New York City Spring 2020 Inquiry
I’ve been bothered by New York City’s mass-casualty event of spring 2020 for a long time.
The numbers never made sense. They still don’t make sense.
After being suspended from Twitter in July 2022, I took up the hobby of delving more deeply into what happened. I had no real theories - just a lot of questions.
I subscribed to “the Nursing Home Policy,” “Ventilators,” and “People obeying orders to Stay Home, Save Lives!” as primary explanations for the event — until I tried to gather & match relevant data to those and other narratives.
Through FOI requests, conversations with New Yorkers, accounts from doctors and nurses, reviewing contemporaneous news reports, orders issues, numerous other primary & secondary sources, and ad hoc collaborations with inquiry-minded people, I’m beginning to scratch the surface of what did (and didn’t) happen.
I’m mindful of - and grateful for! - Woodhouse 76 readers, but I confess that some of my Substack posts (and Twitter threads) are more me writing to me than me writing to an audience. I walk through questions and datasets in a way that chronicles my thinking process at the time, often without real regard for telling a “story” or accounting for what readers don’t know.
This event will be no doubt chronicled and interpreted by historians in many different ways. To the extent that I can contribute in small ways to that inevitable corpus, I’m humbled and thankful. If it ends up being only for alleviating the itches in my own brain and passing on lessons to my own children, that’s fine too.
Some of what I post here (and on Twitter) is akin to memo-writing used in grounded theory (Strauss & Corbin , 1998; Charmaz, 2006). It’s not “formal” research; however, I do tend to use some of techniques and ways of thinking I acquired through schooling and professional endeavors.
I’m far from finished — and know that I won’t arrive at THE answers.
I’m taking this “untrained citizen journalist” inquiry seriously for as long as my interest, circumstances, and God allow.