Representative Dooley May 15th COVID-19 Update

May 15, 2020

TGIF! Remember when that was a thing? The good thing is that we are still moving forward. At least the weather looks great for tomorrow so we can all go outside and enjoy our beautiful world and thank God for all we have. Speaking of thanking God… CiCi and I will be performing our weekly how to Facebook Live thingy tomorrow at 9. This week’s theme appears to be embarrassing our kids so much that they are thankful that they are in quarantine. So I hope you tune in.

 

There were unfortunately 110 Massachusetts residents who died within the last 24 hours that DPH reports COVID-19 was the cause of death or a contributing factor. 1,239 new positive cases were also reported dropping the ratio of positives to tested by another 1% to 11%.

 

Hospitalizations also dropped another 92 beds - bringing the total of all hospitalizations down to 2,767. That is a drop of 1,125 since April 26th - nearly 30%. Good news!

 

Nursing home and similar facilities remain the most frightening aspect of this crisis as 3,414 people that died came from one of these facilities. That represents 61% of all deaths are nursing home related. I guess I am frustrated that more wasn’t done to protect this most vulnerable population at the outset. Hindsight is always dangerous in cases like these but we did know from Italy that the elderly were the most vulnerable and communal living amplified that. Given that most folks that are in this sort of facility are there because they require care from a pre-existing condition I can’t imagine that this wasn’t the priority. Considering our government was still considering moving people in these homes around and consolidating beds in order to free up other beds at the beginning of April, I have to wonder what would have been the outcome if these facilities were locked down immediately and manned with national guard that could have insured isolation of this population. I was speaking with a friend who is pretty close with the Governor earlier today and he was wondering if this tragedy is coloring his current mindset and giving him additional pause. He is a very sensitive soul and I’m sure these deaths, especially those at the Soldiers’ Home weigh very heavily on him. I can’t imagine the second guessing and what if scenarios that go through his mind, as he prays he strikes the perfect balance of caution and liberty.

 

That being said, Charlie did extend the stay at home work order for 24 hours as his previous order was set to expire at midnight on Sunday. And for whatever reason, he is hellbent on having his grand reveal of his phasing plan on Monday. Either the planets align, 18 is his lucky number, or his buddies from Bain and McKinsey are really pulling out all the stops and needed a couple of more days to make their powerpoint really pop. Whatever it is, I hope it is bold, measurable, and shows true leadership. Stay tuned bat friends!

 

A couple of articles I was reading today really struck me. The first being this one from the National Review entitled:
A Plea for Generosity:
https://www.nationalreview.com/…/coronavirus-pandemic-be-c…/
I probably like it because it follows the narrative of one of my diatribes from a few weeks ago of simply being kind to one another. You do not know what the other person is going through that is driving their perspective and reactions. Mr. Dougherty sums up his piece with, “We are all muddling through, trying to live the best we can while this threat is out there. We are tempted to take out the frustration, anxiety, and anger these months have generated on each other. But what most of us need now is the mercy of basic kindness.” I like this guy - very wise, LOL.

 

The other was Peggy Noonan’s piece in the Wall Street Journal about how there is a class struggle as an alternate story line within this crisis. https://www.wsj.com/…/scenes-from-the-class-struggle-in-loc…. While the take on this piece is very different in scope, it narrates the same theme of putting yourself in another’s shoes. She opines how the “overclass” which is made up of highly educated, connected individuals such as doctors, politicians, business moguls, scientists, consultants, and other executives- who for the most part are continuing to work- aren’t necessarily worried about losing their jobs, and for the most part are financially secure. The other side of the coin is the “regular” people. Not nearly as sexy as “overclass” but oh well, I guess regular works. Another way to frame it is protected vs. unprotected. But basically the regular class are the small business owners, the rank and file employee who if there is a huge down turn in the economy, they will be on the cutting block or their struggling business (a business that they have put their heart, soul, and every penny into for the past three years) might go under. They are already over extended, what then? Panic, anxiety, desperation. Peggy is far more eloquent than I could ever hope to be - but again the overarching theme is that one side isn’t necessarily wrong and the other is right, there are just many other factors in play. The small business owner isn’t upset with the Governor for trying to protect people - but they are focused on protecting their family, their livelihood, that if destroyed will have ripple effects long after the election year money the politicians are handing out goes away. If a mega corporation like Walmart can have 100 people in their stores buying flat screen tv’s and kitty cat appliqué sweatshirts, why cant their shop be open with the same if not more precautions. But again, be kind… don’t judge, you don’t know what they are going through and you probably wouldn’t want to be in their shoes. And at the same time, don’t attack people who want more restrictions, they are scared, or are doing what they think is best for the greater good. They are not the enemy. United we stand, divided we fall.

 

And a final thought before I go to bed. I don’t usually touch on national politics but this one is a pet peeve of mine regarding all politicians and probably why I have such disdain for the circus surrounding the “unveiling” of the reentering plan set for Monday. Earlier today President Trump announced his plan to fast track vaccine development and that the goal is to have hundreds of millions of vaccines available and distributed out to the entire country utilizing every resource available resource at the government’s disposal. While I commend the plan and the announcement (while some say it is too aggressive of a time line - I’m enough cowboy to set your sights beyond reach and try to hit it anyway) - I hate that they named it “Operation Warp Speed”. Ugh, with all due deference to my trekkie wife who probably loves it - why do these damn politicians have to waste their time and energy on such nonsense. You know countless hours were taken sitting around spitballing ideas that sounded “cool” while capturing the vibe and sense of urgency. It probably had a freaking focus group weigh in on it. Anyway, I hate all the theatrics and I wish all of our politicians would just lead. Lead from the front, lead with conviction, don’t blame other for your failings, admit your mistakes, and move on. Stop worrying about what this will mean in the polls, just do the right thing - that is why we elected you.

 

Ok - I gotta get some sleep. CiCi Van Tine is currently lying next to me working on choreographing the next episode of Shawn and CiCi’s random weekend stupidity. I’m afraid. I think she has finally cracked. It is now Saturday (these things take a lot longer to write than you would expect) - so we made it to Saturday- hooray! One Day At A Time.

 

Be safe and be kind.

 

Shawn

 

 

 

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