks under control — that masks, distance, hygiene, and anxiety will keep us, if not exactly safe, then safe-ish. With no cure, no vaccine, and limited treatment, we have to rely on our own behavior and that of everyone around us. We have to trust our fellow New Yorkers to stay home at the first sign of the sniffles, to share our habits of caution, to wait for the next train if necessary, to step politely aside. We have to trust the MTA to keep crowds thin, employers to think through workplace logistics, the transportation department to dissolve the knots where pedestrians might jam the sidewalks, the school system to have a plan for a million kids that will protect their families too. Lockdown was easy compared to this.
And because that whole latticework of new habits and mutual consideration is so fragile, those who are at greater risk of getting sick will have to avoid it altogether. We’re opening a new chapter in the tale of two cities: the young and the healthy will (sometimes enthusiastically) take their chances; the old and the vulnerable will effectively remain under house arrest. To reopen now is to accept a new form of segregation, the exclusion of entire at-risk populations from public life, including everyone over, say 65. This is a civil-rights issue, and the reason we face it is that we have bumbled the better option: testing everyone.
If New Yorkers could get tested en masse and quickly isolate those who are infected, separating them from their families for two weeks, then the healthy could all pitch in to heal our wounded city. It’s not inconceivable. Wuhan, a city larger than New York, has reportedly tested 6.5 million residents (or maybe 9 million) in ten days. The Army tests all new recruits before they can join the ranks. In the short term, we would need to tolerate intrusions into our privacy that cannot be made permanent. Before you could enter a public building or sit at a restaurant table, you’d have to scan a QR code on a phone or wristband certifying you as COVID-free. No test, no service.
In the absence of widespread, repeatable, and accurate testing, we’re left with a radically unfair choice. Instead of isolating the infected, we will isolate the old and infirm, as well as plenty of vigorous people with an assortment of risk factors. Reopening schools means cutting grandparents off from their grandchildren and teachers from their parents. If you have diabetes or high blood pressure (or live with someone who has diabetes or high blood pressure), you’d be wise to avoid serving on a jury or entering a mall. Public transit will serve only for the young and healthy or the foolish. The threshold of every public building becomes a site of discrimination. [....]
. . . . The situation here ... it's beyond ... there is NO way to observe Distance. Too many people, too many bicyclists, too many family groups, too many joggers, just too many for any Distance at all. The amount of vehicular traffic is even higher than yesterday with everybody putting up construction to move their business onto the sidewalk and into the street. But there are all these vehicles. Plus people are clustering without masks right up close already, up and down the blocks.
Then there is this -- I'm walking carefully. Suddenly I hear approaching from behind this very loud male voice. It turns out a youngish guy on his bluetooth or whatever saying, "Ya they called me immediately to say I tested positive. My roommate though hasn't gotten any calls." And he continues in this vein -- I'm across a wide street by now and behind him, the wind is blowing from him -- and I can hear distinctly every word he's shouting to the world. NOT WEARING A MASK.
On another block, a guy w/o a mask is futzing with his motorcycle, coughing his lungs out. I am between him and a whole cluster of people outside a cafe up close and personal and no masks.
I have no idea what we're going to do this summer. Though surely a lot of these people are going to get really sick?
Wine Wednesday. I am partaking myself. Because whatheeff else?