You know I hesitated to put the word “versus” in the headline because this is a case where we are all in the same storm, if not the same boat. In other words, this is a worldwide phenomenon that can strike anyone, rich or poor, black or white, at any moment. Frankly, it is hard to separate truth from fiction, and fact from fallacy as different agendas pull in different directions. So, let us clear our minds of words like “hoax” and “deception” to look at some numbers out of this nation’s two most populous states. California versus New York. Call this a Gildshire hunt for truth and clarity.
As of May 7th, New York clocked in with 337,170 Covid-19 cases, and 26,365 deaths. That tragic number was compounded by a death total yesterday of 409 lives lost and 3,679 new cases. Obviously, these numbers are only the tip of an iceberg of tragedy, since only 1,089,916 tests have been administered to New Yorkers. That’s one test for every 55,556 residents.
As of this morning, California clocked in with 61,945 Covid-19 cases, and 2,555 deaths. That number was compounded by a death total yesterday of 103 lives lost, and 1,441 new cases. One in every 10,157 Californians has been tested.
Why is there such a difference in the numbers? What do we know for sure?
First of all, experts tell us that it is too early to say for sure why California is faring so well, relatively speaking. But, California acted faster than New York. California reflects the value of proactive action. Here is what Krutika Kuppalli, an infectious diseases physician says:
“We need to shift to a proactive mentality rather than reactive. The more common response in this country has been reactive.” In other words, as a nation we are taking precautions after the virus peaks, rather than before it rises to the highest point. The story has been quite different in California, where a proactive response is more the norm.
However, this is not a time for happy dances among Californians. They must remain vigilant and resist calls for a re-opening of the state in the face of economic harm. The temptation is great, almost overwhelmingly so, to take our collective foot off the brake and ease off. But to avoid becoming New York, experts affirm, Californians need to stay home until Covid-19 case numbers drop and until testing can track and forestall new outbreaks. Los Angeles County officials said this to folks who are considering breaking free of the home.
“If you have enough supplies in your home, this would be the week to skip shopping altogether. Without everyone taking every possible precaution, our numbers can start skyrocketing.”
What have we learned that we can take with us going forward?
We know this much is true. The suggestions and instructions coming from the Federal government are going to be conflicting, almost by the hour. In fact, surveys that ask, “Do you trust the Feds, or do you trust your governor?” favor the governor by a large margin. Californians should know that fact and heed it, as well.
If we are talking about California versus New York, California has one more advantage that New York does not. New York City is canyons of high rises as far as the eye can see, with people by the thousands walking close to each other. A veritable petri dish for a hungry virus looking for a host.
The city of Los Angeles and the L.A. basin are much more wide open. The people going in and around the city are in cars. It has been said that Los Angeles is a bunch of towns looking for a city. Lucky them, as the coronavirus can’t spread as quickly when things are farther apart.
California versus New York has been a theme in sports for decades. Now, it is a deadly game in which none of us really win. All we can do is our best, and hope the game is over sooner than later. Stay safe, and ask those that you love to do the same.