IT DOESN’T TAKE A PH.D….
Last week I discovered the “Add 30 seconds” button on my microwave. It only took me 13 years to find it. Think of all the time I wasted punching in the “Time to cook” button, then “30 seconds”, then “Start”. Just 2 seconds possibly 5 times every day for 13 years!!!
NEW MEXICO NUMBERS.
The coronavirus numbers in New Mexico are comparatively small – 794 total cases and 13 deaths as of 7 April 2020 (see figure). Its an exponential curve and it hasn’t flattened at all. The only good thing is the death numbers, no more than 2 per day, and on most recent days only 1 per day (this is encouraging). PS: yesterday there were 3 deaths – the first time more than 2 deaths in one day.
The number of confirmed cases in Kansas climbed to 1,046 on Wednesday, with 38 deaths The numbers are still relatively small, and similar to the data in New Mexico. In fact a listing of states in the US reveals Kansas and New Mexico right next to each other (and about two-thirds of the way down from the top state with the most infections.)
I haven’t found a graph that shows how the infection increases over time, but I assume its still an exponential increase like it is in New Mexico (see figure above).
AUSTRALIA NUMBERS – A SURPRISE.
Australia is a large country with a small population — about 25 million people. The number of cases each day has flattened or been falling for 13 days through April 7. That’s a surprise. And only about 70 deaths to date. The country also blames tourists for many of the new infections. So how did the country pull this off?
As best I can tell, their health precautions are not much different from the US. One difference I have heard is that people over 70 are NOT allowed to leave their homes. Another is that some states have banned travel between states (that’s not so bad because there are only 7 states in an area the size of the USA sine Alaska).
The next graph shows the total number of cases for several countries. USA has the most, with Italy and Spain the next. Italy and Spain are flattening at last. The US is showing early signs of flattening. China of course has flattened, i.e. very few new cases for 45 days now.
South Korea has had few new cases for the past 30 days. Australia is flattening, as we showed. If it continues to flatten, Australia will stay in the “low-case” group of Japan, S Korea, Singapore, Taiwan, and Hong-Kong (the last two countries not shown in this figure).
What differentiates the “low-case” group of countries? It’s not an especially low population because S. Korea has 51 million people and Japan has 127 million. The answer must be in how they managed the pandemic. I know that Australia have done a lot more tests per capita than the US has done, and so has S. Korea, and I suspect that’s also true of the other “low-case” countries. Its kinda obvious, but the higher the fraction of people tested, the greater knowledge you have of where the virus is breaking out plus more time to address and mitigate the breakouts. The US dropped the ball on this one, despite well-founded warnings by Bill Gates 10 years ago.
As expected, the number of deaths tracks the number of cases. The “low-case” countries are also the “low-death” countries.
HOW SOON CAN WE GO BACK TO WORK AND PLAY?
I’m a football fan – and yes the Arizona Cardinals will have a good year coming up. Yes, I am going somewhere with this…
I’m also a fan of Aussie Rules. Football in Australia is controlled by the AFL, similar to the NFL in the US. They play in the winter down there, which is summer up here. The season started in March, and they played one game in empty stadiums but then games were stopped by new Covid-19 rules. Teams then laid off perhaps 80% of coaching supports, and players accepted a 50% pay cut.
But the AFL and head coaches are striving to restart the deferred season. Creative suggestions are bubbling up such as playing games in quarantined hubs without spectators. Or playing late into the Fall. Maybe a shorter season, with shorter game time.
This is a miniature version of what a country is facing with back-to-work scenarios. Germany has been brain-storming on the subject, and President Trump is anxious to put a plan in place. Its tricky business because in the US there are hotspots of the virus, such as New York and California. But at the same time, some regions exist where the virus is muted, such as New Mexico and Kansas.
Could we open up the muted areas first? Or could we instigate a thorough testing program to ensure workers that go back remain virus-free in jobs that are perfectly safe? The trouble is that testing kits in the US are too few or too slow to obtain results.
LOOKING INTO THE CRYSTAL BALL.
• Back-to-work scenarios are being fashioned, but it’s quite a challenge because there are a lot of variables to consider. But very soon some country other than China will start to test (carefully I hope) a back-to-work scenario. This will be motivated by the new world-wide Covid-19 recession we have dropped into. The economic voices will shout down the health expert voices.
• With modern-day tools like artificial intelligence (AI), it may be Google that conjures up an algorithm that can model the best back-to-work scenarios for each part of the USA.
• If I threw out a guess, I would suggest that some country, maybe S. Korea, will come up with a proven vaccine before the end of this year 2020 (most experts are predicting 2021). The world’s medical science experts are very, very smart.
• Another guess: the footy in Australia will start playing again in July.
BLOG TOPICS: I write content (in-depth) blogs about a curious mix of topics: Science and Energy, Inspiration and Hope, and Health and Hiking.
The Gray Nomad ….. Read and draw hope from the data. If Easter stands for anything, it stands for hope, one of the hallmarks of Christian faith. I wish you a blessed Easter.
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
[Book of Romans, chapter 15]