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COVID-19 day 72 : 📈 216,721 cases; 5,138 deaths : 01 April 2020
Global cases shy of 1 million; FL, GA, MS and NV governors join shelter-in-place movement; about 1-in-4 infected people are US citizens; and those $1200 checks ...
It’s day 72 since the first case of coronavirus disease was announced in the United States. New York has the highest per capita cases and deaths; Louisiana is second in deaths per capita, and New Jersey is second in cases.
That case rate is 65 per 100,000; the death rate is 15.52 per million.
One week ago, the case rate was 21 per 100,000, and the death rate, 3.15 per million.
Globally, we are just shy of a psychologically scary threshold: a million cases (937,567) of SARS-CoV-2 infections in approximately three months. About 1-in-4 of those people are American citizens, even though the US accounts for only about 4 percent of the world’s population.
New confirmed cases are plateauing in Europe but are continuing to escalate in the U.S. If this were only an artifact of “more people tested” the death rate would not be tracking that growth. But it is.
“By the end of the pandemic, between 50 and 100 million people were dead worldwide, including more than 500,000 Americans—but the death rate in St. Louis was less than half of the rate in Philadelphia.”
How some cities ‘flattened the curve’ during the 1918 flu pandemic. National Geographic, 27 March 2020.
“Humanity has been guarding against plagues and surviving them for thousands of years, and we have managed to learn a lot along the way.”
What social distancing looked like in 1666. New York Times, 29 March 2020.
“…milk prices are expected to fall by as much as 25% this year, a serious blow to milk makers already grappling with record low prices.”
Coronavirus hits already struggling US farmers: ‘We’ve stopped saying it can’t get worse’. CNBC, 28 March 2020.
See this grandfather have a 'socially distant' dance-off with his granddaughter. Today Show, 30 March 2020. [Original on Facebook]
If you’re spending a lot of time on Zoom, you might like one of these “destination” backgrounds from Alaska Air.
Around the country
All 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands have identified COVID-19 cases. The only state with no reported deaths is Wyoming.
Because of asymptomatic COVID-19 cases, and the fact that you can be infected and not know it (presymptomatic), the CDC is re-considering its recommendation on masks. Read what head of the the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has to say.
Many May elections in Texas have been pushed out to November, but some officials are not budging. This in a state with limited absentee voting.
Missed in real time: the Trump properties closed by coronavirus (23 March, WaPo). Today, the Secret Service signed a contract to rent to rent 30 golf carts in Sterling, VA, home to Trump National Golf Club, until the end of September. Why? To protect a “dignitary”. How can golf clubs be open? Because Virginia’s stay-at-home order exempts golf courses. ⛳️
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has sent “cease and desist” letters to five Washington businesses, ordering them to stop selling protective masks, hand sanitizer and similar items at vastly inflated prices through Amazon.com, or face lawsuits and fines.
Yet in Texas, someone is offering N95 masks for sale at six times their normal price. Medical equipment during an epidemic should be considered public infrastructure and subject to anti-gouging laws at the national level. Oh, the potential buyer for those 2 million masks? A “major U.S. oil company.” So wrong on so many levels.
Shelter in place
On 1 April, Florida governor Ron DeSantis issued a stay-at-home order which will go into effect on Friday. So did Mississippi governor Tate Reeves and Nevada governor Steve Sisolak.
Georgia governor Brian Kemp will issue an order Thursday calling for state-wide sheltering in place to begin Friday.
Thursday there will be 37 states with a “stay home” order.
Around the world
The number of affected countries/territories/areas jumped from 29 at the end of February to 201 today (adding Botswana, Burundi, and Sierra Leone). Although early reports tied the outbreak to a seafood (“wet”) market in Wuhan, China, analyses of genomic data suggest that the virus may have developed elsewhere.
Nature gave a shout out to researchers and volunteers around the world who have set egos (and sleep) aside to work cooperatively “to fight COVID-19.”
The emergency response to the pandemic is also creating new types of collaboration. For example, researchers and clinicians in the United Kingdom, China and Italy have been working at speed with engineers from Formula 1 motor racing. In the space of a week, they have managed to reverse-engineer a device that helps people with serious lung infections to breathe more easily.
The speed, creativity and innovation at play in medical research stands in stark contrast to world leaders, Nature continues in an 01 April editorial:
Presidents and prime ministers are moving too slowly, in stark contrast to their response to the financial crisis of 2008 … A genuinely global response is needed — and world leaders must follow the fine example being set by researchers.
This is how German Chancellor Angela Merkel gravely addressed the nation in mid-March:
Since German unification—no, since the Second World War—no challenge to our nation has ever demanded such a degree of common and united action.
They must remember that a pandemic government is not fit for everyday life.
Politics, economics and COVID-19
According to the Washington Post, the Senate-driven coronavirus relief bill (CARES Act) would:
…give taxpayers $1,200 per adult and $500 per child. The benefit would be smaller for individual taxpayers earning over $75,000 annually (or $150,000 for a couple filing jointly) and disappear altogether for individuals earning over $90,000 (emphasis added).
Congress makes policy; the executive branch “executes” - it puts that legislation into action.
Wednesday morning, the IRS was going to require seniors to file a “simple” tax return in order to get a check, contrary to legislative intent. You know why, right?
More than 15 million Americans on Social Security do not [need to] file an annual tax return ... During the last recession, when the U.S. government sent most Americans a stimulus check and required a filed tax return to get it, 3.5 million Social Security recipients were left out because they never sent a return.
By Wednesday evening, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin had reversed course: “Social Security recipients who are not typically required to file a tax return need to take no action and will receive their payment directly to their bank account.”
The IRS reportedly will “soon” have a web site for taxpayers to update direct-deposit information.
About that $500 check for “children”: no stipend for any who are older than 16. And if your college-aged student (or any adult) shows up as a dependent on your tax return … no check for them, either.
There is a lag between being contagious and showing symptoms, between having a test and getting its results. The virus was not created in a lab.
🌎 01 April
Globally: 823,626 confirmed (72,736 new) with 40,598 deaths (4,193 new)
The Americas: 188,751 confirmed (25,737 new) with 3,400 deaths (564 new)
Johns Hopkins interactive dashboard (11.00 pm Pacific)
Global confirmed: 937,567
Total deaths: 47,256
Total recovered: 194,311
🇺🇸 01 April
CDC: 186,101 cases and 3,603 deaths
Johns Hopkins*: 216,721 (189,633) cases and 5,138 (4,081) deaths
State data*: 212,695 identified cases and 4,774 deaths
View infographic and data online: total cases, cases/100,000 and deaths/million.
* Johns Hopkins data, 11 pm Pacific.
State data include DC, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands
What you can do
Stay home when sick.
Stay home as much as possible, period.
Avoid crowded places.
Digestive problems may be a symptom.