New York: The First Sensible Approach to School Re-Opening

The facts are in. When it comes to COVID-19, New York did it right.

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COVID-19: the Trump plan

COVID-19: Back to School?

I have friends who are teachers in Maine and New York state, and family who are teachers in Ohio and Georgia. There’s a great deal of uncertainty about the upcoming school year, and lots of concern over COVID-19. One of the crucial aspects of re-opening schools is the current state of the pandemic. Of course it’s only one factor in the school decision, but it is a crucial one. With that in mind, let’s look at these four states and assess how ready (or not) they are to deal with COVID-19.

In my opinion, in order to loosen restrictions, re-open the economy, and/or consider re-opening schools, a state should be in the “green zone” — no more than 40 cases per day per million population. At that level, cases are few enough that contact tracing can work its magic to best effect, stomping out flare-ups before they get out of hand. Contact tracing, and a mandatory mask order, are how you stay in the green zone.


New York is in excellent shape: the green zone.

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COVID-19 Back to School: Is Georgia Ready?

In my opinion, schools should not re-open unless the case load (the number of new cases per day per million population) is under 40. I call this the “green zone.” At that level, effective contact tracing really works — that, and a mandatory mask order, is how you stay in the green zone.

The latest 7-day average for the state of Georgia (as of July 10) is 279. That’s in what I call the “red zone” (> 250). It means “red alert.”

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COVID-19 in America

From CNN:


As the US plunges into an ever deeper coronavirus morass, setting record new infection rates and the death curve begins to rise again, there’s no prospect of the nightmare ending for months.

Delusion dominates an administration that perversely claims the United States is the world leader in beating this modern day plague. There are only contradictions, obfuscations and confusion from the federal officials who ought to be charting a national course.

The massive integrated testing and tracing effort that could highlight and isolate infection epicenters doesn’t exist. Attempts to reopen schools in a few weeks are already descending into farce amid conflicting messages from Washington.

Amid all of this, the coronavirus task force does not hold daily briefings, and when it does, they are an exercise in dodging difficult questions and self-congratulation.

Months into the worst domestic crisis since World War II, there is no sense that a fractured country is pulling together to confront a common enemy. People are still arguing about wearing masks — a tiny infringement of personal freedoms that represents one of the few hopes of easing the contagion. The one federal official who does seem to have answers, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has been banished to the podcast circuit by President Donald Trump, who was on Fox News Thursday night boasting about acing a cognitive test as the US hit another daily record of infections — over 60,000 — on a day on which more than 900 new deaths were reported.

COVID-19: Unhappy Swedes

Sweden’s experiment isn’t going very well.

It is simplistic to portray government actions such as quarantines as the cause of economic damage. The real culprit is the virus itself.

COVID-19: It’s Complicated

Not only is testing complicated by sampling issues (we’re not testing randomly), it’s complicated by medical issues too.

COVID-19: New York puts Sweden to Shame

I’ve received some bullshit comments over the years, but every now and then one just goes that extra bullshit mile:


Yeah, holding NY up as an example doesn’t make sense. Stockholm has better numbers than NYC, and Stockholm did (almost) nothing. Cuomo’s response seems to have been worse than neutral, that is, it seems to have made things worse. Does anyone seriously think that any state in the US is going to catch up to NYC’s death total? Even on a per capita basis?

Let’s start with some facts. Andrew Cuomo is governor of New York state; here’s the NY case load (per million population) compared to Sweden’s (per million population):

Here’s the daily death toll in NY compared to Sweden’s:

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Florida: COVID-19 silences DeSantis

COVID-19: Doing It Right

We can defeat the COVID-19 epidemic. We’ve already been shown how.

New York state was hard hit by COVID-19, and hit early by U.S. standards. Because of the incompetent federal response, nobody in the U.S. was properly prepared. Responding quickly, New York State took the tough steps that brought the disease under control. They even forced the outbreak down — they didn’t just “flatten” the curve, they crushed it. And they haven’t wavered, but have stayed the course, holding on to those measures that have enabled them to lower the daily case load from over 400 per day per million population, to under 30.

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