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Monday, March 30, 2020

Rhode Island's war on the Coronavirus

Short Takes #6 on COVID-19 for Progressive Charlestown readers
By Will Collette

Here’s a rundown of news items that may be of special interest to Progressive Charlestown readers.

Aliens approaching!

Coronavirus NY: Rhode Island National Guard goes door-to-door ...
AP/ABC7NY
Rhode Island got a lot of national media attention over the past few days for Gov. Gina Raimondo’s road-blocks and subsequent manhunts along the shoreline for New Yorkers coming to Rhode Island to escape COVID-19. 

Accompanying footage showed National Guardsmen knocking on doors in Westerly, Quonnie and down the coast at summer houses with NY-tagged cars in the driveway.

The idea was to register New York visitors and to impress on them the Governor’s order to self-quarantine themselves for 14 days.

Aside from unfavorable national coverage, Raimondo’s order also infuriated New York Governor Andrew Cuomo who has threatened to sue Rhode Island.

Rather than stretch this out into a big long Thing, Raimondo and Cuomo talked and Raimondo them revoked the order that targeted New Yorkers and immediately replaced it with a broader order requiring all passenger cars with non-Rhode Island plates to stop at checkpoints.

It’s unclear how this affects Rhode Island’s many “Fake Floridians” – Rhode Islanders who set themselves up as Florida residents to dodge state taxes. Do they get a special dispensation since they actually live here?

Benefits for the self-employed are coming

The RI Department of Labor and Training tweeted words of encouragement to the many workers who normally can’t get unemployment compensation – the self-employed, small business owners, independent contractors, gig workers, etc.

They suggest you sign up to get an e-mail for notification when the benefits are in place. Here’s their Tweet:
Are you a gig economy worker, a contract worker, small biz owner, worker for hire, self-employed, or otherwise ineligible for regular UI benefits? Sign-up to receive an email when the emergency #COVID19 UI benefits application is available: https://bit.ly/2JoKjzI.
So far, RI's data shows WAY more infections in the 20-60 age
than in the 61+ bracket. Older people have tended to get
sicker and to die at a higher rate. Men are getting infected 

more than women, though the margin seems lower than
elsewhere.
Testing

It’s been hard for the state to accurately gauge how bad the pandemic is hitting Rhode Island for lack of testing.

Tomorrow (Tuesday), a drive-through test site set up by the RI National Guard and URI will open for business in URI’s Plain Road parking lot with the hope of testing 600 people a day. The site will operate 7 days a week from 9 AM to 3 PM.

BUT, BUT, BUT before you race down there, you must understand that you must have an appointment scheduled before getting tested, and a signed order form from your physician or the Rhode Island Department of Health.

In an e-mail, the Health Department told me to contact your primary care doctor to get the form and the appointment.

The Health Department’s COVID-19 phone number is 401-222-8022 and the e-mail for COVID-19 info is RIDOH.COVID19Questions@health.ri.gov.

Open and Shut

There is a new list of businesses that are affected by Gov. Raimondo’s order closing non-essential businesses during this pandemic. See the entire list by CLICKING HERE.

For the most part, the list of essential versus non-essential businesses is common sense. Examples: food stores, pharmacies, banks and funeral homes are essential. Bookstores, florists, beauty salons and gift shops are not.

There are some debatable choices. For example, you can still buy guns but you can’t buy garden supplies. You can buy liquor but you can’t buy blue jeans (new or used).

Job Lot stays open as an essential business. You can’t buy liquor or guns there, but you can get garden supplies and blue jeans.

The Dr. Demento Show

I can’t stand to watch Trump’s 5 PM clown act anymore. Even though Trump is thrilled at his ratings, polling shows that the majority of Americans don’t believe his claims about how “beautiful” a job he has done directing the federal bumbling of the pandemic.

His lies have become even more vicious than usual, and this takes the cake: He says the reason why masks and other protective equipment is in such short supply is because the goods are “going out the back door” presumably stolen by nurses and health care workers. 

He can’t understand why hospitals need so many more ventilators because he remembers (?) seeing some “major hospitals” get by with two.

The CDC is not present at the Dr. Demento Show, Dr. Fauci has been forced to tone down his reports and Dr. Birx has now become one of Trump’s acolytes. 

Sure, many of us can’t help but look at a car crash or a building on fire, but at some point, most of us will look away.

We are all in very serious danger with this ignorant, bigoted lunatic in charge.