The First Ward coronavirus report – Better yet!

So, I wuz wrong! But only in the mildest and best way. My previous contention that the numbers are what the numbers are gonna be for quite some pandemic time was summarily dashed by a rather surprising improvement in our coronavirus outlook.

Facts Not Fear 3

But while we’ve certainly stomped the bejesus out of the Illinois curve, before we get too far ahead of ourselves, as the real experts have been saying all along, all we’ve really done is postpone the inevitable second wave until fall and winter when the disease will be that much more insidious.

And herd immunity is coming whether we like it to, or not! Perhaps you’ve observed that eating and drinking establishments are reopening with or without the Governor’s express written consent. Not only that, but my spies tell me Lake Geneva, Wisconsin was so packed with fleeing FIPs that sardines were pointing and laughing.

(If you don’t now what “FIP” stands for please avail yourself of any Wisconsin or Michigan friend.)

But let’s get back to the numbers before I get lost it yet another infamous rant! And this time we have nine, count ‘em, nine data points:

Date   Cases   % Increase  N Cases    N Tested  Prevalence  Deaths 

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

5/11   79,007            1.6          1,266         12,441       1 in 9.8       3,459

5/12   83,021            5.0          4,014         29,266       1 in 7.3       3,601

5/13   84,698            2.0          1,677         17,688       1 in 10.5     3,792

5/14   87,937            3.8          3,239         22,678       1 in 7          3,928

5/15   90,368            2.6          2,431         26,565       1 in 10.9     4,058

5/16   92,457            2.3          2,089         23,047       1 in 11        4,129

5/17   94,191            1.8          1,734         20,295       1 in 11.7     4,177

5/18   96,484            2.4          2,293         21,297       1 in 9.2       4,234

5/19   98,030            1.6          1,546         18,443       1 in 12        4,379

5/20 100,418            2.4          2,388         21,029       1 in 8.8       4,525

5/21 102,686            2.2          2,268         29,036       1 in 13        4,607

5/22 105,444            2.6          2,758         25,113       1 in 9.1       4,715

5/23 107,796            2.2          2,352         25,114       1 in 10.6     4,790

5/24 110,304            2.3          2,508         25,675       1 in 10.2     4,856

5/25 112,017            1.5          1,713         21,643       1 in 12.6     4,884

5/26 113,195            1.0          1,178         17,230       1 in 14.6     4,923

Illinois has purportedly tested 769,564 of its citizens, the mortality rate, currently at 4.3 percent, has been flatter than a pancake for well over a month, and we’re sitting squarely in third place in the national COVID-19 state rankings.

But since they’re so much more fun, let’s move on to the surprises!

The first is a record low 1 percent daily new case increase percentage. Though it’s likely more a result of our overdue spate of late spring warm weather than any human effort, it does mean the disease is dead in its tracks – for now.

The next, and very pleasant, turn of events is the plummeting death toll. This indicator is so good

5/18       57

5/19     145

5/20     146

5/21       82

5/22     108

5/23       75

5/24       66

5/25       28

that even Governor Not-the-Brightest-Bulb-in-the-Pack had to admit the COVID-19 peak is well behinds us, but only after he tried to extend it twice. And yesterday’s 28 deaths, another record low, is something we haven’t seen since the pandemic first reared its ugly head.

But what’s our favorite number class? That’s right! The prevalence further regressed to an astonishing 1 in 14.6 on Tuesday. But before we celebrate, I’m sure you remember we’ve been discussing three possibilities for that vast retreat:

  • Un-sick people are suddenly being tested
  • COVID-19 has become less contagious
  • Herd immunity is progressing apace

But not even I had the temerity to consider that the Governor and his insane state public health director were fricken’ fudging the numbers! What have I been saying about truth and fiction?

A McHenry County accountant reached out to Pulitzer Prize winning columnist Mark Konkol to explain he’d been adding up the individual Illinois county testing numbers since May 4 and they fell far short of the reported totals – to the tune of 40,000 phantom tests.

That would, beyond any and all reasonable doubt, partially explain the sudden prevalence shift we’ve been so earnestly covering.

When confronted with this anomaly, the incompetent Dr. Ngozi Ezike claimed it was a “glitch” borne of her agency’s inability to handle the “mountain” of incoming digital data. And as long as “glitch” means artificially inflating the total number for political gain, then I’m in!

C’mon! Illinois has all of 102 counties, and as a former 20-year database consultant, I can fully attest those county totals are automatically fed into a central system with no human intervention whatsoever. So, the only way that testing total could be that far off is through human intervention.

Worse yet, not only did the Tribune, Sun-Times, Daily Herald, and the rest of the fake news media fail to catch this blatant BS, but they ignored it even after Konkol reported it. The truth doesn’t get you “hits,” does it?

So, as that crank Dr. Phil would say, “How’s trusting the ‘experts’ workin’ out for ya?”

Thankfully, the prevalence drift has been so significant that our errant test number doesn’t begin to account for it.

Meanwhile, with testing settling down, the five-day moving average is starting to regain meaning, and given their newly abrupt whipsaw nature, I’m convinced someone’s playing with the COVID-19 occupied ICU beds and ventilators, too. That said, both trends remain generally down.

Oh crap! We were supposed to get to Sweden and the efficacy of herd immunity, but I’ve already rambled on for far too long! The bottom line is, it’s all good!

But if I may be so bold as to offer one final prediction, it would be that we’ll see those daily testing numbers continue to decline as fewer people seek to be tested.

Stay safe!

 

One thought on “The First Ward coronavirus report – Better yet!

  1. Ever notice how the lowest number of deaths show up on Mondays…and in this case the day after a holiday? And then spike the following day? This has happened like clockwork for many weeks. Data takes time to process, review, and compile. And, even with all the cases, I’d be willing to bet someone’s farm that some of the people involved, coroners, lab techs, data compilers, at various points in the process still aren’t working Sundays. So, the count is low on Mondays because people weren’t working and then they catch up on Mondays which shows up in Tuesday’s data. Entirely predictable.

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