New York City always garners a lot of attention on the world and national stage and it is looking like it will do the same as the pandemic called COVID-19 rages through the U.S. Its 8.6 million population is about the same as Wuhan, the Chinese city of 11 million and where the coronavirus originated. The statistics will yield some interesting results.

One statistic is that about half of the people who have tested positive in NYC are less than 45 years old but very few are dying from it. That seems to mirror the statistics from Wuhan where the death rate estimates of those aged 15 -44 range from 0.1% to 1.3%.

NY State has now become an American epicenter of the virus, with the number of cases approaching 35,000 and a death count that will soon pass 400. NY City accounts for more than half of the state cases. The neighboring state of New Jersey is in second place with about 4,500 cases. The U.S. numbers show NY state being eerily like how Wuhan and then the rest of China dominated the early numbers before being challenged by Italy for the top spot.

If there is any news to feel good about, it is that no children have died and people under the age of 18 make up only 2% of the total cases. The statistics are less optimistic for people over 45 as they are 52% of the total confirmed cases, have a 77% rate of hospitalization and account for over 90% of the deaths from COVID-19. Men are also ahead of women at 56% of cases in the Big Apple.

NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio offered up a more ominous picture of the situation. He said that more than half of NYC’s nearly 9 million people can expect to suffer at least a mild case of COVID-19 and that, “we are going to lose some people.”

He then added in a social media post, "The world we knew is gone. And it's not coming back, not for the next few months. That's the blunt truth."

NYC General view of the New York City Skyline is seen as the Empire State Building and Chrysler Building. Photo: Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

NYC may be the epicenter but to use another term normally applied to seismic activity, the fault line may be the hospitals charged with caring for the onrush of COVID-19 cases.

One unnamed NYC doctor who spoke to CNN said that when the first positive cases arrived at the hospital is when “all hell broke loose.”

The doctor said, "We don't have the machines, we don't have the beds. To think that we're in New York City and this is happening. It's like a third-world country type of scenario, it's mind-blowing."

He went on to describe a scene of woeful preparation for the influx that stressed the hospital’s resources and resulted in the number of patients outnumbering ventilators. His comments were critical to the rapidly increasing number of patients under the age of 50.  "I don't think they understand the severity of this disease. Two weeks ago, life was completely different."

The numbers of new cases in the U.S. are spiraling upward, leaving some to ask: If NYC is like Wuhan, where is the next Italy?