Focusing on the racial attributes of Rhode Islanders who’ve tested positive for COVID-19 can obscure the information that is critical to understand about the disease.
The positive trends continue. All that can really be said is that my simplistic model seems to expect that things would be improving a little more quickly than they are, but that’s a good problem to have.
As COVID-19 numbers in Rhode Island continue to improve, we should note that those at risk from the disease are different from those at risk from an economic shutdown and realize that we may have made a terrible mistake in our response.
Rhode Island’s daily reports on COVID-19 are settling into a pattern over the past few days. The number of total cases is growing more slowly each day, and hospitalizations are generally down, while deaths continue to increase at a more or less steady pace.
As noted, the survival rate of COVID-19 in United States is over 94%. Now for the implication of this data point with regard to our government’s choice of course – an onerous and heavily damaging lockdown.
This is to offer an important data point about COVID-19 that doesn’t get much attention. The United States has, to date, experienced 1,092,815 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19. 64,283 of those cases, or 5.88%, have resulted in death. To be clear, 5.88% of people who got the disease have died from it, not 5.88% of the US population as a whole. (If you want that figure, divide by 328,200,000.)
This is not the picture that you are getting from the mainstream media. They largely mean well but if you notice, when reporting on this subject, the MSM crafts headlines that invariably include the words “COVID-19″ and “death” and content that is comprised of the number of new cases and new deaths. Most people only pay attention to the news with half an eye or ear. So they understandably may have gotten the impression that the death rate from COVID-19 is sky high.
So let’s repeat this figure because it is important. Of the 1,092,815 confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in the United States, 64,283 deaths have resulted. That means that over 94% of people who got the disease have survived it.
And 94% is almost certainly on the low side because the figure of 1,092,815 only includes medically defined “confirmed and probable” cases. People can have the disease or get it and recover from it without ever knowing or being tested. As they were not counted, those are not included in that denominator of 1,092,815. Anti-body test surveys unanimously point to COVID-19 being far more infectious and, therefore, far less deadly than originally feared. Accordingly, that case fatality rate of 5.88% will almost certainly drop.
Next for our consideration is the very serious implications of this data point with regard to our government’s choice of course (not to mention that the original goal of the chosen course was accomplished weeks ago). Those will be laid out here a little later this morning.
The best news today comes from the number of positive cases of COVID-19 in Rhode Island, which along with hospitalizations, suggests that we’re on the downward slope.
Rhode Island’s news media is reporting 17 more COVID-19 deaths, which sounds like a lot until you realize that, according to the state, only one of them was reported to have actually happened yesterday.
Revisions of COVID-19 hospitalization and death numbers going back weeks do raise questions, but trends continue to be generally positive.
Various bits of news are making the case that government COVID-19 statistics are now inflating the numbers, but even so, today’s report for RI has some good news.
The Dept. of Health’s big revision of COVID-19 hospitalization numbers raises doubts about the state’s numbers and (depending on the new methodology) might make hospitalizations useless for judging the danger of the disease.
“The Emperor’s New Clothes” is a story affirming that there is such a thing as truth, even when people are tricked or bullied into pretending otherwise.
The situation continues to improve in RI, although not as quickly as we might like, and the trends in our neighboring states should not stop us from loosening the shutdown.
The COVID-19 shutdown is financially decimating hospitals. End it now.
Today’s COVID-19 data release from the state government was along the same lines. The rate of increase of new cases continued to drop.
The governor’s phases for opening the economy are too slow, too limited, and leave too much at her discretion for the foreseeable future.
Despite a slight uptick in the number of hospitalizations, today was a very positive day for Rhode Island’s COVID-19 report.
Rhode Island took another step in the right direction with Sunday’s COVID-19 report, with hope rising that April 21 was the peak for hospitalizations.
WPRI Channel 12’s Eli Sherman and Walt Buteau reported on April 17 that 80% of COVID-19 deaths in Rhode Island have occurred in nursing homes. (All deaths from a pandemic are awful but somehow a nursing home setting is especially horrifying both because of the vulnerability of the residents and the perception, normally correct, that nursing homes are safe places.)
This disturbing pattern continues with the most recent COVID mortalities announced by the state yesterday: 10 of 13 were nursing home residents.
Today’s COVID-19 report for Rhode Island came with a mildly better turn.
Contrasting Roger Kimball’s calm erudition with the hysterics demanding “how many people do you want to die” points to a need for us to be able to consider difficult questions in public.
Although it’s still looking plausible that Tuesday was RI’s peak for COVID-19 hospitalizations, the steady increase in total cases remains a concern.
If we’ve found the steady rate of COVID-19 infections for our current level of lockdowns, that would point to the differences in models as well as the need to figure out what government is supposed to be for.
As data is corrected and Rhode Island rounds the peak for COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, it may be time to adjust the projection methodology.
The emerging question when it comes to the daily data releases for COVID-19 in Rhode Island continues to be: which metric should we be watching? Today, the number of cases continued to outstrip my prediction as did, tragically, the number deaths. However, the number of hospitalizations, which is the focus of my model, went down one from yesterday and was, therefore, substantially lower than my prediction.
The reason the model I developed shows what looks like an upward correction and the predicted decline spreading out has to do with the number of cases. The rate of growth is slowing, but not as quickly as it had been, which means there are more “active” cases than expected, and that’s the foundation of my hospitalization predictions. (By the way, here’s the original post of this series, with my methodology.)
The three key metrics now look as follows:
- Projection for 4/21: 5,311
- Actual for 4/21: 5,500
- Projection for 4/22: 5,731
- Projection for 4/21: 296
- Actual for 4/21: 271
- Projection for 4/22: 302
- Projection for 4/21: 162
- Actual for 4/21: 171
- Projection for 4/22: 178
The level of power Governor Raimondo is claiming for herself is huge, and it is noticeable in subtle ways. For example, in an article on GoLocal about how she’s had her hair done even as Rhode Islanders are prevented from doing the same, the governor tells “hairdressers, barbers, gig economy workers” to file for unemployment “until I can find a way to get you open safely.”
Notice that it’s all up to her. She is going to find a way. She is going to tell you when you can work again. If she is going to do that, she should give Rhode Islanders detailed information and data about how she is making decisions so we can judge for ourselves whether what she is concluding is reasonable or ridiculous.