It has been a great summer here as far as COVID goes, low numbers, very few cases. On the ambulance we all wear our face masks, and I wear a face shield when I remember to grab it, and while I carry my isolation bag into the scene with me, I haven’t put on a gown for months. The fire department, who used to gown their crews before it seemed they even stepped out of their trucks, is rarely seen in gowns anymore.This week, the NBA finals begin, the hockey Stanley Cup was decided, a full slate of college and NFL games were played and major league baseball begins its playoffs. Not that long ago, it seemed they were talking doom and gloom that all these seasons would shut down again once they tried to start. Those declarations haven’t proven true. Yet. Breaking news today of an NFL team -the Tennessee Titans – who have had a number of players test positive putting next Sunday’s game in jeopardy.
It is overcast this afternoon with periods of misty rain. I’m sitting in the car watching my daughter’s soccer practice while reading the news on my phone.
Today Connecticut had its highest test positivity rate (1.75%) since late June. New York City also hit its highest rate (3.25%) since early June. The news is full of talk about a second wave this fall. While many attribute the rise to kids being back in school, I have also heard that a rise in youth positivity may precede a rise in the elderly positivity, and that’s where COVID had done most of its damage. At the hospital where I work no sooner did they finally reach 0 COVID patients than two new ones came in yesterday. Not elderly from nursing homes, inmates from jails or residents of group homes, but middle aged working folk with shortness of breath, fevers, positive tests and chest x-rays showing the lung opacities consistent with COVID pneumonias.
This weekend at a sporting event, I stood in line behind a young woman whose temperature was 101. This was the first time I had ever seen or even heard of a person record a fever at one of these checkpoints. I usually always test at 96 or 97. The thermometers run low. They told her to come back in ten minutes for a retest and I later saw her walking about in the facility. One of the teams was from a quarantine state, although they certainly didn’t play like they had any disease. In Connecticut if you plan to stay more than 24 hours and are from one of the states on our quarantine list, you must quarantine for two weeks or face a fine. If you are staying less than 24 hours, you are apparently free to do whatever you like as long as you leave the state before the 24 hour timer goes off. The facility we were at was well ventilated and everyone wore masks and there was adequate spacing, so I wasn’t too concerned.
Here in Connecticut even as our rates tick up, the state is about to raise its restaurant occupancy limits to 75%, despite studies that show restaurants are among the highest risk places to get COVID. Will this be okay — our state has been very conservative in its approach and I believe lives have been saved by it–or is it a terrible mistake, a sign of our tiredness of COVID and desire to get on with our lives at just the moment that COVID is about to strike again?
Here’s a joke.
Dr. Faucci and I walk into a bar…
Just kidding…We’re not stupid! That’s where you get COVID!
Speaking of which, today I read an article where the head of the CDC Dr. Robert Redfield is overheard on a private phone call saying of the president’s top COVID advisor Scott Atlas, “Everything he says is false.”
Doesn’t give you a lot of confidence.
Florida just opened up all its bars.
I have a bad feeling.