The First Ward Cornavirus Report – As good as it’s gonna get!

For quite some time anyway.

Facts Not Fear 3

Even the Chicago Tribune, after weeks of peddling pandemic panic porn, finally caught onto the fact that Illinois Governor J. B. Pritzker “moved the goalposts” with his absurd five-stage reopening Illinois plan.

He first said we had to flatten the curve, and yesterday is about as flat as it’s gonna get, but now he’s saying we have to eradicate the disease which is a complete and utter medical impossibility. Regardless of our best efforts, it ain’t going anywhere for at least two years!

But that doesn’t mean you need to cower in your crawlspace and cry, because our last six datapoints show the coronavirus is on the decline – and that’s the best-case scenario right now. So, here are the newest numbers:

Date   Cases   % Increase  N Cases    N Tested  Prevalence  Deaths 

4/20   31,508            3.8          1,151           5,040       1 in 4.4       1,349

4/21   33,059            4.7          1,551           6,639       1 in 4.3       1,468

4/22   35,108            6.1          2,049           9,350       1 in 4.6       1,565

4/23   36,934            5.2          1,826           8,969       1 in 4.9       1,688

4/24   39,658            7.3          2,724         16,315       1 in 6          1,795

4/25   41,777            5.3          2,119         11,985       1 in 5.6       1,874

4/26   43,903            5.0          2,126         12,975       1 in 6.1       1,933

4/27   45,833            4.4          1,930         13,096       1 in 6.75     1,983

4/28   48,102            4.9          2,269         14,561       1 in 6.4       2,125

4/29   50,355            4.6          2,253         14,478       1 in 6.4       2,215

4/30   52,918            4.8          2,563         13,200       1 in 5.2       2,355

5/1     56,055            5.6          3,137         14,821       1 in 4.7       2,457

5/2     58,505            4.3          2,450         15,208       1 in 6.2       2,559

5/3     61,499            4.8          2,994         19,417       1 in 6.5       2,618

5/4     63,840            3.8          2,341         13,834       1 in 6          2,662

 

5/5     65,962            3.3          2,122         13,139       1 in 6.2       2,838

5/6     68,232            3.4          2,270         14,974       1 in 6.6       2,974

5/7     70,873            3.8          2,641         17,783       1 in 6.7       3,111

5/8     73,760           4.0          2,887         20,671       1 in 7.1       3,241

5/9     76,085            3.1          2,325         16,617       1 in 7.1       3,349

5/10   77,741            2.1          1,656         13,653       1 in 8.2       3,406

The nice thing about working with six days of data is it tells you a heck of a lot more than just a scant 24-hour period – and I’m sure my crack deputy statisticians have already determined exactly where we’re gonna go with this!

The first thing you noticed is, while we hit a new 20,671 Friday daily testing result record, the previous daily new case record still stands. Again, those are the kind of disconnects we want to see.

The second trend our robust application of seventh-grade math predicted back on March 27 is, despite a far broader testing effort starting in late April, the new daily case percentage increase has faithfully trended downward from 46 percent to a rock bottom 2.1 percent!

Put more simply, the disease doubled, or more, every day when it first hit Illinois, but now that doubling dynamic takes 18 long days! Can you say “deceleration?” I knew you could! And again, until we develop a herd immunity, that’s as good as it’s gonna get.

Of course, Pritzker and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot will take credit for that decline by claiming social distancing and shelter-in-place are working, but they’d be wrong!

First, even folks with the poorest eyesight noticed what I did during two visits to the St. Charles Lowe’s last week:

  • All customers were wearing masks, but 40 percent of them were wearing them below their nose which renders them worthless.
  • All staff were wearing masks, but 70 percent of them were wearing them below their nose which renders them worthless.
  • With all those exposed noses, there was no semblance of social distancing in the garden center, and the store itself wasn’t much better. Granted the garden center is outside, but people had to navigate those small “aisles” and the checkout line was enormous with people right on top of each other.

About 40 percent of Sunday morning Meijer shoppers engaged in the noseless mask proposition, and social distancing has been abandoned in my subdivision such that neighbors are walking right up to each other now. No one moves off the asphalt path when they pass other walkers anymore, either

But the icing on that deteriorating social distancing cake was all the obvious Mother’s Day get togethers as indicated by the vast number of vehicles parked in front of homes throughout Geneva yesterday.

“But, Jeff! If social distancing has gone the way of the compact disc and landline, then why are the numbers so good?”

That’s an excellent question which can be answered in two simple words – “the prevalence” – which set a full-on pandemic retreat record of 1 in 8.2 yesterday. Once again, that means it took eight tests to generate one positive result.

To put that stat in perspective, had we tallied 13,653 tests and day between April 1 and 23, the positive results would’ve come to a record setting 3,034 cases. But our actual Sunday number is slightly more than half that!

One possibility is the disease has become less contagious, but there’s no scientific evidence of that. The only alternative is, even with the shutdown attempting to forestall the inevitable, we’re finally starting to develop the herd immunity that will finally put COVID-19 in the rearview mirror.

Considering we’re still not testing asymptomatic people, it’s the only explanation for the disease suddenly seeming less virulent. And that’s despite shelter-in-place, not because of it. Shelter-in-place should cause a decline in cases, not a decline in prevalence.

And the COVID-19 occupied ICU beds fully support that! Considering how Illinois’ massive testing leap started uncovering record case numbers on April 24, ICU bed use should be skyrocketing two weeks later – and so should the number of deaths!

But here are those numbers;

Date   ICU Beds     %+     Ventilators      %+

4/30       1,289       -0.8            785               1.0

5/1         1,263       -2.0            777              -1.0

5/2         1,250       -1.0            789               1.5

5/3         1,232       -1.4            759              -3.8

5/4         1,232        0.0            763               0.5

5/5         1,266        2.7            780               2.2

5/6         1,231       -2.7            780               0.0

5/7         1,253        1.7             766             -1.8

5/8         1,222       -2.4            727             -5.0

5/9         1,215       -0.5            739              1.6

5/10       1,232        1.3            709             -3.9

In just a week-and-a-half, COVID-19 occupied ICU beds dropped by 4.4 percent which couldn’t possibly happen if the disease was getting worse and some sort of peak still beckoned! And at a time when the number of deaths should similarly be increasing, they’ve declined five straight days to just 57 on Sunday.

As a result of the newspapers finally performing some semblance of due diligence, we now know that 40 percent off Illinois coronavirus casualties have come in nursing homes or long-term care facilities that refused to take the appropriate precautions. Eliminate those entirely unnecessary deaths and our mortality rate would plummet from 4.3 to 2.6 percent.

That still sucks, but it’s a critical reference point for determining exactly who this disease kills and who we need to protect.

But wait! There’s more! Even though the somewhat erratic testing effort makes it much more difficult, our five-day new case moving average has meaning again:

Date         5-day M Average

5/2                   2,989

5/3                   2,689

5/4                   2,697

5/5                   2,609

5/6                   2,436

5/7                   2,474

5/8                   2,453

5/9                   2,449

5/10                 2,356

For the first time since this thing started, that average has declined for eight straight days which is beyond statistically significant. This is the number that Pritzker and Lightfoot should be looking at because it eliminates the noise.

Meanwhile, since we won’t see a 28 consecutive day case decline for the next two years, that means Illinois will remain shut down, and that means embracing the kind of economic devastation from which no country could possibly recover.

The bottom line is, in spite our Illinois elected officials’ worst efforts, the pandemic is working itself out as all pandemics do, while those leaders, intoxicated with their new power, have completely failed us.

Short of a vaccine, these numbers – all hard evidence – tell us this is as good as the pandemic is going to get for the foreseeable future.

We’ll be back with a new report on Friday or next Monday.

7 thoughts on “The First Ward Cornavirus Report – As good as it’s gonna get!

  1. Thanks for the report! I definitely missed reading it daily, but the more data is definitely more impactful. Looking forward to the next edition.

  2. “…40 percent off Illinois coronavirus casualties have come in nursing homes or long-term care facilities that refused to take the appropriate precautions. Eliminate those entirely unnecessary deaths and our mortality rate would plummet from 4.3 to 2.6 percent.”

    It is a good thing Pritzker’s policies addressed this, resulting in cancelled Little League this summer. Far too many vulnerable seniors playing in youth sports.

  3. Thanks for the report. I was so lost without it that I started finding the numbers and doing the math for comfort.

  4. Please explain why this peak thing keeps moving? It was always coming in two weeks now it is coming in middle of June. And since you do statistics, i do not understand why we need more and more testing. They can figure out who will win a presidential election by polling a few hundred voters, doesn’t testing work the same? And I got tested a few weeks ago and was negative. So what? I could have it right now I suppose. Should I get tested again. I really think this is guess work about now.

  5. I’m losing my mind! How can we get numbers for the individual counties vs Chicago? How can we prove ourselves?

  6. Thank God almighty you are back! We are totally lost without your numbers and thought provoking insights. We may need to move to Wisconsin before this is over…they only have 409 deaths there and their democratic governor shut down their whole state. Of course people from Illinois are not welcome! On the home front, JB lumps us all together with Cook County…thanks JB!

    • Thanks so much for your excellent reporting and insight! I smelled a rat over 6 weeks ago, and I am sharing this report like crazy!

      Respectfully,
      Eileen in St Clair County
      Retired Patriot Career Air Force Officer

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