I remember when people on Twitter had constant reminders that today was, indeed, only Wednesday, or whatever day it happened to be. Time moved that slowly.
Time has sped up again. It has been two weeks since my last Covid-19 post, and that’s because I didn’t feel there was much new to say. There aren’t new developments. People are acting the way you’d expect them to act, the numbers are continuing on their trend lines.
The question is, will it be good enough? Did we win? Will there be a second wave soon as we open things up?
So far, the news is mostly good. But not great. Let’s see the numbers.
New positive tests by region:
|Mar 19-Mar 25||5744||6293||7933||8354||28429|
|Mar 26-Apr 1||15684||20337||24224||34391||52901|
|Apr 30-May 6||23424||49205||37880||51693||24287|
|May 7-May 13||22615||43256||37591||40209||16683|
|May 14-May 20||22913||42762||40343||39273||13709|
|May 21-May 27||24104||39418||42977||28336||10595|
Deaths by region:
|Mar 19-Mar 25||116||67||111||84||203|
|Mar 26-Apr 1||347||477||502||454||1340|
|Apr 30-May 6||991||2413||1737||5349||2007|
|May 7-May 13||1044||2344||1679||4014||~1500|
|May 14-May 20||1091||2071||1448||3712||998|
|May 21-May 27||823||1694||1276||2430||721|
Positive test rates:
|Date||USA tests||Positive %||NY tests||Positive %|
|Mar 19-Mar 25||347,577||16.2%||88,882||32.0%|
|Mar 26-Apr 1||728,474||20.2%||117,401||45.1%|
|Apr 30-May 6||1,759,548||10.6%||183,446||13.2%|
|May 7-May 13||2,153,748||7.5%||202,980||8.2%|
|May 14-May 20||2,643,333||6.0%||246,929||5.6%|
|May 21-May 27||2,584,265||5.7%||305,708||3.5%|
New York continues to improve. Some time in this past week, I believe New York became a safer than average place in terms of forward looking infection risk, with yesterday’s positive rate down to 2.7%, and my best guess for today being only 5,000 infections statewide. That’s down 96% from my estimate of the peak infection rate.
The rest of the Northeast also is seeing clear improvement.
Alas, the rest of the nation is looking more mixed. The death rates continue to improve, but that only tells us that things were good weeks ago. The third week of May is clearly an improvement on test results across regions, as the increase in tests run makes up for the positive counts.
The fourth week is troubling. With the reopening well underway, we see the West and South moving backwards, while the Midwest is on the edge. With activity only increasing, and with the added danger of civil unrest, it seems plausible that three of our four major regions are headed in the wrong direction.
This could easily be a blip. The changes are not that big. It also might not be a blip.
Our testing outside of New York is also going in the wrong direction. Hopefully this is due to the disruption of Memorial Day weekend, and we’ll continue to see improvements going forward.
Narratives of a sudden huge spike were never on the table. People aren’t radically adjusting their behaviors all at once and returning to how things were before. People are slowly adopting to a new normal. If that new normal is insufficient to contain Covid-19, we’ll know it because we see a slow uptick a week after the adjustments get too aggressive.
There was another adjustment made on Memorial Day. The results of that should be visible in a few days time. A lot of the additional activity is outdoors, which is relatively safe. But there was also almost certainly a rise in social gatherings indoors as well, and that is the most unsafe thing out there right now.
I hope the dumb reopening succeeds and we can avoid a second wave and the economy can begin to recover without a lot more people first having to die. Certainly things up until this recent blip are going about as well as one might reasonably have hoped.
I’ve split off my more detailed current thoughts into another draft that I hope to have ready in a day or two.