Posts Tagged ‘Governor Cuomo’

Service of Symbols III

Thursday, May 14th, 2020

1918 pandemic. Photo: designyoutrust.com

I wrote about religious and tourist symbols in 2011 and 2013 respectively. Some symbols, like the heart, dove, and owl that represent love, peace and intelligence, achieve their associations naturally. For 12 years I wore a school uniform–another form of symbol. We were asked to behave when out and about in NYC because we represented the school.

Masks in spring 2020 inadvertently have come to represent a range of things well beyond what the Center for Disease Control [CDC] attributes to them such as respect of the medical community that’s limping from overwork. It’s also a sign of cooperation with the effort to arrest a pandemic that is faced by the nation in some places more than in others.

1918 pandemic Photo: pinterest.com

Dr. Anthony Fauci told the Senate hearing on May 12 that “the mask should be a very regular part of preventing the spread of infection.” Note: He did not say “it’s more important in New York than in Oklahoma or North Dakota.”

The same day, at his daily news conference, New York Governor Cuomo said the mask means: “I respect you, your health, your privacy. And out of respect for you I wear this mask. This mask says I respect the nurses and doctors who killed themselves through this virus to cure people. I don’t cause more stress on nurses and doctors. I respect essential workers who drive the bus, train, deliver the food and keep lights on so I can stay home and safe. So I respect others.  The masks represent community unity.”

The CDC wrote on the nuts and bolts of mask use during this pandemic:

1918 pandemic Photo: tampabay.com

“In light of new data about how COVID-19 spreads, along with evidence of widespread COVID-19 illness in communities across the country, CDC recommends that people wear a cloth face covering to cover their nose and mouth in the community setting. This is an additional public health measure people should take to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in addition to (not instead of) social distancing, frequent hand cleaning and other everyday preventive actions. A cloth face covering is not intended to protect the wearer, but may prevent the spread of virus from the wearer to others. This would be especially important in the event that someone is infected but does not have symptoms. A cloth face covering should be worn whenever people must go into public settings (grocery stores, for example). Medical masks and N-95 respirators are reserved for healthcare workers and other first responders, as recommended by current CDC guidance.”

I am surprised by how many people in NYC wear masks. We’re a maverick bunch. Most don’t like to be told what to do–for example we jaywalk and cross against the light much of the time. An incentive is that most stores won’t let people inside without a face covering. Only in a potentially crowded situation are New Yorkers asked to wear a mask which may be why some still don’t wear them walking in the street.

Is the converse true: Does not wearing a mask symbolize indifference and disrespect in addition to creating potential danger of spreading a deadly virus? Do you say anything to people who don’t wear one? Do you think wearing a mask–or not–has taken on political significance?

Photo: sciencealert.com

Service of Competition Taking a Back Seat

Monday, May 4th, 2020

Photo: cdc.org

Competition is the lifeblood of American business. We’re capitalists: It’s in our DNA. It may explain our addiction to professional sports. According to one survey six in 10 Americans identify themselves as fans.

However, under unusual circumstances such as this pandemic we need to put aside the traits that spell success in a free market system.

The other week on Face the Nation Margaret Brennan asked Scott Gotlieb, MD if we or the Chinese will be first to discover a coronavirus vaccine. I’m as chauvinistic as the next person but if it works, I don’t care who comes in first. Currently Oxford University, in partnership with AstraZeneca, has its medical focus turned to a promising front-runner vaccine–let’s hope they are on to something.

Yesterday New York Governor Cuomo announced a coalition of states to help prevent price-gouging and increase market power. According to NBC, “Connecticut, Delaware, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island are launching a regional purchasing consortium to jointly get items including personal protective equipment, tests, ventilators and other medical equipment.”  They are not all Democrats–the Governor of Massachusetts is a Republican.

We’re Americans. Coronovirus is an equal opportunity disease.

Photo: redskinswire.usa.com

And even though the country is more divided by politics now than in my memory it’s a good time for both sides in the rest of the country to follow the lead of the Northeast purchasing consortium and to desist from throwing down their gauntlets. It’s not the time for Democrats to point fingers and place blame nor for Republicans to recommend withholding funding from states that have sanctuary cities, larger numbers of coronavirus cases or that generally vote blue.

There’s danger in politicizing what science has proved to help mitigate the virus’s spread such as wearing masks, maintaining social distancing and sheltering at home. And if we follow these cautions it doesn’t mean we hope for a crash because it would reflect poorly on the administration.

Remdesivir shows promise of helping Covid-19 patients recover faster by four to five days.  In addition to a hasty vaccine discovery aren’t we all rooting for successful trials of drugs like this? Don’t we need each other to get out of this rocky boat?

Photo: thehill.com

 

 

Get This Blog Emailed to You:
Enter your Email


Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz

Clicky Web Analytics