Take a look at the following Austin Dashboard of COVID infections. Cut and copy the following link on your browser. https://austin.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html…
According to cell phone data, we were the most locked-down around April 20, 2020. The reward for that comes a month later on May 24 when we are at the lowest since the pandemic started of rolling 7 day average of hospital admissions. Since then, we’ve come a long way, baby! We are now into Stage 4 where the rolling 7-day average is greater than 20. This all reflects activity a month ago which roughly correlates to Memorial Day Weekend and the subsequent opening of the economy. The worse news is that we have yet to see the reflection of the protests. So this number is going to go up, up, up before it goes down. At this pace, it is almost certainly inevitable that we will reach hospital capacity before the fall.
The Austin Mayor has signed the new Stay at Home orders which require face masks. The order that has no enforceability and for which there is no penalty. That’s going to work! Texas city mayors have asked the Governor to allow them to enforce these orders so we’ll see which side of politics the Governor wakes up on. In summary, there is very little guidance at the federal or state level on how to curb the pandemic. So while during the lockdown, we were all in it together, now we’re on our own. From this pessimistic side, the feeling appears to be that as long as it doesn’t affect me or my family, let the pandemic roll. Well, it’s rolling. Over 2 million Americans infected, over 115,000 deaths.
The only thing we can do is protect ourselves. Wear those darn facemasks people! If you’re not with a member of your household or someone whose contact exposure you’re confident of, keep your distance! Further, if you don’t know me or my family and we happen to be at the park together, 6 feet buster! I didn’t appreciate that guy walking his dog who played with our dog coming over without a face mask to make small talk with my son. Now is not the time to be friendly over being safe. Wash those hands! I wear gloves into the grocery store myself.
It’s hard because anything positive we do now does not reflect in the numbers for a month. It is difficult to get immediate positive feedback from our actions which makes it more difficult to encourage safe behavior amongst the many who are tired of it. The good news is that these safety measures of masks, physical distancing, and washing hands works and so we can at least protect ourselves and our families while the states and the feds sit on the sideline glancing at the Dow while Americans get infected and die.