As if 2020 can’t get any more surreal. Deadly virus, riots, quarantine, massive unemployment, murder hornets, and now we have a huge police presence right down the street protecting our Wrentham outlets from gangs of looters and other pieces of crap. I feel like I’m living in a poorly written science fiction movie and I keep waiting for Mad Max to come rolling up. I do not understand how we got here (well I understand intellectually just not philosophically) and more importantly I fear what is to come next. For all of her faults, America was always the land of opportunity and freedom and as of late that seems to be very much in jeopardy. Where do we go from here? How to we take our struggles and our failures and learn from them and put our nation back on track? I wish I had the answers. I am trying my best to serve and help in anyway I can, I just do not know what tomorrow will bring and I am incredibly anxious and nervous about our prospects. Please pray that our leaders will rise to the challenge and make the right decisions, as we are on standing on a very dangerous precipice of our history - and too severe of a fall at this point might prove to be fatal.
Today, the Department of Public Health will begin reporting both confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases and deaths. This change is in accordance with guidance from the Centers for Disease Control to include “probable” COVID-19 cases and deaths in data collection and reporting efforts.This change will increase the number of cases and deaths reported in Massachusetts. Today’s newly reported totals are a result of a retrospective review of probable cases and deaths dating back to March 1, 2020.Probable cases are individuals who have not been tested by the standard viral (molecular) test. They have either 1) had a positive antibody test and either had COVID symptoms or were likely to be exposed to a positive case or 2) did not have an antibody test but had COVID symptoms and were known to be exposed to a positive case. Probable cases also include individuals whose death certificate listed COVID-19 as a cause of death but who were not tested.
Since the beginning I have been suspect of the reporting. And not from some conspiracy standpoint but from speaking with medical officials and others that were responsible for tracking and a constant refrain was that the cases were slanted in favor of over reporting. Now this is being manipulated even further. Not sure the rationale behind this but it seems awfully subjective.
So 48 new ACTUAL deaths were reported over the past 24 hours and an additional 141 “probable” were added onto the total as well today. At the same time we saw 326 new positive cases with another 3,514 “probable” cases also added onto the tally. Can’t determine what the ratio is because some of these people weren’t ever tested. This is such a bad look from a reporting standpoint and so incredibly frustrating.
Hospitalizations continued to decline with over 150 fewer patients in the last two days. ICU beds also decreased again to 404 beds with 289 of this patients actually intubated. This is a new report so I was surprised that it was significantly lower than the ICU beds. I don’t know why, probably due to all the focus on vents a few weeks ago, but I kind of expected nearly everyone who was in the ICU was on a respirator.
Governor Baker began rolling out more info on his Phase 2 plan of reopening. I believe when I was asked on the radio the other day what grade I would give the new guidance, I eloquently replied, “Is CRAP a grade?” That is still how I feel. While I am happy with some things - the overall theme still is picking winners and losers. Further it assumes Massachusetts business owners are infantile morons incapable of making sound decisions using the guidance and science to protect their employees and customers. I get that some areas have higher risks and that is fine, let’s single out those. But many of the remaining businesses out there can and will make sure they go above and beyond sanitizing, distancing, masking, etc (a hell of a lot better than Home Depot I might add) because this is their world. Their customers aren’t strangers but neighbors and friends. I will continue to push the Governor to allow the people to decide and give more authority to the local towns to make case by case decisions. If you can do as well or better than the big box store, then you should be given the opportunity to at least try to compete.
On a sad note, I lost someone very special to me this morning due to this horrible virus. Lillian Lowe was my sister’s mother in law but she was much more than that. She was my kids and my nieces and nephew’s mum mum; and damn did this woman love her family. She was a friend, always truly interested in what was going on in our lives, she was one of the nicest and most gentle women I ever had the honor of knowing. She was almost 95 but looked 20 years younger and even convinced the RMV in the state of Virginia that she was born 10 years later than she actually was. She was at every family function for the past 25 years and she will be terribly missed. I know many of you are going through this as well and it is never easy. There are no words that feel right so I will just end tonight thinking of her, knowing that she is once again in the arms of her husband and say a little prayer for her and for all of those we have lost.