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COVID-19

Mayor Bill De Blasio Failed To Equip New York For Coronavirus Crisis.

Seth Baron at City Journal explains how DiBlasio and NYC agencies focused so much of their efforts on climate change related disasters that they forgot to focus on the likely scenario of a flu-like pandemic. So while the city spent millions on education campaigns and billion of flood defenses related to a hurricane disaster, when COVID-19 hit it was short on basic supplies like ventilators, masks, face guards and hand sanitizer.

New York is the nation’s largest and richest city, and it’s worth asking why it found itself in such short supply of basic goods, especially after so much time and energy was spent on preparedness and resiliency. The city published multiple studies about the likelihood of an epidemic that could flood emergency rooms and participated in a rolling “Pandemic Accord Continuity Exercise Series” with FEMA from 2013 through 2015. The NYC Health + Hospitals Corporation, the largest public hospital organization in the country, has a dedicated Simulation Center that ran a “SARS Pandemic Response Simulation” at Kings County Hospital in 2019.

Source: Mayor Bill De Blasio Failed To Equip New York For Coronavirus Crisis.

That MIT Study About the Subway Causing COVID Spread is Crap

An MIT Study claiming that NYC’s subway system is a major reason why the city has become the global epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic is under fire. This article in StreetsBlog by Alon Levy attacks it from many different angles, including:

  • Arguing other cities with subway systems aren’t seeing the type of pandemic rise as NYC.
  • The paper’s core arguments come from misinterpreted and misrepresented data.
  • Even if the paper’s premise were correct, Manhattan’s infection data would undermine the argument.

But when it comes to hard evidence, the paper makes two quantitative claims. The first is in figure 3: Manhattan had both the least increase in infections in the 3/13-4/7 period, equivalent to a doubling period of 20 days whereas the other boroughs ranged between 9.5 and 14, and also the largest decrease in subway entries in the 3/2-16 period, 65 percent whereas the other boroughs ranged between 33 percent and 56 percent.

The second is a series of maps showing per capita infection levels by ZIP code, similar to the one here. The paper also overlays a partial subway map and asserts that the map shows that there is correlation of infection rates along specific subway routes, for example the 7, as people spread the disease along the line.

Neither is even remotely correct.

Read the article at its source: That MIT Study About the Subway Causing COVID Spread is Crap

Madrid with shock plan to face the social challenges caused by Covid-19

Disasters often generate tremendous pressure to reform bureaucracies because inefficiencies which are easily hidden and tolerated during the normal course of events suddenly become quite obvious and potentially deadly.

COVID-19 is putting tremendous pressure of social services providers: both the nonprofits that often deliver social services and the government agencies that operate their own programs and oversee service provision in general.

In Madrid, the city government is reorganizing its social services system in a hurry to meet the needs – implementing modernization and reform plans that never would’ve been possible outside this crisis.

When it comes to families, the authority will focus on eliminating bureaucratic obstacles so that the most vulnerable receive emergency aid quickly. The mechanism of the ‘family card’ will be definitively implemented. Also, social service centres will start reopening as of next week.

Read more about it here: Madrid with shock plan to face the social challenges caused by Covid-19