Representative Dooley August 23rd COVID-19 Update
We drove home through that crazy rainstorm and when we pulled into the driveway the first thing my beautiful bride said was: “damn, I was hoping all that rain would have magically brought our lawn back to life and it would have been a lovely shade of green.” No such luck- it remains a lovely shade of drought brown. CiCi is horrified - I prefer to think that my poor landscaping abilities are making my neighbors’ yards look much more pristine and manicured, hmmmm - I wonder if they feel the same?
I have to give credit where credit is due. I’ve been pretty hard on Governor Baker lately - but one of my public safety chiefs asked if I could try and have the Governor call him because he really wanted to discuss the effects that some of these restrictions are having on his employees. Gulp, ok, here goes nothing…annnnnnd boom, “sure, no problem.” Charlie called him right up, they had a great conversation, and both now have a better appreciation for each other’s point of view. Fortunately the Gov and I have known each other a long time so we have a strong enough relationship where we can agree to disagree even when one of us is a little more tongue in cheek than he probably should be... And yes, I got a little grief for my rant - but the good thing about Charlie is he isn’t petty and understands much of the frustration that many of us are having. It is funny, when folks ask me what’s the one thing that helps me to be good state rep - my answer is usually, “life is a contacts sport” - and fortunately I have a ton of contacts. Relationships matter everywhere, but relationships in public service mean everything.
Unfortunately there were 20 more Mass residents who passed away in the past 24 hours but fortunately only 109 new positives out of 8,301 tests. Our 7 day average weighted positive to testing ratio is down to an all time low of 1.1%.
One statistic I found curious in going through the numbers tonight was that over the past 4 days the number of hospitals utilizing surge capacity has increased from 1 to 4. Now normally I would be worried about this increase - but during that same period, total hospitalizations decreased by 59. And over the last 10 days there are 107 less people hospitalized with this virus. So, sometimes the surge capacity metric is a little based on luck - even though overall hospitalizations are down, if even one person gets admitted into one of the busier hospitals it might put them into surge. Therefore I think the actual hospitalization rate is a much more important statistic.
And since I haven’t detailed some of these numbers lately: the total hospitalizations are down to 315 statewide and out of those only 50 are in ICU of which only 20 are on ventilators. Deaths with serious underlying conditions remains very high at 98.2% of all the COVID-19 designated deaths. 108,343 people have had the antibody test. I’m trying to get one of these - I wish the state would put a priority on this as I suspect that the number of people who have had this virus and didn’t even know it is much higher than the predictions. And yes, this is 100% non-scientific, it is just my wishful thinking and my wife is convinced that she had it in early February. Another meaningless fact- a large percentage of people I know feel that they must have had it as well for whatever that is worth. Either way, it would be a great statistic to know. Testing is the key to get on top of this, because when we get these numbers up, with quick and reliable results- we can use contact tracing to rapidly isolate an outbreak before it evolves into a spike.
I hope you all have a wonderful week. More rain coming on and off so I’m holding out hope for my lawn. The good thing is I haven’t had to mow it in nearly a month. Keep working hard because we are all in this together - and although it sounds a bit cliche’ - the reality is we are only as strong as our weakest link - ok its late, my brain is evidently given up and I can only speak as though I’m reading motivational office posters from the 1980’s.
Hang in there, baby!