Since Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced his phased-in reopening plan for New York, the state went from worst to first in the nation in coronavirus infection rate. But, as COVID gets more defiant by spiking in various hot spots, the governor and his aides seem to be getting more petulant.
Cuomo and officials on New York’s coronavirus task force Tuesday imposed new social-distancing and mass-gathering restrictions within geographic boundaries of coronavirus hot spots as new infections continue to surge downstate and in pockets of Western New York.
Stricter social-distancing, maximum-capacity and mass-gathering rules will apply to geographic areas surrounding COVID clusters as the coronavirus pandemic refuses to run its course.
“We do it because we’re effective, that’s why,” Cuomo said testily of the new rules when he answered a question Tuesday. “This is a government that is competent — this is a government that is capable. This is a government that is helping people through this horrendous situation. Together, we’re going to get this done.”
State officials label COVID clusters by geographic proximity to addresses with confirmed coronavirus cases. Parts of the state in the “red zone” include areas in Brooklyn and Queens in New York City, Orange and Rockland counties in the Mid-Hudson Region and Binghamton in Western New York.
Areas within 1 mile of the hot spot ZIP code are under a red advisory where mass gatherings are prohibited and nonessential businesses are closed. Dining is restricted to takeout only, and schools closed and shifted back to remote learning.
It would be unfair to criticize Cuomo for taking action to curtail these surges before they spread. But Cuomo is beginning to sound as if the virus were making the fight personal. That this is becoming noticeable is bad for New York and the people who have done so much to make the state healthy again.
Rationality will win the day. Truculence will do us no good.