Representative Dooley August 28th COVID-19 Update

August 28, 2020

Well, the launch of the Dooley family yacht didn’t quite go as planned. So… we started off backing the boat and trailer into beautiful Lake Pearl and as the boat was sliding in, one of the skids fell off the trailer and floated away. Hmmmmm, not a good start. While I was parking the trailer, CiCi and the kids loaded in the boat and it started taking on water. Was the plug in - yes. OMG - there is a second drain port on this whaler - and no 2nd plug. Why the heck is there a second drain on this small of a boat? Bail faster kids! Luckily an incredibly nice couple (Doug and Melissa) were launching their gorgeous boat along side of ours and he came over to save the day with a spare plug that he had on board. What a nice couple - they were going out for date night on the lake and so generous of them to take time out and come to our rescue. We then started the engine up and we were off… Emma very worried that the boat would start taking on water while we were in the middle of the lake. But after a few minutes assuring her that it was staying completely dry, she relaxed a bit and had some fun. All was going well, and we even found the trailer skid that fell off floating by. After a couple of laps around the lake looking at the beautiful houses we would love to buy, the kids wanted to swim so we anchored and they jumped in.

 

It was a little chilly so that didn’t last long and the sun was starting to set so time to get home. Go to start it and nothing, not even a click. Maybe something got disconnected, check everything and all good, power trim still worked so we knew it wasn’t the battery. After about a half hour of trying everything we began to try and flag down another boat. Given this was our first time out we hadn’t thought of things like a paddle, air horn, search light, etc. So I stood there waiving my cell phone flash light to boats passing in the distance as it kept getting darker and darker as boats passed heading in without noticing my attempt to flag them down. Finally a boat spots us and spins around - and wouldn’t you know it - it was Melissa and Doug. They towed us in, helped us load the boat, and wouldn’t leave until we were all 100% secured and on the road. What an amazing couple - although I felt horrible about ruining their date night. I hate asking people for help or being a burden and CiCi said, would you have considered it a burden if you were in their shoes? No -you wouldn’t because you love helping people and Doug and Melissa are definitely those kind of people as well. And that made me feel a lot better. So while it wasn’t the most successful shake down cruise - it was definitely memorable and we got to meet two amazing people.

 

Another 16 people passed away from covid or COVID-19 related illness and 438 new positive cases. Those 438 are out of 23,716 tests or a positive to test ratio of 1.8% which I think is the most important takeaway as it isn’t a raw number just based on population. If we looked at it purely as population - that would be 6.35 cases per 100,000 mass residents. But obviously - the better job you do of testing, you will have a higher positive number which doesn’t necessarily mean that the number is worrisome. Also, if the number is low because they aren’t testing anyone - that certainly doesn’t mean that the state is doing a good job at containment, they are just ignoring the reality of asymptomatic cases. Why am I going through this analysis? Funny you should ask.

 

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts did not take Rhode Island off the naughty list today because their average 7 day case per 100,000 count is currently at 8 and Governor Baker’s magic number is 6. Mind you that our daily number was 6.35 today but that was because we tested 23,000+ people. Of course that number is going to be up. I had a relatively heated conversation with the Governor on this very subject to no avail. I even pushed for at least a loosening and allowing for day trips and nada.

 

In my research to try and fight this decision today I had the pleasure of speaking with several people in Rhode Island’s Dept. of Health and with their analytics experts. Everyone I spoke to were very appreciative of me trying to get them off the Massachusetts no go list - and they wish we would use the test to positive ratio like New York and New Jersey did who took them off after only one week. It was very nice of them to thank me and they all seemed frustrated that we were using this model since they are doing the right thing and by actually increasing testing - it is ending up hurting them. Also the influx of college kids and all that testing even makes it worse with it - compounded by the fact that RI is so small so even a small case load looks large in comparison. (Kind of like when Wrentham gets a family of 6 with it - and it scales as 60/100k and turns the map red, but I digress.) One of the factors that they pointed out was that if you look at the numbers as this ratio the counts per 100,000 per county are as follows: Providence:1.6, Kent: 0.6, Washington: 0.6, Bristol: 0.3, Newport: 0.2. (RI only has 5 counties) Now in comparison to Massachusetts 5 highest counties: Nantucket: 11.7, Suffolk: 9.3, Essex: 5.7. Middlesex: 3.5, and Dukes: 3.3. Isn’t the % showing positive more important to determine if the virus is spreading or under control (flat curve) than actual cases - most of which are asymptomatic?

 

So, in other words, this doesn’t make sense but the order stays in place because the Governor has this sole discretion under a declared state of emergency. I’m still horrified that there has been no pushback on this endless state of emergency where an executive has unfettered power to do whatever they deem necessary. 60, 90 days sure - but to just continue extending it indefinitely is not good for democracy and as I have said time and time again - it is a slippery slope. Maybe you like what Governor Baker is doing so you are ok with it - just remember you are setting precedent for a future Governor who might not be as much to your liking. That is my number one concern and hate one branch of government having so much power and discretion - both federally as well as at the state level.

 

I had another topic to discuss but I’m getting sleepy as my Gilligan’s Island experience took quite a bit out of me. Have a great weekend and keep working so hard protecting yourself and others! Rain tomorrow but maybe I can try and figure out what is wrong with the motor in between raindrops.

 

Rest and Relaxation!

 

Shawn

 

 

 

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