Representative Dooley April 16th COVID-19 Update

April 17, 2020

I posted a PSA earlier warning people to not step on the scale. Here I was, knowing I wasn’t being super healthy, little snack here, piece of Easter candy there, bonus mid afternoon lunch squeezed in between my after lunch snack and my pre dinner snack. You know, the typical quarantine diet. But I was walking the dogs way more and going for a jog every once and awhile, and I was quite certain trying to figure out my 6th graders new fangled math had to be burning a ton of calories. Well, today I had to go to the state house, so I actually had to shower and get dressed in grown up clothes; so as I was hopping in the shower I’m like - hmmm, I wonder how much weight I have lost doing all that dog walking. Step on, step off , step on again, pick up the scale and move it to a different section of the floor because obviously that tile must be crooked or something. And damn, same result. I have somehow managed to gain 14.6 pounds since this all began. So, the diet began today so my posts might be a little grumpy for the next few days, weeks, months and for that I apologize in advance. But, since I have this amazing community supporting me throughout my day I figured I would post my weight loss or gain every day to hopefully keep myself in check . Yes, I know weighing isn’t healthy and i should only do it once a week or never - but I’m a data guy and I’m driven by numbers. So if you will indulge me, that will be an extra post in the morning. And if it helps you to be accountable as well, feel free to play along and post how you are doing. No judgement, just encouragement, and a little sense of community.

 

One of the hardest parts of my nightly post is transitioning from something silly or funny (still very important that we are positive and happy) to the horrific news of the day. Over the last 24 hours 137 Massachusetts residents passed away bringing our total to 1,245. Of these people who died: 2 were men in their 40’s, 2 men and 2 women that were each in their 50’s, and the remainder were over the age of 60.

 

As of today, 140,773 tests have been conducted and today’s 8,750 new tests is the largest single day tally since testing began. We are doing an amazing job at this and while far from perfect, we are doing better than most and this is how you win this war. Actually we have the highest per capita testing rate in the nation, so that is one positive.

 

To put this in perspective, the United States as a whole have had 27,012 deaths attributable to COVID19. Assuming a population of 328 million that translates to .0082% of the total population has been killed by this virus. Whereas Massachusetts (6.89 million) is at .018% - or basically double the national death rate. Now obviously this has a lot to do with reporting and how stats are calculated but I think it does show that while we are not New York - it is statistically significant. And following the same thought process - there are 632,548 identified cases in the US or .19% of the population is affected and in Massachusetts (32,181 positives) our infected rate is .83% - so like 4x higher. Again substantially due to the fact that we are testing more - and places like South Dakota have hardly any, but the point I’m trying to make is we need to continue to take this seriously.

 

Federal data indicates that over 570,000 Massachusetts residents have applied for unemployment since March 15, including about 100,000 in the last week (Typical volume is between 7,000-10,000 applications per week). This remains my number one concern as I fear that if we do not get the economy rolling at least partially, we are on a very slippery slope and it could be disastrous for years to come. I’m chatting a lot with Governor Baker although he unfortunately doesn’t always listen - but there are people way smarter than I saying the same things. Let’s balance caution and safety with keeping our eye on re-opening our state for business.

 

If I were a betting man (I’m not) I think Charlie will hold the course or make small incremental steps as we approach the peak (moving target, I know) and determine the best course of action from there. I was actually shocked that New Hampshire cancelled classes for the remainder of the year today and to be frank, that really made me nervous as I believe it puts additional public pressure on the Governor to be seen as being proactive. But honestly I don’t know, and while safety is our number one priority - at some point we need to realize that a 3 year depression with 30% unemployment will kill more than the virus and alter the future and well being of an entire generation. We are not there yet, but it’s getting closer by the day.

 

Attention Wrentham and Plainville Residents (sorry everyone else): Glove Cleaners and Safety Products, Inc, a Plainville based PPE Company is holding a community event tomorrow (well actually today because it is after midnight again) Friday, April 17th from 10:00 am until 12:00 noon at the old police and fire station in Plainville (157 South Street). Glove Cleaners, with the help of the Plainville Police Department, and in an effort to give back to the community will be offering FREE bottles of EPA Registered Sanitizer to the general public that is registered as a powerful and effective virucide capable of killing the Coronavirus as well as many other harmful agents. (Limit 1 bottle per family) To be clear this is an industrial cleaner to be put on surfaces- not hand sanitizer. It is very nice of this company to do this and if this goes well, I’m going to try and convince them to do something similar for some of my other towns.

 

Well, another day in the books. I hope you are all doing well and remembering to smile. We have so much to be thankful for and if you need anything - even if it is just to chat or ask a silly question - please let me know and I’ll do my best to be there for you. Keep up the great work and get ready for the April blizzard (Its nice to see the news get obsessive and over report on something else for a change).

 

Stay safe, stay strong, stay happy!

 

Shawn

 

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P.O. Box 23

Norfolk, MA 02056

774.469.0609

shawn@repdooley.com

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