New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio told New Yorkers Saturday that they can snap smartphone photos of social distancing violations and text them to authorities and “enforcement will come” as the coronavirus shutdown remains in place across the Big Apple. “Now it is easier than ever,” he said in a video posted to his official Twitter account. “When you see a crowd, when you see a line that’s not distanced, when you see a supermarket that’s too crowded — anything — you can report it right away so we can get help there to fix the problem.” New York City is the nation’s largest COVID-19 hotspot, with more than 131,000 confirmed cases and more than 13,000 deaths as of Saturday afternoon. That’s more than the entire state of New Jersey, which sits second to New York state in confirmed cases with more than 81,000. There have been more than 716,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. and at least 37,659 deaths. CLICK HERE FOR FULL CORONAVIRUS COVERAGE The city’s social distancing guidelines include standing at least 6 feet apart from other people. De Blasio announced at the end of March that people violating them could face fines of up to $500. The mayor opened Saturday’s video by praising city residents for largely adhering to the guidelines and for being “extraordinary at social distancing,” noting that people are normally used to bustling crowds throughout the five boroughs. “Thank you everyone who’s done it the right way, but we still know there’s some people who need to get the message,” he said in the video. “And that means, sometimes, making sure the enforcement is there to educate people.”De Blasio: New Yorkers can report social distancing violations by texting photos to authorities | Fox News
It’s always so much easier to cover your own incompetence by blaming others for your failure. It’s a lesson Cuomo has learned well.
Every New Yorker needs to know that Gov. “all talk no action” Andrew Cuomo has failed to deliver for the people of his state during the crisis created by the coronavirus pandemic. While the Democratic governor continues to blame President Trump for a ventilator shortage in New York, a state Health Department report warned Cuomo all the way back in 2015 about this exact problem. Everyone needs to read this report. On Page 30 the Health Department report on ventilator allocation guidelines states: “during a severe influenza pandemic, there is likely to be a projected shortfall of ventilators (-15,783) during peak week demand.” But that’s not all. At the beginning of that report the New York State Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard Zucker wrote: “Dear New Yorkers, Protecting the health and well-being of New Yorkers is a core objective of the Department of Health. During flu season, we are reminded that pandemic influenza is a foreseeable threat, one that we cannot ignore. In light of this possibility, the Department is taking steps to prepare for a pandemic and to limit the loss of life and other negative consequences. “An influenza pandemic would affect all New Yorkers, and we have a responsibility to plan now. Part of the planning process is to develop guidance on how to ethically allocate limited resources (i.e., ventilators) during a severe influenza pandemic while saving the most lives. “As part of our emergency preparedness efforts, the Department, together with the New York State Task Force on Life and the Law, is releasing the 2015 Ventilator Allocation Guidelines, which provide an ethical, clinical, and legal framework to assist health care providers and the general public in the event of a severe influenza pandemic…” Where was the response from the governor? Where was the sense of urgency after such an explicit warning?Sean Hannity: Cuomo’s coronavirus failure – the real reason for New York’s ventilator shortage | Fox News
I don’t understand the reasoning for not making this available via prescription from qualified medical professionals.
Enough is enough. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo needs to IMMEDIATELY lift his pharmacy ban that is forcing New Yorkers stricken by the coronavirus into an already overburdened hospital system to get the potentially life-saving drug hydroxychloroquine. Because of an executive order issued by the Democratic governor, any new prescriptions for hydroxychloroquine must go through the already overrun hospital system. This makes no sense. Sources tell me that Cuomo has access to MILLIONS of doses of hydroxychloroquine right now. The federal government has tens of millions of doses and has made millions of doses available to the New York governor. I live on Long Island and many doctors are telling me that they want to prescribe this medication to their patients who test positive for COVID-19 – the disease caused by the coronavirus – but do NOT need the patient to come to a hospital. However, Cuomo’s executive order forbids pharmacies from filling the prescriptions. The governor is creating a much bigger crisis in his state’s hospital system by denying New Yorkers THE CHOICE (in consultation with their doctors) to take this potentially life-saving medication.Sean Hannity: Gov. Cuomo, stop denying New Yorkers hydroxychloroquine | Fox News
I had to do something today I had hoped I would never have to do again-file for unemployment. It took almost two hours on the website, but ultimately I did get through and did what I had to do. The only thing about my previous unemployment experience was that I knew what to expect, and I already had an active account on the website. All I can tell you is that if your state has online filing unemployment, you should take advantage of it. It may be frustrating, and you may get timed out even after you think you’re almost done and have to start again. Just do it. It’s still a lot better than the first time I ever had to file when a company I worked for many years got taken over and then downsized most of us out. This was long before online anything, so I had to physically go down to the Unemployment Office in person and do everything we do on our laptops today. Just think how much worse it would be if that system were still in place. You would have to get on the line outside the building at 4:00 AM and hope you even got in the door by lunchtime. So cheer up. It could be worse. A lot worse.
Spending a lot more time working on my book and hit my self imposed goal again yesterday but took some time off for some Skype time with our granddaughter. Part of her bedtime stalling was that “I want to read a story to Papa!” So Margie and I got on Skype, and she read the story. And then another one. And yet one more. She finally tired of the ruse and blew us a kiss goodnight, but I don’t know exactly when she went to sleep. She did not seem in the least bit sleepy. I’ll have to ask my daughter later.
We are at the point now where we are not leaving the apartment for anything unless it is unavoidable. I will probably make one of these inevitable trips tomorrow to the laundry and the bank. Some things still need to be done, but taking the types of precautions, I usually make fun of germaphobes for doing. Oh well, I guess the whole idea now is to stay safe. I can’t wait until we get to live again rather than just stay alive.
I am combining two days again. I just didn’t get around to posting yesterday. I made some phone calls I had been planning on, which took up part of the day. And I got one phone call I wasn’t expecting quite yet. My boss called to let me know we were officially furloughed and would not be receiving any more payments for sick or vacation time after this Friday. That means I will be at the tender mercies of the unemployment system for the foreseeable future.
The good news is that I made my 1000+ word target on the first day of April. Just writing is taking my novel in an entirely different direction. And now, I have an excellent idea for a twist ending. Or a double twist ending. I will spend some time today on the project. I am grateful I have this because at least it gives me something to do each day. It’s kind of like a job, except I will probably never get paid.
It’s late at night on the seventh day of this enforced vacation. I hate this, but I can’t complain. No one here nor anyone close to me is showing any signs of infection yet. I went to the store for necessities today and wore a mask and gloves for first-time. It still feels weird. Tomorrow I begin an online challenge to write 1000 words a day throughout April for my book. Should be able to do it. I certainly have no excuse not to, and it will give me a reason to get up in the morning.
I woke up at 4:30 for the second day in a row. My body wants to go back to work. But instead, I wound up falling asleep in the recliner until almost lunchtime. I watched some TV and now trying to get some writing done. I am still avoiding the news. I get snippets here and there, but I avoid watching most of the coverage.
I am going to take a look at twitter to get some ideas for my blog and maybe post a few things. It doesn’t matter much because so far nobody reads this except me. Perhaps that will change someday, but we’ll see. It gives me the freedom to go out on a limb and predict that by May 1, we will all start getting back to work. Enough is enough.
Today is the Fifth Sunday of Lent I wrote this reflection for our Church website and am sharing it here. Enjoy.
Lord, If You Had Been Here
We can very much identify with the anguish Martha and Mary are experiencing in today’s Gospel. Martha confronts Jesus in a way with questions we might want to ask of him ourselves in our current situation. “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.”
These might seem harsh or even disrespectful from our perspective, but we have to remember the relationship between Jesus, Martha, Mary, and Lazarus was very human. There was a warm friendship between Jesus and these three siblings that shines through all these centuries later. Martha can ask this of her friend Jesus because they have gotten to know him in His humanity.
In one way, this is what lent is about. We encounter Jesus in his humanity. In the words of St Leo the Great, “To pay the debt of our sinful state, a nature that is incapable of suffering was joined to one that could suffer.” Jesus indeed joined in the suffering and grief with the others who loved Lazarus. But presence is much more profound than mere commiseration.
His response to Martha is one we are familiar with but worth reflecting on, particularly in a time of hardship and suffering, such as we are enduring today on a global scale. “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in me, even if he dies, will live,
and everyone who lives and believes in me will never die.”
Jesu speaks in the present tense because salvation is not something that we are waiting for in the future but is rather ongoing today, this moment and the question for us to reflect on this Fifth Sunday of Lent is, “Do I believe this?”
Our prayer is that each of us can respond as Martha did, “Yes, Lord.
I have come to believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God,
the one who is coming into the world.”
Today we received the last regular paycheck we are likely to receive for a while. It is going to be a bumpy ride financially from here on out. Rent is due on Wednesday, but I have yet to hear from them on the method of payment. We can probably make most of all our payment this month but next month is seriously in doubt. Something will have to be worked out.
Congress is supposed to approve a badly needed stimulus bill for the President to sign, but one grandstanding Republican is trying to make a name for himself by being the lone voice holding it up to force a quorum. That means legislators from both sides have to gather in one place unnecessarily to please the ego of one person to absolutely no purpose.
Combining entries because yesterday kind of got away from me, and I wound up not posting anything. The Tea Party Doofus, who will now be remembered only for being a grandstanding jerk at a time when the nation is in crisis, was easily swatted side, and the stimulus bill finally passed. The President signed it yesterday afternoon.
Today we didn’t even eat breakfast until 10:00. That never happens unless we go out on a Sunday and have to wait until after Mass. Our nights are getting gradually longer. The later we stay up then the later we get up. We are going to have to work on keeping a better schedule or I will not be able to get back on a work schedule when the tie comes. Right now, it is like we are living in a different time zone, and I don’t want to get too comfortable with that.
The choice we made to stay off the news sites is turning out to be the right decision. A recap in the morning and a recap in the afternoon keeps us up to date, but the rest of the day, we watch or do anything else we can to dwell on this thing as little as possible.
Almost time for bed. Just a quick note to say we are still here. No fever, no symptoms. So far, no reason to believe we have been exposed—more tomorrow.