Back in 2005, my very first newspaper managing editor warned me it would be quite the amazing accomplishment if I ever managed to get ten people to agree the sky is blue. Nine of ‘em maybe, but that unanimous verdict seemingly supporting the blatantly obvious was an even bigger pipe dream than the Cubs signing me to play centerfield.
And I never truly realized the depth and magnitude of this postulate until I set my opinions aside to cover the coronavirus!
It’s not that I have a propensity to focus on folly, but it’s beyond baffling that at least one reader argues about or dismisses my seventh-grade math on a daily basis. So now, per my former boss, I’m wondering if I can get ten people to agree that two plus two is four!
In that very regard, to dispense with another arithmetic flight of fancy, a reader recently insisted Illinois would see at least 100,000 COVID-19 cases before it’s over. But for that to happen, we’d have to persist in our 1,000 daily new coronavirus case ten-day average for the next 87 days! And that’s a particularly tall order when the majority of epidemiology experts are predicting a mid-April pandemic peak.
Put more simply, unless something drastic changes our steadily decelerating COVID-19 trend, 100k infected Illinoisans is a statistical impossibility.
Then there are the folks who accuse me of painting such a rosy picture that my readers will summarily shuck their clothing to engage in the kind vernal equinox fertility festival that would make our pagan brothers and sisters blush.
But the truth is, with the exception of a suggested coronavirus countermeasure paradigm shift possibility, my paintbrush has been silently sitting on the easel since March 19th. Again, all I’m doing is applying basic math and letting the numbers speak for themselves.
It would be a blast if I could remember all those Loyola University standard deviation equations, but I barely remember what I cooked for dinner last night so that ain’t about to happen.
The bottom line is the Land of Lincoln news is good, and trust me, if the converse held sway, you’d be the first to know! Meanwhile, since I have much better things to do, I will no longer debate math or argue my intent here. Y’all already know just how much I love blocking “meatheads”, as defined by the great Archie Bunker, so don’t tempt me!
Moving on! Here’s our ever-enlarging table:
Date Cases % Increase N Cases N Tested Prevalence Deaths
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
4/3 8,904 15.7 1,209 4,392 1 in 3.6 210
4/4 10,357 16 1,456 5,533 1 in 4 243
4/5 11,256 8.6 899 5,402 1 in 6 274
4/6 12,262 9 1,006 3,959 1 in 4 307
4/7 13,549 10.5 1,287 5,790 1 in 4.5 380
We’ve tested a total of 68,732 Illinoisans, the prevalence backed off to 1 in 4.5, and our mortality rate jumped to 2.8 percent.
But our best future infection indicator, the daily percentage new case increase, essentially stood pat at 10.5. And particularly true in light of our massive 46 percent testing hike! Those 5,790 Tuesday test results were a new Illinois record.
Better yet, since were still slouching toward that April 15 COVID-19 peak, yesterday’s flat 24-hour percent increase is beyond statistically significant. We should be seeing more new cases as we head into the eye of the pandemic hurricane.
Let’s move on to the new data! Some of you have asked if Illinois hospitalization stats were available, and wouldn’t you know it, one of my favorite Springfield sources reached out with all the details. As of yesterday:
2,709 Total ICU beds
1,760 ICU beds occupied
1,166 ICU beds occupied by COVID patients
949 Available ICU beds
2,791 Total ventilators
1,198 Ventilators being used
821 Ventilators used by COVID patients
1,593 Ventilators available
28,139 Total non-ICU hospital beds
16,146 Occupied non-ICU beds
2,514 Non-ICU beds occupied by COVID patients
11,993 Available non-ICU beds
3,680 COVID patients currently hospitalized
The truly magnificent thing about these revelations are they’re the clearest indication of where we are in the coronavirus campaign. They come directly from the hospitals, so there’s no lagging element, there’s no testing margin of error, and there’s no hidden coronavirus cases involved.
The fact that were not nearly at medical capacity is yet another significant signal that only reinforces our downward disease trend. And these stats don’t include all the temporary hospital facilities recently installed as a safeguard, either!
As it stands right now, every single Illinois statistic points to, not just flattening, but kicking the coronavirus curve’s ass. Beyond any bewildering bent to assassinate him, the messenger (me) is utterly immaterial here. Unless they’re unduly manipulated, the numbers don’t lie.
All that said, if we let our social-distancing guard down now, the early days of the disease doubling every day will come back to bite us in the butt faster than a not-quite-vanquished-end-of-movie Bond villain henchman.
So, let’s keep up the good work!