American Elephants

COVID-19: What We Know and What We Don’t Know by The Elephant's Child

Thursday March 26th: King County, Washington State, which includes Seattle, and an assortment of suburban communities. The population is 2.23 million. It is of particular interest because we got the first round of coronavirus or COVID-19. 31,712 people were tested, 92% negative, 2,530 or 7% were positive.

Washington state is the 13th largest state with a population of 7,797,095 (last Census). The total number of cases is 2,580 with 122 deaths.  Here is the Public Health Report for Seattle and King County for March 26, Thursday.   Lots of interesting data there, and a map that shows how it is spread. The blue in the middle of the orange map is Lake Washington, the surrounding light blue is Puget Sound. While we started it out in the country with the Kirkland nursing home, and way too many deaths, New York, bigger and denser is rapidly catching up.

The United States currently has the most cases of any country in the world. New York is rapidly surpassing Seattle in active cases, which is understandable as the city is so dense. There is so much that we just don’t know yet. Can you get the disease more than once, or do you develop an immunity? Are young people immune? Apparently not, but that information comes from only a very few cases. We will learn all these things in time, but we want it now.

What is even more interesting and positive is the way Americans are stepping up to contribute. Dyson, a company that makes vacuum cleaners and that sort of stuff, has designed new ventilators and will produce 15,000. Apple is turning out 10 million masks.  Bodman Industries does 3D computer printing. Their 60 printers will be printing 3,000 masks a day, and they are working with their suppliers to get others involved.

China announced this month of nearly a week of no new infections in Wuhan, the city where the pandemic originated, but nobody knows whether it can be believed or not. Chinese scientists have been transparent about what they have discovered so far, shared information on the genetics and sequences of the virus and details of autopsies, clinical care and outcomes and even shared fatality rates among different age groups. On the other hand, Chinese propaganda insists that the virus originated with the American military, which is absurd, but is filled with the Communist Party’s long history of propaganda and the necessity to bury the cover-up in a happy story of triumph over the virus. Communist governments do not like news that reflects badly on the Communist government. They included a photo of empty beds in a Wuhan hospital. A Taiwan network reported that one hospital as under pressure from the central government not to admit patients so it could report no new cases. So there you go.

4 Comments so far
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We do know that if everyone sheltered in place for two weeks this virus would be finished.
Since some folks don’t comply, this virus is here to stay, with a flattened curve.
Is the delay in mortal outcomes worth the economic cost and subsequent suffering?
How many divorces, suicides, and mortgage defaults will result from “sheltering in place”?
How about a cancellation of rent and mortgage payments for 90 days? Or car payments?
Will the non-compliant SIP folks pay for all the extra suffering they cause?


Comment by markesommer

Where did you get that figure? I haven’t seen anything that offers such a short “shelf-life”?


Comment by The Elephant's Child

We do know that if everyone sheltered in place for two weeks this virus would be finished.

It doesn’t work that way.

Even if you assumed that nobody would catch it from those in their household, and that all the germs on all surfaces were killed, AND that it has a less than two week incubation period, AND that nobody stopped sheltering until they were not infectious, AND that none of the excepted personnel caught it— this is a lot of counter-factual ifs– then an area can still be re-infected by outside sources.

So even with that laundry list of things that are no so, it would take the entire world sheltering in place for your two weeks.

Liked by 1 person

Comment by Foxfier

New York, bigger and denser is rapidly catching up.

…possibly “thanks” to the whole ‘do it or you’re racist’ thing where they celebrated Chinese New Year by being excessively familiar with anybody who looked Chinese. -.-

Liked by 1 person

Comment by Foxfier

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