News Item: Florida shattered the single-day record of new cases on Sunday, hitting 15,300 new cases, the most by any state in one day since the pandemic began.
Do you remember when this coronavirus mess first started, and some people, mainly elsewhere in the country, didn’t think this was entirely real? A good number of them even thought it was a hoax. Our hospital beds were empty. We didn’t need the ventilators, or the PPE or the nurses and doctors. That was a fiction perpetrated by the governor, Andrew Cuomo. People’s deaths were being misclassified as “COVID deaths” and it was all a scheme to harvest more federal dollars. Besides, you know how New Yorkers are: Always looking to find a way to get a handout, or avoid work or impose silly and bureaucratic rules like wearing a mask.
And I wonder, in places like Phoenix or Houston or Miami or even Kansas, where I attended college – do you think it still looks like a hoax? No, I bet not. Now, your undertakers are working seven days, like ours were. Your hospitals are investigating leases for refrigerated trailers. And in an odd sign of seriousness, some states are now mandating masks in public. And in 2020 in America, this is progress, that we’ve accepted a glimmer of science.
We are nowhere near through this. Things are far better here in New York State than in April and May, yes. But it’s a long way from over. And the rest of the country? It’s just beginning. People in the Midwest are simply not used to the idea at all that they might run out of something as basic as hospital beds. How can that be?
I guess we’ll find out, and fairly soon, if the properties of exponential numbers hold.
The Putnam County Business Council has put together a slate of anti-racism seminars and training (see page 9). This is helpful, and I commend the seminars to your attention.
We have long thought that there is no politics more local and with more impact than serving on the school board. That has been true for decades, but is especially true now. My father served on the school board for our district in Minnesota when I was young. Now, reopening schools and in what form will be a decision made at the state and local levels and I am glad of it. We do not need people in Washington dictating anything about this.
While we are on schools, if you live in the Brewster or Carmel school districts, I encourage you to pay close attention to developments there. Both districts are in considerable flux. I do not know, yet, exactly what is going on. But I know that enough things are going on that the light of public attention is needed.
Until next week.
Douglas Cunningham is the editor of the Putnam County Courier and the Putnam County News and Recorder, in Cold Spring. Send news tips or letters to the editor to email@example.com; send advertising requests to firstname.lastname@example.org. We publish more local news every single week than any other paper in Putnam.