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Soon, town and state had been overwhelmed. Ambulances wailed day and evening. Hospitals stuffed to the breaking level. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo — a Democrat, like Mr. de Blasio — was sluggish to guard nursing dwelling residents, and hundreds died. Earlier motion in New York might have saved a big variety of lives, epidemiologists say.
By late March, nonetheless, New York’s leaders understood the risk, they usually reversed course.
They insisted that individuals keep dwelling. They repeated the message day by day, usually on tv. When different states started reopening, New York didn’t. “You look at the states that opened fast without metrics, without guardrails, it’s a boomerang,” Mr. Cuomo mentioned on June 4.
The lockdowns and the constant messages had a giant impact. By June, New York and surrounding states had a number of the lowest charges of virus unfold within the nation. Across a lot of the Southeast, Southwest and West Coast, alternatively, the pandemic was raging.
Many specialists now say that essentially the most disappointing a part of the nation’s failure is that the end result was avoidable.
What might not have been avoidable was the preliminary surge of the virus: The world’s success in containing earlier viruses, like SARS, had lulled many individuals into pondering a devastating pandemic was unlikely. That complacency helps explains China’s early errors, in addition to the horrible loss of life tolls within the New York area, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Britain and different elements of Europe.
But these nations and dozens extra — in addition to New York — have since proven that retaining the virus in verify is possible.
For the entire persevering with uncertainty about how this new coronavirus is transmitted and the way it impacts the human physique, a lot has turn into clear. It usually spreads indoors, with shut human contact. Talking, singing, sneezing and coughing play a significant function in transmission. Masks cut back the danger. Restarting regular exercise virtually all the time results in new instances that require fast motion — testing, tracing of sufferers and quarantining — to maintain the virus in verify.