Tag Archives: COVID-19

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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Michigan’s Gretchen Whitmer saves lives

Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, has been steadfast in fighting the COVID-19 epidemic. Even though some of her efforts have been thwarted by political opponents, she has triumphed in making social distancing and lockdown actually work.

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Per capita, many of the places hardest hit by COVID-19 aren’t urban, but rural (blue circles mark areas with at least 50 cases per day per million population, red circles those with at least 100):

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A Tale of Two Cities

March of this year coronavirus exploded in New York, especially New York City (NYC), plagued by nearly 2,600 deaths (over 300 per million population) by month’s end. Worse yet, new deaths were spreading rapidly. The disease was slower to arrive in Chicago, with only 61 total deaths by the end of March: a mere 12 per million population, less than 1/25th the number seen in NYC.

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COVID-19: a Tale of Two Countries

March of this year coronavirus exploded in Europe, including in Switzerland, hit with over 16,000 cases (nearly 2,000 per million population) by month’s end. Worse yet, new cases were spreading rapidly. The disease was slower to arrive in Sweden, with fewer than 2,000 total cases by the end of March for the whole nation: a mere 190 per million population, less than one tenth the rate seen in Switzerland.

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Where’s Waldo? (COVID-19 edition)

Through 2020-May-05.

COVID-19 Update: 2020-May-02


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Keep Lockdown, because YOU ARE SAVING LIVES

The news lately includes talk of the USA reaching a “plateau” in the spread of COVID-19. It’s based on incomplete and imperfect data (as has been pointed out by many), but the daily death toll is probably the best indicator and it has definitely stopped rising like it was during late March and early April:

The reason: preventive measures like social distancing, masks, handwashing, lockdown, staying home, all the things people have been doing to protect themselves and others. Those things are working. Without those measures, the death toll would have kept rising and today, it would be horrific.

So: congratulate yourselves. YOU ARE SAVING LIVES.

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Keep Lockdown

It’s interesting to look at the map of COVID-19 cases by state:

The bigger the red circle, the higher that state’s number of new COVID-19 cases per day per million population.

Downward-pointing blue triangle: rate is falling (congratulations, New Jersey).

Upward-pointing black triangle: rate is rising (watch out, Iowa and Nebraska).

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