New York City is eerily quiet. With the state taking a rapid lead on COVID-19 infections, the city is all but in lock-down. But it appears to be in the worst stages of the epidemic right now. Between Sunday and Wednesday, April 1st, New York State’s death toll doubled to more than 1900, mostly in NYC itself.

Hospitals have rented refrigerated trucks to serve as makeshift morgues, loading bodies by forklift to try to keep up with the heavy toll. The Navy hospital ship Comfort has been deployed to shore-up the hospital response, and paramedics have been instructed to not bother bringing dead-on-scene patients to the hospital to be officially declared deceased.

“It’s like a battlefield behind your home,” said Queens resident Emma Sorza, who lives near the severely overburdened Elmhurst Hospital.

“How does it end? And people want answers,” said New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has been begging anyone who will listen to provide more personal protective equipment for New York’s hard-hit health-care workers. “I want answers. The answer is nobody knows for sure.”

With over 80,000 people volunteering in New York to help as medical reinforcements, the PPE shortages have been exacerbated. Every one of those people is at risk. As we saw in Italy, health-care personnel will account for a disproportionate percentages of the infected and the dead.

“Difficult days are ahead for our nation,” said President Trump when asked about the rising numbers in New York. “We’re going to have a couple of weeks, starting pretty much now, but especially a few days from now that are going to be horrific.”

As of Wednesday, April 1, the U.S. has recorded over 200,000 infections and 4,600 deaths, more than a quarter of the latter in NYC. And virologists say the city has not yet hit the peak of the infection.

Source: Seattle Times

Editorial credit: Kevin Benckendorf /