Mixed messages on coronavirus peaks in New York (opinion)

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STATEN ISLAND, NY – Anyone who thought COVID-19 would magically disappear once the media said that Democrat Joe Biden, president-elect, had better think it over.

Because if you listen to Biden and Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio, things are getting more and more dire by the day, even with a vaccine seemingly on the horizon.

De Blasio this week highlighted city test positivity rates above 2% and said indoor meals should be re-evaluated.

It would be a blow if indoor dining were limited or banned outright, especially since restaurants in New York City are still operating at only 25% of capacity while others in the state are at 50%. .

Cuomo, meanwhile, has created a convoluted new quarantine protocol that involves multiple tests for travelers coming here from states with high virus counts.

In a disturbing move, Cuomo said police and National Guard troops would be dispatched to airports to ensure compliance. This is a frightening development for those who fear that our health crisis could be used by some to exert greater control over the population.

But Cuomo’s travel restrictions don’t apply to people coming here from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut. It would be too logistically inconvenient to do so, Cuomo said. And yet New Jersey’s numbers are on the rise and Pennsylvania’s have been bad for some time now.

So are we in crisis or not?

Cuomo also said the next two months of the pandemic could be the worst of all. Really? Worse than the carnage we saw in April? Where are the alarm bells?

Biden the other day said we still face a “very dark winter,” even after positive vaccine news from Pfizer. Biden also called for a national mask mandate, if he can constitutionally get away with it.

But Biden supporters didn’t seem too concerned about the viral spread when they took to the streets in their millions to celebrate after Biden was elected by The Associated Press. Not everyone in these crowds was masked. But, hey, some things are bigger than just a pandemic.

There are a lot of mixed messages here.

The city has passed its benchmark for new COVID-19 cases by an average of seven days for several days now, and yet the city continues to roll merrily. De Blasio says the hospitalization figures are not yet of concern.

Staten Island doctors told The Advance that a better understanding of the virus, new treatments, and the fact that patients these days tend to be younger keep things from getting too serious so far.

And de Blasio has said repeatedly that the city’s increase in testing explains at least part of the rise in cases we’re seeing here. More tests lead to more cases. Never mind that President Donald Trump was ridiculed for saying the same about the virus spikes in the United States this summer.

And weeks ago, Cuomo said that with cooler fall weather, with people moving indoors and schools open, it would be next to impossible for New York City to maintain its low levels of child positivity. tests.

So here we are. As predicted. How much should we really care?

Back in the summer, when the numbers in New York City were dropping and cases in other states were on the rise, Cuomo and de Blasio proceeded to talk about how successful we were in beating the virus. They took the credit.

Should they now take responsibility for the increase in cases? Or will they just blame those who refuse to take precautions? Because people refused to wear masks back when the numbers were good in the state.

It is more and more difficult to keep pace.

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