Ok, one advantage of the quarantine going on is that I had a meeting in the city today and was dreading going in. I was running late so was stressed and then checked Waze and realized I was going to be five minutes early since it was only going to take 35 minutes to get in. And it actually did. The next stressor for someone who drives a big pick up - where to park as a lot of the garages can’t handle my beast. Deep breaths, I’ve got an extra 7 minutes and as I turned the corner - wow, street parking right in front of my destination. Has to be a trick, get out, read all the signs - yep, totally legal street parking in the city - right where I needed to be. Added bonus- the drive home during rush hour only took 5 minutes longer - 40 minutes from downtown to Norfolk. Ok, not the biggest deal but you gotta take what you can get these days.
There were 10 newly reported deaths today and 203 positives out of 11,971 tests. The three day fatality average has dropped to 8 and hospitalizations have dropped to a low of 560 statewide.
Early this morning the Massachusetts State Senate passed their version of the police reform bill. While I could spend several paragraphs about why I don’t support this particular version - that isn’t the reason for my disappointment. The fact of the matter is that this bill was written hastily (along with 145 amendments) and rushed to the floor for political expediency. Then, for no reason that anyone can explain- besides arrogance, the senate refused to hold any public hearings on this bill. This is what we do for every bill so the public, especially people affected, get to weigh in (pro and con) and answer questions and give clarifications. The members of the committee then take this input and craft the final version of the bill before bringing it to the floor. They ignored all of this, they ignored all the police officers who wrote them asking for a hearing, and what is worse, they passed it under the cover of darkness at 4 o’clock in the morning. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am in this. 2 Republicans and 5 Democrats voted against this - not because of the bill itself - but because of process, or lack thereof. I was further horrified that two members of my party -minority “leader” Bruce Tarr and Patrick O’Connor didn’t even have the courage to cast a vote and simply answered “present”. If you aren’t willing to take a tough vote then you aren’t doing the job you have been elected to do - no one elected you to do what is easy, they elected you to do what is right. Ugh! Fortunately, the House is going to have hearings before we move forward on anything that is this important.
Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest.
Unfortunately, despite all of the work that the state has been doing to expand testing- suddenly we are not doing a good job and starting to fall behind. Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp both said today that patients must wait four to six days on average to receive results — a sharp rise compared to the the end of June, when the time frame was between 24 and 48 hours. “Mathematically, it becomes very challenging for us to be able to get our arms around the pandemic and get it under control,” said Dr. Thomas Tsai, an assistant professor at the Harvard School of Public Health. Meanwhile, Tufts health care workers have needed to create the testing viral transport medium themselves and have had to selectively limit the number of people who are allowed to receive a rapid-results coronavirus test amid the shortages. This is unacceptable and I am trying to get an explanation for this. It strikes me as sloppy- in order to stay ahead of this virus and respond accordingly - accurate testing and fast turn around is key. We the people are doing all we can to stop the spread of this virus (at great cost to many businesses and our overall mental state) - the government needs to be doing their part on their end. You can’t let the simple things slide - and expect the public to listen when they ask us to dig deep and do more.
On a completely random note - I just watched the Wedding Singer and I have to say that 80’s music is so far superior to the tik-tok inspired nonsense my kids like to listen to incessantly -I can’t even find words to describe how significant the gap is. It’s like comparing the Sistine Chapel to a damp piece of cardboard covered in spiderwebs that got chewed on by a mouse hidden behind the hot water heater in the basement. And to quote Forrest Gump - “and that’s all I have to say about that.” (yes- lots of random thoughts and mixed metaphors this evening)
Stay safe and keep being you!