There were two pieces of good news on the COVID-19 front this week.
Louisiana, unaccustomed to being best in the nation, has the lowest hospitalization rate in the country.
And Mardi Gras looks like it’s good to go in New Orleans.
Louisiana was the epicenter of the delta wave of coronavirus over the summer. But now, the trendlines are moving in the right direction. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Health and Human Services show the state has just 5 people per 100,000 hospitalized. The U.S. average is 14.
In August, when people were congregating indoors, there were more than 3,000 hospital beds filled with COVID-19 patients. Now, the total is a little over 200.
Then there is the news about Carnival. Beau Tidwell, communications director for New Orleans Mayor LaToya Cantrell, said Tuesday that “Mardi Gras is happening.”
The Cantrell administration put in a lot of hard work tracking participants in the Oct. 23 Krewe of BOO Halloween parade, and the news has been encouraging.
“Two weeks after the fact,” he said, “we’ve seen no spike in cases, no spike in deaths, no spike in hospitalizations.”
Nothing is certain in the coronavirus era, and we have seen lulls in disease followed by frightening spikes. But the good news is that Cantrell and Gov. John Bel Edwards have managed the crisis cautiously.
A robust Carnival season is key to showing the world that New Orleans and Louisiana are back and open for business. Visitors want to know they can have fun, but they will also be keeping an eye on disease rates. So getting our joy and our jobs back is the responsibility of every one of us.