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Editorial: The toughest time | amNewYork

Editorial: The toughest time

Before spewing more bile at Governor Andrew Cuomo for his decision Friday to ban indoor dining in New York City as of Monday, think of the pandemic at hand — and the stats. 
As per a Cuomo press release on COVID stats released Sunday there are currently 5,410 patients hospitalized statewide with 1,009 in the ICU and 567 intubated. The statewide positivity has rocketed to 4.96% and there were 106 COVID-related deaths in NY State Saturday.
Although once the epicenter, Cuomo’s restrictions in March and April succeeded in slowing the deadly spread in one of the most densely populated cities in the world for much of the spring and summer. But now COVID-19 has come storming back in the second wave.
We haven’t gotten to that phase yet, but without preemptive action, we will again be the epicenter of the crisis. And therein lies the greatest threat: hospital capacities. 
Although a young person may go to a bar and even remain symptomless, that person will shortly return home and fuel what Cuomo has described as “living room spread.”
Cuomo made it perfectly clear during Friday’s press conference that if hospitals hit a 90% capacity, as it is predicted to do if life continues as “COVID-restrictions normal which includes indoor dining, then a total lockdown will occur.
Let us also bear in mind that hospital capacities do not only affect COVID patients. People get critically ill all of the time. Inasmuch as COVID-19 can strike anyone, the fact is so too can a heart attack, stroke or car crash. 
And if hospitals can’t fit those victims in with a COVID patient overflow, more people will die. Do we really want to live in a world of death upon preventable death?
This is a horrible time for business everywhere, especially restaurants and bars. We feel their pain, and wish there were a better way out of this crisis.
But the exploding number of COVID-19 cases and the rising transmission give New York no margin for error with this crisis — for error or delay only brings greater tragedy.
So what do we do?
We help the restaurants and bars as much as we can. We continue doing business with them now, even with outdoor dining or delivery. We find the extra buck or two for the tip counter. We appeal for the federal government, under a new president, to finally step in with substantial relief.
But this is not forever. The vaccine is upon us. When the majority of the population is inoculated, this pandemic will finally be behind us.

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