But before we get to the numbers, I have to say I’m getting the biggest kick out of hearing that you all are talking about me without prefacing that prospect with a string of four-letter word laced epithets!
Considering my too-typical lot in life, I’m not sure I’ll ever be able to truly get used to that kind of thing, but all things considered, I’d love the continued opportunity to give it a shot.
More specifically, the fine folks at The Bike Rack in St. Charles fondly mentioned my reports to a good friend, while favorite dance studio owner, Jamie Vargo of Vargo’s Dance in downtown Geneva, told me she’s hearing nothing but nice things about me.
Of course, scurrilously insinuating that I was losing my duly-licensed curmudgeonly touch, she had to add, “Who are you?” which forced me to summarily strike her from my Christmas card list even though I never send any.
That’ll show her!
But just when I wanna head out to Johnson’s Mound and start beltin’ out “The hills are alive with the sound of music,” my “adoring throng” does their damndest to keep me grounded with “complimentary” comments like “stick to statistics,” “the spreader of false information,” and ludicrous coronavirus parachute memes.
C’mon! Can’t y’all do better than “the spreader of false information?” How about, “Jeff Ward. The next best thing to Joseph Goebbels!” It’s really kind of sad when the insultee has to provide people with more creative ways of insulting them!
Come to think of it, given that specifically singular “mound” terrain, I suppose I’d have to intone “The hill is alive” but let’s just keep the whole singing thing between you and me.
Yesterday was a fascinating day and a perfect example of why, when considered by itself, the number of new coronavirus cases doesn’t really tell us very much.
On the one hand, we did set an Illinois record with 1,842 new Friday cases, but we also had our second-best testing day with no less than 7,574 results. And we’ve consistently noted that, while it may not be a one-to-one correlation, more testing generally leads to more cases.
So, let’s get right to our table so you can see it for yourselves:
Date Cases % Increase N Cases N Tested Prevalence Deaths
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
4/10 17,887 8.7 1,445 6,670 1 in 4.6 596
4/11 19,180 7.2 1,293 5,252 1 in 4.1 677
4/12 20,852 8.7 1,672 7,956 1 in 4.75 720
4/13 22,025 5.6 1,173 5,033 1 in 4.3 794
4/14 23,247 5.5 1,222 4,848 1 in 4 868
4/15 24,593 5.7 1,346 6,313 1 in 4.7 948
4/16 25,733 4.8 1,180 5,660 1 in 4.8 1,072
4/17 27,575 7.1 1,842 7,574 1 in 4.1 1,134
130,163 Illinoisans have been tested, the prevalence moved to the lower end of its narrow range, we’re still in seventh place nationally, and waddaya know! The mortality rate ticked down a notch to 4.1 percent!
But since I got a little too excited about what-turned-out-to-be-a-temporary two-day mortality rate decline, I’m going to wait for more data before I get that giddy again.
As a result of that rather robust Friday testing, our main indicator, the daily new case increase percentage, popped up to 7.1 percent, which still ain’t bad. Though I will admit that 34 percent better testing doesn’t completely explain a 56 percent increase in new coronavirus cases (Friday over Thursday).
Now, some of you newly savvy statistical folks have suggested that, if people ill-advisedly got together on Good Friday and Easter Sunday, we would likely see a COVID-19 spike. I haven’t previously included that proposition here because I really want the numbers to speak for themselves, but with an average incubation period of five days, that could certainly explain yesterday’s record daily case number.
It could also be the result of a more focused testing effort, the fact that we’re in peak coronavirus pandemic territory, or simply a statistical blip. We’ve certainly seen “noise” before. But if we have two more similar days and then a precipitous drop in new daily cases, my root cause bet would clearly be on Easter celebrations.
I’ll also ask my Springfield source for the most recent hospitalization numbers next week because that’ll shed much more light on the severity of the most recently diagnosed cases.
As you might imagine, our five-day moving average reversed course:
Date 5-day M Average
but not too terribly. Today’s data will tell us a bit more in this noise-smoothing regard.
So, with the exception of the Illinois mortality rate, it wasn’t a great day, but it’s nothing to panic about, either. Since, in the words of that great philosopher Chuck Berry, we’ve got “no particular place to go,” we may as well keep up the good work!