New York has been at the center of the COVID pandemic since the very beginning. Starting in March 2020, the virus has killed almost 60,000 New Yorkers.
The latest variant, Omicron, has spread so quickly across the Empire State, mainly among the unvaccinated, that cases are reaching pre-vaccine levels.
The trend lines are bad and getting worse
Look at the graph above carefully.
It reports data through December 5th, a lifetime ago in the world of infectious disease.
NYC reported 8200+ new cases (confirmed plus probable) — doubling the number from two days prior — on the 14th alone. What appeared troubling in the first week of December became a five-alarm fire by the end of the second.
The Long Road
New York has done some things right in its long fight against COVID. As I wrote in March 2020:
Cuomo was the first governor to understand two realities about COVID in the US. First, no one would escape this virus. It would eventually overwhelm every American state. Second, the US did not have adequate resources to deal with a pandemic, so, in a free-for-all environment, immediate areas of greatest need would monopolize the country's scarce resources.
Despite the vast majority of New Yorkers being vaccinated — eighty-two percent have received at least one jab — the state is seeing massive surges of Omicron.
On 12/17 alone, the Empire State reported 20,000+ new cases statewide.
Cuomo is gone, but COVID remains
During the very dark days of 2020, New York took the national lead on widespread testing. The same has been true for vaccines. At this point, nearly three out of four — significantly higher than the national average — New Yorkers have received both jabs.
Nevertheless, the bluest of blue states is drowning in a sea of red.