Your First Ward Roving Reporter – The downward trend persists!

And every day it does makes that baseline much more statistically significant. Again, I’m not saying we aren’t seeing new Illinois coronavirus cases, but the 24-hour percentage increase, with the exception of March 22, has decreased every day since March 18.

Facts Not Fear

Put more simply, when COVID-19 first hit the Land of Lincoln, reported cases doubled every day. Then, they doubled every two days, and now it takes three days for them to double. And just like that halcyon compound interest, those small decreases will continue to pay larger down-the-road dividends.

So, here’s the latest data:

Date     Total Cases  % Increase

3/17          161

3/18          288             78 percent

3/19          422             46.5 percent

3/20          585             37 percent

3/21          753             29 percent

3/22       1,049             39 percent

3/23       1,285             22.5 percent

3/24       1,535             19.5 percent

Though I’m sure you can see how the curve is flattening, for illustration purposes, let’s compare it to one in which cases actually did double every day. That data would look like this:

4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, 256, 512, and so on!

But the Illinois curve looks a lot more like this:

4, 7, 10, 14, 18, 25, 31, 37

which is a heck of a lot better! Again, those early small percentage decreases are already showing up at the end of our sequence. I’ll take 37 over 512 in this infections regard any day!

Illinois reports 16 coronavirus deaths bringing our mortality rate – for people who had the virus – to just over 1 percent.  Here are the most applicable new national numbers:

New York         26,430

New Jersey        3,675

Washington       2,469

California          2,617

Michigan           1,791

Illinois               1,535

Florida               1,467

Louisiana          1,388

New York state continues to be a rather odd outlier with their death toll of 271 coming in at more than double the next highest state.

Meanwhile, I was a little surprised by a vocal minority of Facebook commenters who fervently believed my math was abundantly wrong, and others who insisted there are host of untested and asymptomatic folks out there who will eventually send us skyrocketing into New York territory.

Please allow me to issue some stipulations in those and a few other regards:

1. Unless I’ve made an obvious multiplication or division error, questioning my math skills will get you nowhere, and I really don’t want to hear it.

First, psychology majors are expected to fully understand statistics. Second, I was a database consultant for 20 years and my SQL programming compatriots will readily attest it’s all math. Third, I continue to apply statistics in political campaigns, and I’ve certainly done alright in that regard. Lastly, not only is my wife a math teacher, but one of my best coronavirus sources is what can only be described as a professional math geek.

2. Please do not attempt to turn these Roving Reporter posts into a political proposition. That response will be swift and sure.

3. Unless you have solid evidence of a vast infected and unreported horde, the fact that you wholeheartedly believe one exists does not nearly amount to proof. All that kind of thing doesn’t is further terrify the already truly terrified. Though no one can prove that gaggle is fiction, if it weren’t Illinois would have far more than 16 coronoavirus deaths!

4. Please remember that I don’t get paid for any of my journalistic efforts! And even though I was drawn into debates like a moth to a flame yesterday, going forward, if you seriously disagree with me, please do it on your own time and issue a separate post. I generally enjoy any and all commentary, but let’s stay positive here.

5. As a 14-year journalist, what I’m trying to do with these fun and factual Roving Reporter posts is provide reasonably fearful folks with reasonable, but not false, hope, based on facts and an accurate statistical analysis. Because when you give them hope, they will continue to participate in our collective coronavirus effort which, so far, seems to be working.

Conversely, if people have no hope, then why bother trying? Please keep that in mind BEFORE you add an unnecessarily negative comment.

But back to the issue at hand! The Illinois outlook continues to be hopeful, so please keep up the good work!

7 thoughts on “Your First Ward Roving Reporter – The downward trend persists!

  1. THANK YOU!!! I look forward to your reports everyday. Who ever thought you would be the sense of reason…..just kidding. Keep it up. I am so sick of the fear mongering masses!!!!!

    • Your welcome! And don’t worry! I’m as shocked about the whole voice of reason thing as you are!

      • Jeff
        It seems that in past your data has been confirmed by more than one source as a good reporter would do.

        These statistics are somewhat what I expected.
        Yes I am sure they MIGHT be 20% off but 20% off is a heck of a lot better than the other end.

        Thanks for keeping news more grounded than what some new sources try to project.

    • Pat, Happy to do it!

  2. Darn it Jeff: every party needs a pooper and that is why we invited you. You are killing my dystopian buzz

  3. New York as the odd outlier might be explained by the density of NYC.
    I also hope that your numbers don’t do to much to make the naysayers start their chant of “I told you so” and begin to ignore the social distancing advice that it getting us to this slowing curve.

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