Daily Archives: June 2, 2020

Make America Sick Again

The south’s gonna fall again. The deep south. The rural deep south.

I’ve mentioned that when the caseload rate for COVID-19 (the number of new cases per day per million population) gets above 100, I call it the “critical zone.” That’s when the strain on the health system degrades the quality of care — and when suicide rates go up because health care workers sometimes have to choose who lives and who dies. They don’t want to.

New York was hit so hard, so early, they couldn’t prevent a long stay in the danger zone. They paid a heavy price, in lives lost, but with perseverence they’ve got the caseload rate below 100. They’re just now dipping below 50 — even leaving what I call the “danger zone” (50 to 100 per day per million population).

Other states reaped a great benefit from the advance warning we got from New York, managing to stay out of the critical zone entirely. Some even avoided the danger zone, mostly or entirely. But the deep south states of Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia are losing their grip on restraint, and their caseload rates are on the rise again. Mississippi has even entered the critical zone, with Alabama not far behind:

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