COVID-19 Growth Steady

Road-side sign encouraging people to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash.
Road-side sign encouraging people to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic. Photo by LOGAN WEAVER on Unsplash.

Total reported COVID-19 cases in the United States climbed to 163,575, and increase of 21,580 or 15 percent.  The percentage of growth is in line with yesterday’s number,  meaning we are holding our own.  While the 21,580 figure represents an increase from the number reported yesterday, it remains less than the 20,981 where we peaked two days ago.  It will be interesting to see if the rate of growth continues to slow or even hold steady tomorrow.  Either outcome would be positive news.

Reversing yesterday’s decline, case growth in New York State jumped 13,538 to 67,174, an increase of 25 percent.  This reversion to the prior rate of growth causes me to wonder if Sunday’s numbers were down simply because it was a weekend and fewer people were tested.  As of this morning, New York reports 9,517 COVID-19 patients have required hospitalization and 2,352 are sever enough to have been moved to the ICU.

Globally, Johns Hopkins reports more than 803,000 cases, a growth rate of about 9 percent, and 39,000 deaths.  At this rate, we’ll see one million cases by the weekend.  Italy, which has the most cases after the U.S. at 101,739 is seeing a slight slowdown in reported cases.  The hard-hit country, which leads the world in reported deaths at 11,591, may finally be seeing the light at the end of the rainbow.  Like the U.S., it will take a few days of continued decreases to confirm this trend.

More state and even county data is available via the New York Times and more global data is available from Johns Hopkins.

New York as a Canary in our Coal Mine

At his press conferences, New York Governor Cuomo keeps warning the rest of us that what’s happening with COVID-19 in New York is going to happen to the rest of the country.

Sorry Mr. Governor, but no, it’s not.  There may be a few cities that see outbreaks similar in nature to New York City’s, but the country-wide crisis is unlikely to reach the same proportions.

First, as we discussed in detail a couple days ago, most of the country does not look like New York City, especially in terms of population density and lifestyle. 

Second, the rest of the country doesn’t get as many international travelers as New York does.  Thanks to travelers from Italy, Iran, Israel, and other countries, the coronavirus silently spread and obtained a solid foothold in New York far sooner than it did in most states.

Third, most of the county implemented stay-home orders earlier in their curve than New York did.

Need more proof?  About a third of the counties in the U.S. that don’t have a single case of COVID-19.  In comparison, every county in New York has cases and there are 10 counties in New York State that have more than 1,000.  Lockdowns, stay home orders and social distancing can keep many of those 1,000 coronavirus-free counties across the U.S. disease free.  It’s too late for New York.

New York relishes it position as the number one city in the country.  With Wall Street, Broadway, and Sixth Avenue, they rightfully consider themselves the center of our financial industry, theater, fashion, and maybe even culture.  But being number one also makes you a big target. 

Me?  I’d rather keep my head down.