“Ships are safe in the harbor, but that’s not what ships are built for.”
After 78 days of a lockdown and 100 days since our first confirmed case of COVID-19, NYC begins Phase 1 of reopening today. What felt like a COVID tornado outside our harbor in April has gone and instead a sun seems to be shining in its place in June. Whatever we’ve been doing is working.
Furthermore even amidst a lockdown, 6 weeks have passed since I saw hundreds of picnickers casually gathered en masse in all the parks outside without face coverings in multiple neighborhoods, and 2 weeks since our first protest for #BlackLivesMatter (where nearly everyone wore face coverings and stayed mobile). And if we know that 98% of patients develop symptoms within 11 days of exposure (w/ median time of incubation — or time from exposure to symptoms — being 5 days), there still remains no evidence of a 2nd wave. This correlates with the studies from Wuhan that suggest that if we confine COVID only to the outdoors (air flow dispersing viral spread) or homes (nobody new to infect), and deny it opportunities that a lockdown would bar anyway (eg. public indoor spaces with no air flow that COVID would love to spread in), a virus has nowhere else to go. So whether it’s outdoor picnickers or protestors, whatever we’ve been doing is working.
Nevertheless with a Phase I reopening the threat of a COVID tornado may still be around the corner — whether the 2nd wave returns with a pent up demand for indoor public spaces or the notorious annual flu season. But I’ll carry on as I always have been: watch the numbers, work my ERs, take more steps outside that fit within my personal risk tolerance based on those numbers and ER shifts, and be ready to run back towards any tornado when it returns. But evidence is evidence, and right now it’s telling me that actions that would not have been wise amidst tornados in April may now be okay in a sunny day in June (caveat — this is based on NYC data only and may not apply to where you are?).
Either way with our harbors clear, you can feel a little safer choosing your next move: Just know whatever we’ve been doing is working.
- At time of posting in NYC, it was 22 °C - Humidity: 55% | Wind Speed: 6km/hr | Cloud Cover: clear