Andy Cuomo made a mistake Friday.
He shared the numbers.
The contact tracing numbers. The ones that show where people are catching covid.
Specifically, he put up a PowerPoint slide that listed the results of the contact tracing of all cases of New York covid between the first of September and the last of November.
That was an interesting slice of time. It began in the quiet days of late summer, with the virus hiding in the depths of its seasonality, and it ended with the first traces of winter, with the virus emerged and spreading dramatically through the population.
It was a period that included low and high, and the sharp spike between them.
And it showed how, over those three months, the virus was spread.
And here’s what it found: None of the sectors of the economy targeted by the government played any significant role whatsoever in covid spread, and government quarantine policy seemed to play a dominant role in the large majority of transmissions.
Translation: We might have been better off in every way if the government had just stayed out of it.
Here are the numbers.
Restaurants and bars, long reviled as the focus of covid transmission, long the target of government restrictions and shutdowns, accounted for just 1.43% of all the covid cases in New York during the dramatic so-called “second surge.”
One point four three percent.
In a state where it is estimated covid-inspired government restrictions will put some 60% of restaurants out of business by the end of the year, restaurants and bars were traced to a tiny fraction of the cases.
And the governor, having this data, still imposed a color-coded scheme that further burdened and restricted both bars and restaurants.
He knew they were innocent, and he buried them some more.
The same with hair salons and barber shops.
Contact tracing showed that hair businesses were involved in the transmission of just .14% of all New York covid between September and November.
Fourteen one-hundredths of one percent.
And yet orange zone barbershops and salons were completely closed down by the governor’s order.
They had nothing to do with spreading covid, as his own numbers showed, but he screwed them anyway.
But not as bad as he screwed the gyms.
Gyms in New York were connected with the transmission of .06% of cases of covid.
Six one-hundredths of one percent.
And yet in the orange zones he shut them down completely.
Think of the tens of thousands of workers out of a job because of the unnecessary restrictions on salons, barbershops, gyms, restaurants and bars – industries that account for just 1.63% of New York’s covid cases.
How is that not a crime? How does that not have the state up in arms?
How can the state legislature and county leaders be silent in the face of such an insane injustice?
So, if the covid isn’t being passed in the industries the governor has destroyed, where is it being passed?
Well, .69% is from churches and other religious houses, which are also under the governor’s thumb. Travelers into or out of New York account for 1.06%, and he sent the National Guard to the airports to hassle them, and for a few months had most of the nation on a restricted list.
Teachers and other school employees, as well as those working in higher education, accounted for – as an employment-related transmission – 1.5% of New York’s covid cases. College students, who came back to campus in September and caroused like hell immediately thereafter, were 2.02% of cases. Public school students were all less than half of one percent, just like prisons. Frontline news media and motel workers were both .02%.
First responders of all sorts – to include, randomly, the military – were 1% of transmissions.
How about stores, the small ones and the big-box ones, the groceries and the hardwares and everything else. Taken together, every single store, thronged with customers, accounted for .61% of covid cases over three months.
Hospitals and nursing homes took a heavier hit, with all patients and residents, health care providers and institution employees, everyone from nurses to janitors, all combined to provide 7.81% of covid transmissions.
All totaled, that’s barely a quarter of the covid cases.
So, where are the rest?
Almost 74% of all the covid cases in New York during the rocket-launch between September and November were passed in the home.
Though ominously described by many public health officials as “private gatherings,” a way to blame people for their own illness by implying that their social choices have sickened them, these are almost exclusively in-home, in-family transmissions.
And quarantines play a big part in that.
One member of a family gets covid, that person is quarantined at home, and the whole family gets covid.
At home, conditions for spreading the virus are good. Outside the home, conditions for spreading the virus are bad.
New York has found every conceivable way to crack down on activities outside the home, where covid transmission is very rare. And it has used its power to keep infected families inside the home, where almost three-quarters of covid transmission is taking place.
What is better than quarantine?
This isn’t an argument against quarantine, it’s just an honest assessment of where covid is coming from.
It is clear that society is getting it right in the workplace and in schools, has some challenges in health-care settings, but is getting decimated in the home.
And yet the governor will today announce new restrictions and rules on places which his own statistics show are not covid threats.
That’s the lunacy New York suffers under.
A governor who is proving every day that the cure is worse than the disease.