Representative Dooley May 18th COVID-19 Update
Another crazy busy day… for those who want to know how exciting it is to be a state rep between texts, emails, Facebook messages, instagram, and phone calls - I had over 1,000 contacts today. Holy mackerel. The joy of getting lots of media attention combined with the Governor’s press conference I suppose. I have the most patient wife and kids in the world because every time they wanted to ask a question or help with something the phone would ring and I would say, just one second. I am so incredibly blessed because they are so supportive and put up with all my nonsense.
For the second day in a row and third time in a week, the death rate was below 100 at 65. Again not to diminish the importance of these lives but compared to where we were a few weeks ago this is tremendous news. Not cause for celebration, but cautious optimism. The positive cases for the past 24 hours also dropped slightly to 1,042 although the ratio against the test increased to 17%. Again, not to read into these daily numbers too much, the ratio has an aspect of luck associated with it from a probability standpoint and one really needs to be looking at long term trends which continue downward.
DPH put out a new chart today of Public Health indicators which I have attached and as you can see, they are also factoring the averages as opposed to the daily spikes. These graphs are a great representation of the steady decline we have seen over the month of May.
As I’m sure you have all seen, Governor Baker put out his reopening plan today and it was much better than I had feared but not as good as I had hoped. I don’t know if the pressure I and other folks around the state put on him to be a bit more pragmatic had anything to do with it, but it was very different that the version that was leaked a couple of days ago. While it does do a pretty good job of setting forth the first phase, on going phases are still lacking and the one size fits all aspect to many industries will hopefully continue to be fine tuned.
I was disappointed that our local main street businesses are still not treated equitably when compared to the national chains like Target and Walmart. You still can’t go in and browse and actually touch the product and compare like you can at these superstores. If they have an online presence you can order it and go over and pick it up at the curb next week - but if you are going to be buying something sight unseen - many people will end up simply going with Amazon and have it delivered the next day. As CiCi now teases me after this comment made 7 for 7 news reports - our government shouldn’t be picking winners and losers. And there are some losers in this plan and I had many conversations with business owners today that were not in phase 1 and they aren’t sure if they are going to make it. It is incredibly frightening times so please keep that in mind when you are dealing with people. Hopefully we can adjust and hopefully there will be some other relief; but unfortunately we know that there will be those that are unable to overcome this shutdown - especially new businesses that do not have the reserves, and that makes me very sad and frustrated.
Lots of other areas I have calls in on that need clarity - RMV, camps and day cares, wedding venues (I cannot imagine how frantic the poor couple that has been planning their nuptials for the past year must be), and many others. I and some of my colleagues filed a bill that will allow for expanded outside seating for area restaurants so they can increase the number of people they are able to serve while actually increasing social distancing. And maybe this will be something that takes off and we will end up having more places in the future who have this as an option.
But they did put everything in one place - and while it might be a bit overwhelming - I’ll take too much information vs not enough every day of the week. They even included the posters you need to put up around your place of business if you are able to open.
Overall I am satisfied with what the Governor’s team put out and I hope that in the coming days many of the gaps, especially surrounding metrics and more specialized situations begin to get rounded out. There are so many exceptions and I hope that they relinquish some additional controls to the towns because the towns know the people and businesses and the towns are going to be the ones responsible for policing and enforcing as well. It only makes sense as what might work in Boston or Springfield might look very different in Plainville or Medfield. I will be continuing to push for this level of common sense local guidance and I look forward to hearing how this plan works once it really starts getting utilized in the real world.
Sorry, I have completely dropped the ball on getting more masks out on the fence and I know you are all dying for another awesome video (CiCi is much better btw - thank you for everyone who reached out, wished her well, made her laugh, and prayed for her). Busy is good - and I’m glad I’m getting to help so many people - I just need to clone myself to get it all knocked out. Thank you for your patience, love and support.
And although it sounds like something out of a Ray Bradbury novel:
Welcome to Phase 1!