After trailing by 465 votes out of about 10,000 district-wide in the Election Day results for the GOP nomination to oppose first-term Democratic congressman Antonio Delgado of Rhinebeck this November, Kyle Van DeWater, an up-and-coming Dutchess County lawyer, a decorated Army veteran and a major in the Army Reserves, reversed the numbers with an overwhelming plurality in the absentee ballots against Ola Hawatmeh from Poughkeepsie.
After a quiet June, 50 new cases were diagnosed in just three days at the beginning of this month. The unwelcome eruption in positive virus determinations led to swift expressions of concern in the social media. People were scared, and they had every right to be. The virus could easily get out of control. Perhaps it already had.
When the large number of Saugerties absentee ballots are counted starting this Wednesday at the Ulster County Board of Elections in Kingston, they will in all probability confirm that incumbent town justice Claudia Andreassen has won the Democratic nomination for a third term as town justice.
What started as street demonstrations to support demands for police reform after the murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police has been transformed into a continuous debate in literally thousands of communities about social goals and aspirations on both the national and local levels. There’s no sign of the unrest dying down. There’s never been anything quite like it.
It’s too soon to know how the pandemic that has particularly ravaged the New York metropolitan area will affect the economic relationship between America’s biggest city and its immediate Upstate neighbors. When things settle down, will there be more home-buying from downstaters seeking refuge?
Two local businessowners – a barber and auctioneer – were cited in the last week for operating in violation of the state ban on nonessential businesses. Local observers immediately took to social media to argue the case. Were businessowners like these demonstrating a recklessness that would prolong the outbreak? Or was the time ripe for rebellion against overly restrictive (or paternalistic) state guidelines?
The exclusion from the county data of a considerable number of nursing-home Covid 19 deaths has been difficult for the public to understand. Perhaps that was one of the reasons that Ulster County government decided to focus its efforts to publicizing not the rising number of positive cases but the falling number of hospital beds occupied by novel coronavirus cases.
It’s as plain as the nose on your face. This wave of the COVID-19 pandemic is slowly receding locally. It is no disservice to the cause of public health to say so. The relief we all feel is palpable. But we will soon face equally difficult circumstances on the way down the slippery slope of this pandemic as we have been experiencing on the way up.
The feds are good at building big things fast, especially in emergencies. And the COVID-19 pandemic has been a national emergency where such skills have been crucial, and where the decisions of when and how to deploy resources have had life-and-death consequences.
The Covid 19 pandemic is putting the Hudson Valley healthcare system under unprecedented pressure. As the number of infected people inevitably rises, more deaths will be reported. More protective masks and a greater supply of protective equipment will help only to a limited degree. It is more than possible that a spike in the number of people requiring machine help in order to breathe will overwhelm the limited capacities of an already strained system.