Trouble in Arizona

There is no country in the world where confirmed coronavirus cases are growing as rapidly as they are in Arizona, Florida or South Carolina. The Sun Belt has become the global virus capital.

This chart ranks the countries with the most confirmed new cases over the past week, adjusted for population size, and treats each U.S. state as if it were a country. (Many states are larger in both landmass and population than some countries.)

The only countries with outbreaks as severe as those across the Sunbelt are Bahrain, Oman and Qatar — three Middle Eastern countries with large numbers of low-wage migrant workers who are not citizens. These workers often live in cramped quarters, with subpar social services, and many have contracted the virus.

Source: NYT Morning daily email briefing



Remember to avoid the 3 C’s.  And wear a mask.


The Bloody Mask — RadaJonesMD

My honeymoon with Thailand ended yesterday. We live in a condo in Chiang Mai, Thailand. Signs on every door warn: No Mask, No Entry. Most people comply. Some don’t. I ignore them unless they try to join me in the elevator. If they do, I wave them away. “Not without a mask, please.” …

Unlike many adopters of national mask policies, who value discipline and conformity, Americans hate being told what to do and feel the mask is an assault on their freedom. Unfortunately, that contributed to our high COVID numbers. Thailand – who had the first COVID case outside China –  had a total of 3185 cases, 58 deaths, and no community transmission in weeks. Compare that to the US numbers.  2.9 mil cases, 130K deaths and 58K new cases on July 3rd. Yes, Thailand has 70Mil people, while USA has 328 mil. Still.

via The bloody mask — RadaJonesMD

This article by Dr. Jones is worth reading in its entirety.

Mask up people!

Know Your Risk – the Three C’s

Know Your Risk – Texas Medical Association was a post that generated a lot of interest.  So today I’ve decided to stay on topic and add to this series to continue offering my insights as a mortality risk assessment professional.  I’ll share both personal strategies and other professional opinions for dealing with Covid-19. I’ve had a long career of researching, learning and understanding what kills people.  Maladaptive and malfunctional behaviors do an incredible amount of damage. A lot of people kill themselves doing stupid things.  Unfortunately with Covid-19 a lot of people might kill others doing stupid things.

We all must adapt different behaviors to deal with a highly infectious disease.  Estimates range between 40 and 45% of Covid-19 infected individuals may be asymptomatic spreaders.  Thus the combination of maladaptive and malfunctional behaviors by others is a huge problem. None of us can control nor influence the behaviors of everyone we come in contact with. We can only control and modify our own personal behaviors to minimize the risk of infection. Risk identification is the first step.

Stay safe.  Wear a mask.

COVID-19 is primarily a respiratory pathogen that spreads through droplets from infected people who talk, shout or sing. Closed spaces make it more likely you could inhale these droplets because the droplets are not diluted.

Mary-Claire Roghmann, MD, MS, is a Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health and Medicine and Associate Dean for Physician Scientist Training at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. She is also a Staff Physician and Epidemiologist for the VA Maryland Health Care System.

I tell family and friends that, as a general rule of thumb, they should avoid the three C’s: crowds, closed spaces with poor ventilation and close contact with anyone outside their household. Crowds bring you into contact with many people who could have COVID-19 even if they’re asymptomatic. The more people around you, the greater your chance of getting infected, particularly if you’re in a hot spot area with a rising number of cases.

Close contact through a hug or close conversation, for example, also enhances this risk. The risk of COVID-19 spread is greatest when the three C’s converge: chatting with a group in a crowded indoor bar is one of the highest risk activities.

Follow the Three C’s to Reduce COVID-19 Risk



I’m on the right.  The other guy is my barber.

Everything is Bigger in Texas

Today’s post is not intended to offend anyone or to plainly demonstrate how dumb some Texans are.  I married a Texan.  My two most successful projects are Texans.  I lived for over 20 years in Texas.  But you can’t make this stuff up:

Nearly 22 new cases per 100k people (7 day moving average) as of 07.02.20

In Galveston county less than an hour away by car:

54 new cases per 100k people (7 day moving average) as of 07.02.20

While down at the border:

EMERGENCY ALERT:  STARR COUNTY RESIDENTS:  Today it is with a heavy heart that we announce that we have had 18 deaths in Starr County due to COVID-19, and we had two (2) severely ill patients flown out of the valley for medical assistance, one was flown to San Antonio and one to Dallas. The local and valley hospitals are at full capacity and have no more beds available.

I urge all of our residents to please shelter-in-place, wear face coverings, practice social distancing and AVOID GATHERINGS.
– Your Judge Eloy Vera

Nearly 66 new cases per 100k people (7 day moving average) as of 07.02.20

Meanwhile in Oklahoma County:

No fireworks today.  We’ll have a quiet July 4th, burgers on the grill, potatoes, slaw and some beer.

13 new cases per 100k people (7 day moving average) as of 07.02.20

All statistics are from the Harvard Global Health Institute.  See my previous post Do You Live in a Covid-19 Hotspot?

And if you are offended by my comments on your intelligence I don’t care.

Watch Your Quarantini Intake

Nielsen reports alcohol sales in stores were up 54% in late March compared to that time last year, while online sales were up nearly 500% in late April. According to a Morning Consult poll of 2,200 U.S. adults conducted in early April, 16% of all adults said they were drinking more during the pandemic, with higher rates among younger adults: One in 4 Millennials and nearly 1 in 5 Gen Xers said they had upped their alcohol intake.

COVID-19 pandemic brings new concerns about excessive drinking

Copyright is owned or held by the American Heart Association, Inc., and all rights are reserved. Permission is granted, at no cost and without need for further request, to link to, quote, excerpt or reprint from these stories in any medium as long as no text is altered and proper attribution is made to the American Heart Association News. See full terms of use.

I stumbled upon the same AHA news article in several other websites.  The entire article was reprinted in its entirety and just one website provided attribution to the source.  The copyright notice and proper attribution is included above.

Comparing Drivers of Pandemic Economic Decline 2020 – NBER

The collapse of economic activity in 2020 from COVID-19 has been immense. An important question is how much of that resulted from government restrictions on activity versus people voluntarily choosing to stay home to avoid infection. This paper examines the drivers of the collapse using cellular phone records data on customer visits to more than 2.25 million individual businesses across 110 different industries. Comparing consumer behavior within the same commuting zones but across boundaries with different policy regimes suggests that legal shutdown orders account for only a modest share of the decline of economic activity (and that having county-level policy data is significantly more accurate than state-level data). While overall consumer traffic fell by 60 percentage points, legal restrictions explain only 7 of that. Individual choices were far more important and seem tied to fears of infection. Traffic started dropping before the legal orders were in place; was highly tied to the number of COVID deaths in the county; and showed a clear shift by consumers away from larger/busier stores toward smaller/less busy ones in the same industry. States repealing their shutdown orders saw identically modest recoveries–symmetric going down and coming back. The shutdown orders did, however, have significantly reallocate consumer activity away from “nonessential” to “essential” businesses and from restaurants and bars toward groceries and other food sellers.

Fear, Lockdown, and Diversion: Comparing Drivers of Pandemic Economic Decline 2020

I admit to having a short attention span.  My mind tends to wander a bit, sometimes a lot.  The reason for my cognitive wandering is usually a question which sends me down yet another path of discovery.  So here’s another post in my intermittent series on Post Pandemic Changes in Consumer Behavior

My July 4th weekend will be a quiet weekend.  I’ve downloaded the pdf of this working paper to read.  I’m hoping for some insights that I might have missed.

Do You Live in a Covid-19 Hotspot?

Do You Live in a Covid-19 Hotspot?

Researchers at the Harvard Global Health Institute, in collaboration with a team of scientists, have launched a new interactive map and dashboard that allows you to quickly identify your risk level by state and county. It uses a four-color system, where green represents the lowest level of risk and red represents the highest.

The Harvard map is a nice addition to our trustworthy Covid-19 data sources.