The Python and the Pig

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Seattle-area emergency room

NYC declares state of emergency, de Blasio says coronavirus ‘could easily be a 6-month crisis’ (CNBC)

The city now has 95 confirmed COVID-19 cases, with 42 of them reported in the last 24 hours, he said. More than 1,780 people are under voluntary quarantine in the city, with an additional 29 people under mandatory quarantine, he said. By next week, the number of cases in the city is projected to rise to 1,000, he said. 


Here’s what I think de Blasio (and every mayor of every big city in the United States) is looking at. This is data publicly available from NYC Health.

The graph below is a count of the number of NYC emergency room visits PER DAY over the past twelve months where the chief complaint was an influenza-like illness. You see a big spike from November through January. That is seasonal flu. But you also see a new spike over the past two weeks. This is coronavirus.

I really don’t think this is some resurgence of seasonal flu for two reasons. First, for the entire online NYC Health dataset (goes back to 2016), there is no second spike in any year. Second, look at the demographics for ER-reported influenza-like illnesses broken down by pre-Feb and post-Feb. During the seasonal flu spike, the most impacted age group was children age 0-4 years. During this more recent spike, the most impacted age group (by far) was adults age 18-64. This is not the seasonal flu.

CV-19 is not coming to New York City. CV-19 is here. It’s been here for a while. It’s going to get much worse before it gets any better.

By much worse I mean that the NYC healthcare system – one of the finest in the world – is about to be slammed beyond anything they have ever seen. ER visits and patient testing is where it begins. It moves from there through the system, ending in ICU wards. The process is like a python swallowing a pig, except this isn’t a pig. It’s a whale.

From what I read and hear, I think that de Blasio and Cuomo are fully aware of the situation and taking every possible step to prepare the healthcare system for the deluge. It would be nice if we had this sort of leadership on a national scale, but I’m not holding my breath. Frankly, I’ll be thrilled if the White House is just not actively hampering the efforts that need to be made here.

Every local and state leader needs to look at what’s happening in New York and understand that this is your crystal ball. This is your future. You can ignore it or you can prepare. It’s truly your choice.

Every citizen needs to understand that your local and state leaders have the ability to make that choice. They will listen to YOU. So make your voice heard.


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Rafa Mayer
Rafa Mayer
7 months ago

As of 3:40 PM today…city is up to 154…and so it begins.

UPDATE: NYS has 96 confirmed new cases of novel coronavirus, bringing the statewide total to 421.

Westchester: 158
NYC: 154
Nassau: 51
Suffolk: 28
Rockland: 9
Ulster: 5
Dutchess: 3
Orange: 3
Saratoga: 3
Albany: 2
Broome: 1
Delaware: 1
Herkimer: 1
Monroe: 1
Schenectady: 1

Chris McNew
Chris McNew
7 months ago

Blanketing the country with testing sounds awesome but the speed with which the test results come back could be the next crisis IMO, and it’s easy to see through the narrative side of slow walking the results…I’m aware of a test sent off on 3/6 still awaiting results.

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