A Perspective on the Pandemic

In the past 6 weeks, the bloggers I know have kept up their normal postings of tranquil and beautiful scenes, with only an occasional nod to “the elephant in the room”, the COVID19 viral pandemic sweeping the world. I find myself very attentive to news and numbers in the USA, as we live in one of the current “hot spots” of infection, Long Island, New York.

New York City has had  more infections per capita than anywhere in the USA, and more hospitalizations and more deaths. Mercifully all the numbers now suggest the city has reached a plateau in mid-April 2020. Across the country there are great disparities in the the infection rates in different regions. So it is possible, if you live in an area with low numbers – as many of my friends do – to imagine you will not see many more.

Buy I want to offer you a more dire perspective from an area that has been hard hit. On March 21, Long Island had about 2500 confirmed cases of COVID19 infection, and about 20 deaths. But the numbers were doubling every 2-3 days, meaning we were on the sharply rising part of the now familiar curve that needed to be “flattened.” Simple math predicted that at this rate of doubling, the number of cases would explode in a month. Now in mid-April we have 53,000 cases and over 1,750 deaths!

This is just to say please be very careful to observe the social distancing rules, even if your current numbers are small. They can grow very rapidly! Don’t let warm Spring weather tempt you to enter crowded places!