Saturday, May 16, 2020

16 MAY 2020, NOTES

It is Saturday, May 16, 2020. Welcome blog reader. Here's a wish that all is well with you and yours. Our dark night continues as we walk together ever knowing that the dawn will come in time. We must keep the faith.

In order to try to get some sense of the trajectory of the pandemic, we have been following the data in Worldometer in four-day increments. Our new period is May 12-16. Here is what the figures show for incidence and rates of change:

                         May 4-May 8         May 8-12          May 12-16
World              351,825, +10%      340,654, +9%    371,044, +9%

U.S.                  104,053, +9%        93,014, +7%      98,394, +7%

SC                    516, +8%               650, +9%           615, +8%

AL                    1,158, +15%          1,118, +12%      1,209, +12%


World               22,928, +9%         16,575, +6%      21,314, +7%

U.S.                   8,336, 12%           4,834, +6%        6,711, +8%

SC                     41, +15%              30, +9%             34, +10%

AL                     79, +27%              34, +9%             80, +20%

The raw numbers continue to be staggering. In the world there are now 4,646,409 cases and 308,984 deaths from the coronavirus. In the U.S., there are 1,484,287 cases and 88,507 deaths. At least 6,711 Americans died of the disease just in the last four days. That is a current death rate of app. 1,600/day. At this rate, there will be well over 200,000 Americans dead of the plague by the end of the summer. Indeed, there will be 100,000 dead before the end of this month. The great flu pandemic of 1918 killed some 600,000 Americans (in 1918-1919). Some experts are now predicting COVID-19 rate may exceed that before a vaccine appears. Leading scientists are now saying we will not have a vaccine in less than 12-18 months and perhaps longer. Thus, we are in for worse, much worse for at least the next year. It is best to accept this terrible reality and get prepared.

The last time we checked the numbers, for the previous four-day period, they suggested a lessening in the rates of spread and mortality of COVID-19. This is not the case this time. Rates are the same or increasing across the board except for a slight fall in new cases in SC. New cases in the world and the U.S. continue to rise at the same rates. An alarming change is the rise in the death rate. It is significantly up in the world and the U.S. in the last four days after having shown a decline. The death rates in SC and AL are cause for grave concern. 

Overall, the statistics show that the pandemic is spreading in size and intensity at the same or increasing rates. This is coming at the same time that most localities in America are re-opening public places. Many experts warn this is the wrong time to be doing this and we can expect rates to climb for the foreseeable future.

All of this is bad news. It is hard to take. We wish fervently this were not true. People are falling sick and dying all around us from a highly contagious and lethal disease that no one can stop. We feel helpless. We are frightened. We are sad. However, we need to know the truth what is happening in this crisis if we are to make good decisions about how we react to it.

As always, let us remember that no one wanted this. No one caused it. But, here we are caught in the grip of a microscopic organism. We must accept things as they are as we keep the faith that there is a higher order in the universe where light ultimately prevails over the dark. And so, we are here for the living of this hour. Peace.