Were You Ready For COVID-19? Not Me!

Photo by Kian Chang

There is some good news to share, but first, Did you ever think it would get this bad. When I first heard about the coronavirus, I remembered back to 2003 and the SARS epidemic. Do you remember it? SARS is another coronavirus that spread to 29 countries. Its origin is linked to China and it was in the news every day. As the death toll climbed we were warned that it was coming to the United States. But then, out of nowhere, it was over. I heard about a few cases here but no one died and I didn’t know anyone who had it. It just disappeared.

Now we have the coronavirus we call COVID-19. There have been similar warnings and it sounds a lot like SARS. It started in an animal. It was transferred to humans. Humans pass it to other humans. And it’s deadly. I also heard that most people survive it and even that some people don’t even have symptoms. And that’s how the story began for many of us.

We started to think, how bad can this be? These thoughts occurred among individuals and groups. Remember the crowded beaches in Florida? This mindset extended to the government as well. Everyone collectively thought, “We will be fine.” Until we weren’t

Timeline of the Virus

Source: Business Insider

The virus is traced back to Hunanan, China.  On December 31, 2019 there were 41 unusual cases of pneumonia. Exactly 2 weeks later the first case appeared in Thailand. Seven days after that, it came to the United States, to Washington State, specifically, which, as of yesterday is in its third consecutive week of declining rates of new cases.

By the time the U.S. banned China travel, on January 31st, it was already too late. Iran was next. Italy was hit a few days later. Then Spain. Germany. And then it was everywhere. If you still don’t think so, look at the Table that I published yesterday with the mathematical estimates of the true numbers of cases in the United States. Then, change your underwear before you come back to this post.

Photo by Isaac Smith

Today, the United States has more cases than anywhere in the world, even China. Depending on where you live, you’re either locked up at home or encouraged to practice social distancing. CVS have tape on the floor guiding us where to stand. Supermarkets have hand sanitizer stands at the entrance. Restaurants and bars are closed. Business is shut down. Everyone is waiting. Wondering. Who will be the first person I know with COVID-19? Will I lose someone I love? For me, these questions are happily unanswered. And I hope they never are.

 

9 U.S. States Have Declining Trends of COVID-19 Cases

Here’s the good news. I’ve been keep tabs on coronavirus data because I think it’s important to have a sense of where we are in this thing. It’s like when you start watching a YouTube video and you look at how many minutes are left before it’s over. You want a sense of how long this thing is going to last. Right? When will it be over? When will we be able to get back to our lives? That’s why I evaluate the data and I haven’t seen anyone writing about it. So, I write.

Based on the weekly rates of new cases, nine states are trending lower in average number of new cases per week. And if this continues, the pandemic will be over sooner rather than later, for them. All nine States had a smaller rate of new cases in each of the last 3 weeks. This doesn’t mean they won’t have more new cases. In fact, they will. And it may seem like a lot. But the trend has been in all nine of these states that there are fewer and fewer new cases. And that’s good news.

The method I used to evaluate the trends is the same method that Nobel Laureate Michael Levitt, a biophysicist for Stanford University, used to accurately predict the end of China’s infection.

In the table below, you’ll find the rate of new cases over the last 3 weeks. The data that I analyzed comes from the same data used by Johns Hopkins University to populate their Global dashboard of coronavirus cases and it’s cited by almost everyone. Johns Hopkins pulls in data from the World Health Organization and the CDC’s from around the world.

Table Overview

  • 23 states have 3 full weeks of reported cases. The remaining 29 states aren’t even in their third week of infection.

 

  • States that have a declining trend:
    • Colorado
    • Florida
    • Georgia
    • Minnesota
    • Nebraska
    • Nevada
    • North Carolina
    • Tennessee
    • Washington

 

  • States with an increasing trend
    • Arizona
    • Rhode Island

 

  • States with inconsistent data (no pattern)
    • California – down in week 2 then up in week 3
    • Illinois – up in week 2 then down in week 3
    • Indiana – down in week 2 then up in week 3
    • Kentucky – down in week 2 then up in week 3
    • Maryland – up in week 2 then down in week 3
    • New Hampshire – up in week 2 and down in week 3
    • New Jersey – up in week 2 then down in week 3
    • New York – up in week 2 then down in week 3
    • Oregon – down in week 2 then up in week 3
    • Pennsylvania – down in week 2 then up in week 3
    • Texas – up in week 2 then down in week 3
    • Wisconsin – up in week 2 then down in week 3

Some of the reasons for inconsistent data may have to to with testing introduction and expansion. It could also be related to the implementation of curfews and lock downs. Or there may be other reasons. For example, on March 16, Pennsylvania ordered all business closed which would explain the reduction in cases. And this week, it significantly expanded testing, which would cause more cases to be reported. The data isn’t perfect, but hopefully it provides a sense of where we are right now.

To use the table, type your full State name in the Search box or use the arrows at the bottom.

Rates of New Coronavirus Cases: United States

StateRate of New Cases March 6 - 12Rate of New Cases
March 13 - 19
Rate of New Cases
March 20 - 27
Direction of Infection
Alabama1st Case 3/150.4810.110Decreasing but not a trend
Alaska
1st Case 3/150.3690.252Decreasing but not a trend
Arizona
0.1700.2580.358Increasing
Arkansas
1st Case 3/110.3960.218Decreasing but not a trend
California
0.2080.190
0.217Increasing
Colorado
0.4130.281
0.217Decreasing
Connecticut
1st Case 3/70.4650.311Decreasing but not a trend
Delaware
1st Case 3/110.334
0.231Decreasing but not a trend
District of Columbia
1st Case 3/80.2190.211Decreasing but not a trend
Florida
0.363
0.3540.264Decreasing
Georgia
0.396
0.3160.250Decreasing
Hawaii
1st Case 3/70.3460.222Decreasing but not a trend
Idaho
1st Case 3/13
0.4090.367Decreasing but not a trend
Illinois
0.304
0.3720.264Decreasing but not a trend
Indiana0.443
0.2440.415Increasing but not a trend
Iowa1st Case 3/9
0.1460.266Increasing but not a trend
Kansas
1st Case 3/8
0.3150.247Decreasing but not a trend
Kentucky
0.389
0.1490.304Increasing but not a trend
Louisiana
1st Case 3/9
0.4070.207Decreasing but not a trend
Maine
1st Case 3/13
0.7590.170Decreasing but not a trend
Maryland0.219
0.2900.266Decreasing but not a trend
Massachusetts
1st Case 3/70.1500.342Increasing but not a trend
Michigan
1st Case 3/11
0.5440.309Decreasing but not a trend
Minnesota
0.369
0.3020.193Decreasing
Mississippi
1st Case 3/12
0.7490.327Decreasing but not a trend
Missouri

1st Case 3/8
0.4790.436Decreasing but not a trend
Montana
1st Case 3/11
0.4090.328Decreasing but not a trend
Nebraska
0.389
0.1210.120Decreasing
Nevada
0.3200.2790.247Decreasing
New Hampshire
0.1700.3290.200Decreasing but not a trend
New Jersey
0.4650.5890.388Decreasing but not a trend
New Mexico
1st Case 3/110.1960.179Decreasing but not a trend
New York0.3710.3270.264Decreasing
North Carolina
0.3340.3270.264Decreasing
North Dakota
1st Case 3/120.5110.200Decreasing but not a trend
Ohio
1st Case 3/100.3720.309Decreasing but not a trend
Oklahoma
1st Case 3/70.5550.309Decreasing but not a trend
Oregon
0.3460.1660.203Increasing but not a trend
Pennsylvania
0.4090.2590.340Increasing but not a trend
Rhode Island
0.1400.1780.208Increasing
South Carolina
1st Case 3/70.2990.232Decreasing but not a trend
South Dakota
1st Case 3/110.0470.225Increasing but not a trend
Tennessee
0.5110.2890.281Decreasing
Texas
0.2720.2930.255Decreasing
Vermont
1st Case 3/80.4090.302Decreasing but not a trend
Virginia
1st Case 3/80.1860.258Increasing but not a trend
Washington
0.2700.1350.125Decreasing
West Virginia
No Cases
1st Case 3/170.406Not enough data
Wisconsin
0.3460.3550.239Decreasing but not a trend
Wyoming
1st Case 3/120.5110.205Decreasing but not a trend

I mentioned yesterday that the number of reported cases vastly under-represents the true number of cases. In that article I published a Table of True Cases in each state. I used the calculation methods of Thomas Pueyo, a Stanford University graduate with two master’s degrees. He has written extensively on the coronovirus and here’s an article you should read. It’s a lot of information but worth the time. More to come…