Author Topic: The Coronavirus Covid 19 Pandemic is No Hoax - Check the Numbers  (Read 47 times)

Doug K

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Covid 19 in Monroe County, When is it safe to go out again?
« on: October 24, 2020, 02:42:56 pm »
Great question in that Post Title...but sadly there is no magic answer folks.

Like many times in Life the best answer is "It depends".

First, understand that there's a data driven method to most good answers, while the best answers use as much data as needed to be about 80% confident that the path being chosen would work the best for the majority of people. There is no 100% solution because of that old saying about pleasing everyone, all the time.

And right now these "United States" of America seem to be divided POLITICALLY about a problem that is MEDICAL in nature...

Here's a look at the USA for Covid data on October 23. I've chosen that day because it set a new record on Covid cases in a day. I have also sorted the data by State Population because in a viral based problem the population will determine the final numbers based on a rate per million people that live somewhere.

It is no surprise that states who've tried to ignore or minimize the Virus (similar to the White House) are now seeing their numbers grow as their plan to "do nothing" appears to have backfired

And for perspective let's chose numbers of other viral based diseases that get tracked in this country...the best to use is Influenza data.

I looked around many websites trying to find one that showed Influenza data by state easily, this one is perhaps the best with a nice map that shows the entire USA by Flu deaths rates per 100K in 2018. The year 2018 was an especially bad year for the US with the Flu.. about 60,000 deaths recorded

To adjust for a Covid Comparison in rate per Million people, it's a factor of 10, so simply move the decimal point. That puts the NY State Rate around 184 flu deaths per million. NY State has a population of 19.5 million people.. you do the math.

In our worst year NY did see about 3600 deaths by Influenza, according to this data set. Again, when you talk about disease type deaths it's key to keep perspective and reference to something, like population size. NY is the fourth biggest state, and has one of the larger cities as well.

So with all things considered a rate of 10 deaths per day in the STATE of NY for a viral type disease is a big number... and quite a bit depends on where you may live in that state. Obviously New York City will be very different than Rochester in Monroe County. For many of us living in Upstate NY, the happenings of NYC do not accurately show what's happening in less crowded counties, cities & townships.

So lets look at JUST Monroe County so we can see what the "old normal" used to look like with just Influenza & Pneumonia data.

Here's the past three years of Influenza & Pneumonia figures for our own County. It shows cursory information on flu contraction & deaths and is a good gauge to use for understanding similar types ailments that kill of the herd here.

So on average Monroe County sees about 6000 cases per year of Influenza/Pneumonia and about 18 deaths per season, we have about a 6-7 months long season for Flu here. Now back to Worldometer for the COVID-19 numbers on Monroe County, and those numbers don't look good overall:

In Monroe County we have just under 7000 total Covid cases now, and just over 300 deaths. And that is for the first 10 months of this new virus so the numbers show that Covid-19 is way more efficient at what it does.. kill vulnerable humans. That is a fact, not an opinion, and the numbers support the statement.

It's all just math at the end of the day. If you look at the Monroe County Flu numbers, we see 16-20 deaths annually, divided by months makes sense when looking at Covid. From what we see, the Flu normally accounts for about 1 or 2 deaths per month... three would be a high number.

And Monroe County also has around 6000 flu cases per season which would mean less than 17 per day putting that rate across 365 days, as Covid doesn't have a season. So give it some room for an annual amount to use for Covid Comparisons, and you get around 20 cases per day for normal influenza & pneumonia cases

So, back to that question... When is it safe to go out outside again?

Maybe when Monroe County sees less than 2 or 3 deaths per month would be a good start... more than that and it's Covid adding to the totals.

Or maybe this is better: When Monroe County sees less than 20 new cases of Covid per day. Because that's what the Flu looked like around here before we were overly consumed by those "USA Daily Covid Case Numbers"

And just maybe the citizens of this country should unite and ask Mainstream Media to start reporting RATES of infection & death, not just the biggest numbers they can find to sensationalize the pandemic even more. Maybe they have forgotten that is also increasing the fear for many older folks and that "fear" may not warranted.

Right now it actually looks good for Monroe County... we are trending below past those NORMAL influenza & pneumonia levels & rates with Covid 19. But like with any virus, especially this Coronavirus strain, it only takes a small gathering of people who don't want to be "bothered" by mask wearing or keeping a distance to turn those numbers into what we know as a "Covid cluster event".

But who can say what "normal" is for Covid in our country, it's anyone's guess.

And that is SADLY because Covid-19 isn't just about a medical problem plaguing this country now, it has become a political & social hot button for many, who don't seem to care about the toll this pandemic is taking on human lives. There are many in this country, mostly Republicans it seems, who want to count the cost of Covid in numbers that start with  Dollar Signs.. $$$.

We all have the same rights in this United States of America or should have. But some folks think that a US citizens right "not to die from the Covid pandemic" should also be weighed the same as others' right to frequent their favorite gym or restaurant, or maybe take in a movie.

Or even to wear a MASK to protect others & themselves, pretty sad when that selfishness is resulting in sorrow and death for others.

Right now the BEST way for anyone to FIGHT against the Covid Pandemic is simple...

Do it with your VOTE, and elect Joe Biden... a President who won't simply ignore the problem and "hope" it goes away.

« Last Edit: October 25, 2020, 09:02:20 am by Doug K »