The First Ward Coronavirus Report – Another very good day!

The First Ward Coronavirus Report – Another very good day!

Since I’m getting all giddy about gettin’ out and grocery shopping this morning – who knew American cheese could be so exciting – I promise I’m gonna be brief. Don’t worry! I’ve got the bandana mask constructed and I’ve concocted a swimming pool noodle hat to keep the rabble that minimum six feet away.

Facts Not Fear 4

So, here’s our too-familiar table:

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

4/10   17,887            8.7          1,445           6,670       1 in 4.6          596

87,527 folks have been tested in the Land of Lincoln, the prevalence appears to have found its level, we’re still in ninth place nationally, and for the first time in five days, our mortality ticked up by just .1 to 3.3 percent.

It’s far too soon to say it means it’s topping out, but with the exception of Michigan, the states with previously higher COVID-19 casualty rates have turned it around to varying degrees. I finally do have a thought on that dichotomy, but let’s finish our daily analysis first.

Though I’m convinced you can already see it!

Considering Friday was another record testing day, just four days from the predicted coronavirus peak, it’s incredible that our 8.7 24-hour case increase percentage missed the previous record low by one-tenth of one percent.

Anyone who’s ever regularly applied statistics knows just how significant that lack of correlation really is.

If you can imagine our historical daily percentage case increase numbers as a rollercoaster-esque “bell curve,” we started off screaming our way to the top only to slow down about halfway up. Now that we’re approaching the top, we’re on the verge of stopping as we prepare to roll over it and start our descent.

We’ll likely spend a week or two at that apex, but again, unless something dire develops, Illinois is clearly approaching the downswing.

As for our insistently increasing mortality rate and those other formerly worrisome states, I believe we have a reasonable, but not perfect, answer. USA Today recently reported that, though they’re just 12.3 percent of the population, African Americans account for 70 percent of U.S. COVID-19 deaths.

Yikes! The federal government really needs to get a handle on this absurd disparity because, when it comes to a pandemic, we’re only as strong as our weakest link!

The following demographics:

  • Louisiana         New Orleans is 60 percent black
  • Georgia             Atlanta is 52 percent black
  • Michigan          Detroit is 79 percent black

would to a long way to explaining those states’ higher mortality rates.

Georgia and Louisiana seem to have turned it around somewhat, but Michigan’s 5.6 percent rate leads the nation. Chicago’s smaller but significant 30 percent African American population would explain our consistently rising mortality rate, but also why we’re doing better than the national 3.7 percent average.

Meanwhile, I have no clue why Washington state remains near the top with a 4.7 percent mortality rate. I thought age might be a mitigating factor, but it turns out they’re our tenth youngest state.

So much for brevity, right? Can you tell just how much I love statistics? On a planet that offers an infinite variety of grey shades, accurately applied mathematics can provide that too-rare glimpse of black or white.

But again, particularly at this critical coronavirus peak juncture, until we have a better strategy, we’ve got to stay with this social distancing shift. You see, our metaphorical rollercoaster isn’t bound by any kind of gravity; we’re the glue on the tracks that’s slows it down. And unless we “stick” with the program, that allegorical amusement park ride will inevitably rise to unforeseen heights.

Put much more simply, we do need to keep up the good work!

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