Here are the deaths. A tale of two states

On 29 June I wrote a post asking “Where are the Deaths” because, although the number of new cases of COVID19 were increasing, deaths were not (   I said I’d check back in 2 weeks.

Florida has shown a surge in new cases and a surge in deaths since then — have a look at —  The top chart shows the 7 day average of new cases, and the one below shows the 7 day average in deaths.   Both charts show the need for averaging, as daily deaths or new cases in any 7 day period you care to study vary by a factor of at least 2.  The 7 day average of new cases appears to be about 1,000 on 1 June.  Now (13 July) it’s ten times that.  The 7 day average of daily deaths was about 40 on 1 June,  now it’s twice that at 80.

Georgia (which I chose to follow because it was one of the first states to loosen the lockdown) shows nothing of the kind.  Have a look at  Page down past the map to the chart with 3 tabs —  cases (which means daily newly diagnosed cases), cumulative cases, and death.  Clicking on the tabs will move you back and forth (or better is your screen is big enough open the link twice and compared cases vs. deaths.

Daily new cases on 1 June in Georgia (7 day moving average) 769, on 30 June the 7 day moving average had exploded to 3916

What happened to deaths?  They dropped ! ! !   7 day moving average of daily deaths on 1 June 22,  On the 30th of June it had dropped to 18.

Why is Florida report results for mid July while Georgia is back at the end of June?  Because Georgia is conservative (who knew?) and doesn’t regard results as solid until 14 days have passed, and all the data has had a chance to filter in.

I have no explanation for why  two adjacent Southern states should be so different.

On a far more disquieting note, young people are now having COVID parties where they actually try to get infected —,  The links show it’s nationwide.

Addendum 18 July — these links have been criticized as being urban legends with no explicit names and places.So look at this —   It may not be a COVID party in name, but it is in fact.

At first glance it appears that they are trying for a Darwin award, but on second glance, based purely on a cost benefit analysis (to them only) the chances of a healthy 18 – 20 year old dying from COVID19 are maybe 1 in a thousand.  Libido is incredibly intense at that age.   I’m not sure what I would have done in their shoes.

Think of all the gay men who knew full well how AIDS was transmitted, still got it and died.  Libido is powerful.  The classic example is Randy Shilts who wrote the magnificent “And the Band Played On” in 1987 about the early days of the epidemic.  He knew everything there was to know about the way the AIDS virus (HIV1) was transmitted yet he himself died of AIDS.

I’ve found it impossible to actually talk to a living human being at any State Department of Health.  I’d love to know what has happened to the 425 or so people in Massachusetts who tested positive for the virus after attending the Black Lives Matter protests. Most appeared to be under 30.    Videos show some protecting wearing masks, but many didn’t who were vocally active. Have any been hospitalized?  Have any died?  If the Department of Health has done followup on the 425 (which they should have done) we could know.   But if nothing happened to 425 I doubt that they’d want it out as it would destroy the narrative that everyone should socially isolate.  But data is data and always useful regardless of its implications.


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  • Mark Thorson  On July 15, 2020 at 2:47 pm

    I have no explanation for why two adjacent Southern states should be so different.

    Because Florida is a big tourism state? Who the heck goes to Georgia on Spring Break? Probably similar to New York, which was hit hard early on — they are a big tourism city as well as being a hub for travel in/out of the United States. For that matter, Florida is also a hub for travel. Look at a map, and note how all of South America (except a tiny sliver of western Colombia) is east of Miami. In California, our main problem is in Los Angeles, which is the western hub for travel with most of Asia.

  • John Wayne  On July 16, 2020 at 9:22 am

    Is the apparent death rate vs infection rate change a reflection of the average age of the patient? If younger people are getting infected, and younger people have better outcomes, is it that simple?

    I have no idea why the states are so different. Could be a reporting issue, or maybe where they are in the outbreak kinetics? The data people are going to have a field day after this is over.

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