I want to know what schools are going to do in September/November after what they did in August proves to be foolishly optimistic (either ‘the virus will disappear’ or ‘one person will be able to ensure twenty six-year-old kids wear masks and stay 6 feet apart, plus we can have a janitor in each restroom sanitizing after each use’) and they’ve failed to use the intervening 4-5 months to develop a decent online teaching approach.
Ohio now has a per-county public health alert level rating that reminds me of the terror alert color-coded system we had after 9/11.
Of course there will be people in red or purple counties heading out to neighboring counties to shop/eat/socialize/party because those neighboring counties are only in orange so they don’t need to wear a mask there. I don’t get why I’ve got to get my car e-checked because my county borders Cuyahoga but we wouldn’t have to wear a mask for the same reason … but it’s a step in the right direction deeming masks mandatory *somewhere* based on *something*.
I’ve been hearing a lot, lately, about the “return to normal” — what do you most want to do when we return to normal, when do you think we’ll be returning to normal, what changes do you think they’ll need to make before we can return to normal. And the questions strike me as wrong-footed. Especially as Trump and Pompeo talk about SARS-CoV-2 coming from a lab. Now “came from a lab” doesn’t necessitate malicious intent. The fundamental, longstanding problem I’ve had with gain of function research (the reason I wasn’t at all upset when the Obama administration put thought into the cost and benefits of this research and subsequently dropped government funding for this research and I didn’t think it was a stellar idea to resume funding) is that biosecurity is so difficult. And the spread of this virus highlights how vulnerable we were.
Sure, nation-states have forsworn biological warfare … but that’s not everyone. This release was probably accidental. I don’t say that because of any insider knowledge, but if I wanted to release an infectious disease … I’d have done a better job of infecting people. Get some infectious people at the Super Bowl – eating and drinking downtown, riding the public transit system, walking around the stadium. Or send people to ride mass transit in a few major cities – spend a day riding trains through Waterloo station, a day milling around Grand Central. If there are suicide bombers willing to literally blow themselves up for the cause … it seems like they’d be equally willing to inject themselves with some infectious disease. And the border agents can search whatever they want — the easiest thing in the world to ‘smuggle’ into a country is your own bloodstream. No explosive or drug sniffing dog is going to notice, no aeroport scanner will see anything because there’s basically nothing to find. Unless this is malicious intent with the forethought to make it look accidental (or a different actor framing the ‘obvious’ culprit) … it’s accidental.
The fact no one has done it yet is rather amazing. We’ve demonstrated our susceptibility to biological attack. We’re in the middle of demonstrating our unwillingness to take actions to prevent the spread of a disease. I absolutely believe this is an attack vector that will be exploited in the future. So why would we want to return to the previous “normal”?!
There are some people protesting the stay at home orders – I see videos from outside of DeWine’s daily briefings, and several other states seem to have similar problems. Apart from the question of astroturfing, problem is that there’s very little opportunity for counter-protests. When you go to DC, there are PETA people counter-protesting the people looking to fund medical research (animal testing). There are vegans counter-protesting people looking to increase subsidies in the meat industry. I’ve never seen an abortion protest that didn’t have both sides represented.
These ‘liberate us’ protests? These are people who don’t think they should have to stay at home – they should allowed to hang out at bars, eat in restaurants, shop, party, and … oh yeah … crowd together at protests. The people who think the stay-at-home and shelter-in-place orders are important to protect their health? Seems like a far smaller portion of them would be willing to hang out in Columbus in a protest. Even if they could find masks and whatnot.
Why drive somewhere nonessential? Your car breaks down, and you’re exposed to others (and exposing them to you). You get into an accident and you’re exposed to others (and exposing them to you). Get injured in the accident and you’re adding to the patient load at hospitals. We’re not just staying at home to avoid large congregations. We’re staying at home to create less load for emergency personnel.
Updated graph for current infection numbers
And the states kinda like Ohio graph where I still think “distance from NYC” is a pretty significant factor in how many individuals are infected. Ohio, going on a month of kids out of school and entering week three of the shelter-in-place order, isn’t seeing the exponential growth some states with similar population numbers have encountered.
|Date||# US Infections||Detail|
|18-Dec-2019||0||House Impeaches Trump|
|18-Dec-2019||0||Trump campaign rally – Michigan|
|21-Dec-2019||0||Trump maybe golfs – Florida|
|22-Dec-2019||0||Trump maybe golfs – Florida|
|23-Dec-2019||0||Trump maybe golfs – Florida|
|24-Dec-2019||0||Trump maybe golfs – Florida|
|26-Dec-2019||0||Trump golfs – Florida|
|27-Dec-2019||0||Trump maybe golfs – Florida|
|28-Dec-2019||0||Trump maybe golfs – Florida|
|29-Dec-2019||0||Trump golfs – Florida|
|30-Dec-2019||0||Trump golfs – Florida|
|31-Dec-2019||0||Trump maybe golfs – Florida|
|1-Jan||0||Trump maybe golfs – Florida|
|2-Jan||0||Trump maybe golfs – Florida|
|3-Jan||0||Trump campaign rally – Florida|
|4-Jan||0||Trump maybe golfs – Florida|
|5-Jan||0||Trump maybe golfs – Florida|
|8-Jan||0||First CDC warning|
|9-Jan||0||Trump campaign rally – Ohio|
|14-Jan||0||Trump campaign rally – Wisconsin|
|16-Jan||0||House sends impeachment articles to Senate|
|18-Jan||0||Trump golfs – Florida|
|19-Jan||0||Trump maybe golfs – Florida|
|20-Jan||1||First case of corona virus in the US, Washington State.|
|22-Jan||1||“We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. It’s going to be just fine.”|
|22-Jan||1||Impeachment prosecution’s opening arguments and presentation of evidence|
|23-Jan||1||Impeachment prosecution’s opening arguments and presentation of evidence|
|24-Jan||2||Impeachment prosecution’s opening arguments and presentation of evidence|
|25-Jan||2||Impeachment defense presentation|
|28-Jan||5||Trump campaign rally – New Jersey|
|30-Jan||5||Trump campaign rally – Iowa|
|31-Jan||7||Impeachment Senate vote against calling witnesses & travel restriction from China|
|1-Feb||8||Trump golfs – Florida|
|2-Feb||8||Trump maybe golfs – Florida|
|2-Feb||8||“We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”|
|5-Feb||11||Impeachment Senate votes to acquit. Then takes a five-day weekend.|
|10-Feb||11||Trump campaign rally – New Hampshire|
|12-Feb||12||Dow Jones closes at an all time high of 29,551.42|
|15-Feb||13||Trump golfs – Florida|
|19-Feb||13||Trump campaign rally – Arizona|
|20-Feb||13||Trump campaign rally – Colorado|
|21-Feb||15||Trump campaign rally – Nevada|
|24-Feb||51||“The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA… Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”|
|25-Feb||51||“CDC and my Administration are doing a GREAT job of handling Coronavirus.”|
|25-Feb||51||“I think that’s a problem that’s going to go away… They have studied it. They know very much. In fact, we’re very close to a vaccine.”|
|26-Feb||57||“The 15 (cases in the US) within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.”|
|26-Feb||57||“We’re going very substantially down, not up.” Also “This is a flu. This is like a flu”; “Now, you treat this like a flu”; “It’s a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for. And we’ll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner.”|
|27-Feb||58||“One day it’s like a miracle, it will disappear.”|
|28-Feb||60||“We’re ordering a lot of supplies. We’re ordering a lot of, uh, elements that frankly we wouldn’t be ordering unless it was something like this. But we’re ordering a lot of different elements of medical.”|
|28-Feb||60||Trump campaign rally – South Carolina|
|2-Mar||98||“You take a solid flu vaccine, you don’t think that could have an impact, or much of an impact, on corona?”|
|2-Mar||98||Trump campaign rally – North Carolina|
|2-Mar||98||“A lot of things are happening, a lot of very exciting things are happening and they’re happening very rapidly.”|
|4-Mar||149||“If we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work — some of them go to work, but they get better.”|
|5-Mar||217||“I NEVER said people that are feeling sick should go to work.”|
|5-Mar||217||“The United States… has, as of now, only 129 cases… and 11 deaths. We are working very hard to keep these numbers as low as possible!”|
|6-Mar||262||“I think we’re doing a really good job in this country at keeping it down… a tremendous job at keeping it down.”|
|6-Mar||262||“Anybody right now, and yesterday, anybody that needs a test gets a test. They’re there. And the tests are beautiful…. the tests are all perfect like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect. Right? This was not as perfect as that but pretty good.”|
|6-Mar||262||“I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it… Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president.”|
|6-Mar||262||“I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault.”|
|7-Mar||402||Trump golfs – Florida|
|8-Mar||518||Trump golfs – Florida|
|8-Mar||518||“We have a perfectly coordinated and fine tuned plan at the White House for our attack on CoronaVirus.”|
|9-Mar||583||“This blindsided the world.”|
|1-Mar||583||Travel lockdown from Europe.|
|13-Mar||2179||State of emergency declared|
|17-Mar||6421||“This is a pandemic,” Mr. Trump told reporters. “I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”|
|18-Mar||7783||It’s not racist at all. No. Not at all. It comes from China. That’s why. It comes from China. I want to be accurate.|
|23-Mar||42152||Dow Jones closes at 18,591.93|
|25-Mar||63928||3.3 million Americans file for unemployment.|
|30-Mar||160530||Dow Jones closes at 21,917.16|
|2-Apr||239099||6.6 million Americans file for unemployment.|
Schools in Ohio have been closed since 17 March (and a lot of districts stayed home on 16 March). Restaurants have been in delivery and carry-out mode for about the same length of time. We’ve been under a stay at home order since 24 March. And the important question is … is it helping? That’s a difficult question to answer because epidemiological predictions have very broad ranges because most of their inputs are so unknown … and the limited testing makes the data being compared wildly inaccurate. But we’ve only got the data we’ve got, so I thought I’d run some comparisons to see how Ohio is faring.
I selected the four states closest to Ohio in population — PA, IL, GA, and NC. Because these states all identified their first case well before Ohio, I added CT because the first case identified there was 08-Mar and Ohio’s first cases appear on 09-Mar.
It looks like our curve is flattened — although North Carolina, where the first infection was identified earlier than Ohio and their their stay at home order was issued on on 27 March, has identified a thousand fewer cases as of yesterday.
Is proximity to NYC a major factor? CT and PA (as well as NJ, which has a relatively high number of cases) are all right there. But Georgia and Illinois are farther away from NYC than Ohio. Is the number of tests a factor in these case numbers? I’d expected a higher correlation between the number of identified cases and the number of tests administered. GA and CT have fewer total test reports (positive + negative tests) and have more infected people. NC has more reported tests, but fewer cases than OH. PA and IL have more reported tests and more infected people.