Your First Ward Roving Reporter – Another good day!

In fact, if it weren’t for a 37 percent drop in tests administered Wednesday over Thursday, considering our inexorably set course towards that mid-April coronavirus peak, Thursday would’ve been a spectacular day.

Facts Not Fear 3

But before you throw off your shelter-in-place shackles and start hugging random Meijer shoppers, this curve flattening will only continue to work if we continue to work at it. Now is not the time to relax only to watch all these hard-earned gains slip away.

But before we move on to our updated table, from the bottom of my heart, I want to thank all the readers who’ve made a point of thanking me for these reports. First, I really could get used to that kind of thing, and second, it makes it a little easier to face the keyboard every morning.

Please also allow me reiterate that I remain steadfastly baffled by those lost souls who would argue about an application of truly basic arithmetic. All that’s in play here is addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division – that’s it! Since I have no intention of debating the efficacy of seventh grade math, if you feel the uncontrollable urge to go negative or argue with me, please do so on your own thread.

When my generally political posts resume, they’ll be fair game!

So, without further ado, let’s look at our table!

Date   T Cases    % Increase      N Cases       N Tests    Prevalence    Deaths

3/18     288

3/19     422               46.5             134                           1 in 14

3/20     585               37                163                           1 in 12

3/21     753               29                296                           1 in 7

3/22     1,049            39                896                           1 in 2

3/23     1,285            28                236                           1 in 8

3/24     1,535            22.5             250                           1 in 8

3/25     1,855            21.5             320                           1 in 6

3/26     2,538            37                683                           1 in 6

3/27     3,026            19                488                           1 in 8

3/28     3,491            15.4             465                           1 in 8

3/29     4,596            31.6         1,105                           1 in 4            65

3/30     5,056            10               460           2,684       1 in 6            72

3/31     5,994            18.5            938           4,779        1 in 5           90

4/1       6,980            16.5           986            5,159        1 in 5         141

4/2       7,695            10.2           715            3,272        1 in 4.6      157

Illinois has officially tested 43,656 citizens, and thankfully, our mortality rate – for people who have the disease – stood fast at 2 percent. While that’s a bit of a relief, I’d certainly like to see it turn around and recede.

But best news, once again, is 715 new Illinois coronavirus cases amount to just a 10.2 percentage increase over Wednesday’s number. Even if you take the short-term decline in testing into account, that’s still a very good day.

Yes! The number of Illinois coronavirus cases continues to increase, but the all-important 24-hour percentage increase has plummeted from 46.5 to 10.2. Put more simply, the is spreading at consistently lower rate. Unless there’s some sort of unforeseen change, we’ll dip below double digits sooner rather than later.

The prevalence did slip to 1 in 4.6 yesterday, but the totality of the numbers suggest it’s the result of better targeted testing.

For review purposes, the term “prevalence” is the percentage or ratio of people in a population who’ve contracted the disease. Thus, if we divide 3,272 new tests by 715 new cases, 1 in every 4.6 of those folks tested positive for COVID-19

Though truth be told, our prevalence ratio is a bit hinky. Different tests at different institutions come back at different rates, so, for now, it’s going to be a lagging indicator. But even an imperfect variable can be important when you apply the same math to it over a statistically significant period of time.

Then I was wrong! Despite my declaration to the contrary, Illinois actually did fall back to eighth place in the state coronavirus rankings yesterday. This is yet another sign that we’re doing something right.

But before we continue, please remember all the amazing gratitude you’ve recently showered upon me as we contemplate a point we briefly touched on yesterday. With an ever increasing amount of medical evidence becoming available, it’s clear that we need to shift our coronavirus fighting paradigm.

Iceland’s widespread testing numbers suggest that 50 percent of coronavirus sufferers have no symptoms. If that’s the case, and I believe it is, then the virus isn’t nearly as deadly as we once thought it was. Remember! We’re not talking about mild cases, these people are wholly asymptomatic. I know that’s small solace to anyone who’s lost a loved one, but the best public policy is always based on fact and not emotion.

In addition to that revelation, we now know that 99 percent of coronavirus casualties in Italy and New York had some sort of serious preexisting condition, and the vast majority of those deaths – 87 percent in Italy – consist of people 70 or older.

So, with a much lower than expected mortality rate and a much clearer understanding of who needs to be protected, once we get past the April 15 eye of the COVID-19 hurricane, it would behoove our elected officials to change course by protecting the most vulnerable as we continue to beef up our health care system’s capacity to cope with the disease.

That includes doing everything we can to protect our front line medical workers.

My biggest fear has been this sustained global shutdown will unleash the kind of economic havoc that almost inevitably leads to the rise of fascism. As the New York Times wrote a couple of weeks ago, it would be beyond foolish to allow the cure to become worse than the disease.

But what I’m suggesting will only work if our policy makers are unanimously on board and the reopening of the country takes place in an orderly, cautious, and well-planned manner.

Of all the COVID-19 topics we’ve tackled, this is my first and likely only opinion on this pandemic. Please be gentle with me, but do feel free to debate that contention to your heart’s content!

But back to the statistical issue at hand! The numbers are the numbers, and every day the downward percentage trend remains intact, the probability is it will continue to remain intact. And that’s nothing more than basic math.

With that in mind, let’s keep up the good work!


One thought on “Your First Ward Roving Reporter – Another good day!

  1. I don’t want to get into the phony politics about this on both sides. Re reading comments earlier in the year from both parties show that neither come to the party with clean hands. That said I just wish to thank you for all the effort put into this, especially compared to the cookie cutter headlines from general circulation papers and “newscasts”. Which leads me to this: Print out these blogs for the last couple of weeks, bundle them up and drop them off at the Chief Judges’ Office and see how he can say you are no journalist. Or if necessary attach them to your appellate brief

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