The First Ward Coronavirus Report – Even J. B.’s starting to see the light!

Since some of my fabulous friends have asked me why I’m doing these daily coronavirus reports, here’s the story!

Facts Not Fear 4

First, every reasonable journalist implicitly understands their singular charge is to afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted. And there’s a whole heck of a lot of affliction going on out there these days.

Though my good friend Paul Stukel did mention the fact that I’ve been “nice” for so long that when the plague inevitably relents, I’m going to go after anyone and everyone in the Fox Valley. And there certainly may be a whole lot of truth to that statement!

Second, I love statistics, and short of political campaigns, I don’t get to apply that talent very often. As an Evanston youth, I’d walk over the Main and Chicago News Stand every spring to pick up a copy of the annual Street & Smiths baseball stats edition and I’d pour over those numbers as if my life depended on it!

Covering the coronavirus may not be nearly as much fun, but it has been fascinating to bring you some too-rare fact-based good news.

Lastly, my fondest wish is, particularly when the chips are down, instead of reflexively falling back on fear and anger, we resort to critical thinking instead. Some of you have lauded me for being the only new source who accurately predicted the progression of the Illinois coronavirus, but all I really did was apply subtraction, division and multiplication and let the results speak for themselves.

And speaking of the numbers, here they are:

Date   Cases   % Increase N Cases  N Tested  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

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

4/8     15,078            11.3        1,529           6,334       1 in 4             462

4/9     16,422            9             1,344           5,791       1 in 4.3          528

Illinois’ current testing total is 80,857, the prevalence is generally settling down to 1 in 4, and as we predicted yesterday, the mortality rate ticked up to 3.2 percent. I want to thank the reader who noted that Illinois moved up a notch to number eight in the state COVID-19 rankings on Wednesday, but we did slip back into ninth place yesterday.

But what makes Thursday our best statistical day yet is a single-digit 9 percent daily case increase despite our second-best testing day at a point where we’re rapidly approaching the apex of the disease.

Again, if we make the mistake of letting our guard down, we’ll go back to the bad old days faster than toilet paper can disappear from a Costco shelf.  But failing that, yesterday’s numbers put an ashen stake directly into the heart of all those doom and gloom scenarios. Even Governor Pritzker said “Illinois may be bending the curve” in his daily 2:30 press conference.

I’m still gonna push for a coronavirus countermeasure paradigm change, but I’m beginning to think our politicians are beginning to understand that protecting the truly vulnerable is a far better alternative to a prolonged economic shutdown.

But that’s the only opinion you’ll get outta me on this one.

The bottom line is, I’m officially convinced we’re entering the downside of the pandemic and better days are ahead. But let’s keep up the good work!

3 thoughts on “The First Ward Coronavirus Report – Even J. B.’s starting to see the light!

  1. The most important takeaway now, in my opinion, is indeed letting our guard down when this slows down. Humanity has a way fo forgetting real fast.

  2. ‘but I’m beginning to think our politicians are beginning to understand that protecting the truly vulnerable is a far better alternative to a prolonged economic shutdown.’
    And the best way to protect the truly vulnerable is to keep the spread on a lower trajectory. Looking at the numbers regarding the outcome for people ending up on intubation I feel that we have to keep it from getting to that point.

  3. it appears that we are at a “zenith” … ideally the Covid projection charts at Yahoo! Finance & Business Insider are “accurate”–
    Jeff, I also learned statistics in the newspaper Sports section as a child.
    Again, great work posting the IL hospital data.
    We could be in much worse shape
    FYI — did you see the Yahoo! post about a Locust plague in East Africa (Uganda & Kenya)?

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