Eleventh Entry


Covid Entry Sixth Avenue 

Saturday, March 28th, 2020

This morning a radio voice said, “Our president’s flimflammery is colliding with empirical reality” a term and concept I am not used to hearing on the morning news. 

President Trump complained that President Obama had “left the cupboard bare,” referring to the nation’s stock of medical supplies. He seems to have forgotten that he has been in charge for more than three years. He also abandoned the Health and Human Services four-year strategic plan.

On a midday run, I was drawn again towards Calatrava’s “Oculus”— an odd moniker for the oversized spiny skylight. I followed its gently curved southern flank on ground that was once called Ground Zero. Looking down into the normally busy area, three people were visible in the vast subterranean space.

Hospitals throughout the five boroughs are nearly full. 1,500 people are in intensive care; more than 200 people died yesterday. Governor Cuomo called the situation “dire”—a word I do not recall politicians choosing to say. He said the state needs medical staff, hospital beds, and ventilators. The news reports that the city is 21 days away from the apex.

The President said he was considering imposing a quarantine in the northeast, likely to contain infected New Yorkers. I heard him say, “I will decide very quickly, very shortly.” Is that language to have us ponder his nuance, to re-emphasize his point, or because he has nothing else to say? 

On a typical busy day, 4,000 calls come into 9-1-1 in New York City. On New Year’s Day, that number jumps to 5,000. In recent days, the average has been 6,500 calls. That’s the highest number since 9/11/2001. 

The baseball season would have started this week, but like other sports, it is shut down. The hope is to start in mid-May.