Tag Archives: Florida deaths from COVID19

The pandemic isn’t ending by a long shot

There’s nothing like data to change your mind.  Just 6 days ago I posted a rather optimistic take on the pandemic which I updated daily (a copy of the most recent  update 31 December ’21 is to be found after the ****

It began like this

I hope I’m not doing what I’ve seen many times, a devoted family hovering over a brain dead patient seeing signs of life when none exists because they desperately want to. Who can blame them?  They’re human beings not rational automatons.  Nonetheless, there are two signs that the pandemic is actually ending.

Well, I was doing exactly that.

The media endlessly  trumpets a surge in ‘casesm but remember a case is defined as finding the virus (in the form of a viral protein or the viral genome) in your respiratory passages.  It does NOT mean you are sick.

Example — a few days it was mentioned that 800 kids were being admitted to the hospital each day in the USA with COVID19.  However every hospital admission gets tested for the virus, and it turns out the kids were being admitted for other childhood problems — fractures, appendicitis etc. etc.  They weren’t sick with COVID19.

So I was encouraged, that despite the surge in ‘cases’ people sick with COVID19 weren’t filling the hospitals.  Hospitalizations and death are the numbers you need to know.

Here is some data from my home state of Massachusetts

Date stands for the date of the report, and includes all data up to and including the previous day — Total cases is really total cases of COVID19 in hospital.

Date       Total cases   Fully vaccinated   % fully vaccinated

21 Dec      1,621            470                       29%

22 Dec     1,632            500                      31%

23 Dec     1,595           503                       31%

So I was pretty optimistic that the pandemic could be peaking when I wrote the post on December 26.

Data proved me wrong

27 Dec       1,636         509                       31%  — essentially the same

28 Dec      1,707           529                       31%

29 Dec       1,711           572                       33%

30 Dec       1,817          631                       35%

31 Dec         1,954        686                       35%

If you’d like to follow the Massachusetts data yourself — here’s a link — https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-response-reporting#covid-19-interactive-data-dashboard-

It is updated each day (except on weekends) after 5 PM

Ditto for Florida. Here’s where I got the data — https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/florida-covid-cases.html

Look at the Florida data carefully.  There are 4 graphs, a big one on the top of ‘cases’ from March 2020 to the present.  You can click on it at any point and see how many new ‘cases’ there were that day.

Now  below this there are 3 more graphs (but each is shrunk down to 1/3 the size of the top one to fit).  They are from left — number of tests, number hospitalized, and number of deaths.

Note the left most — the number of tests increases in December about the same way the number of cases does  — so although there is a surge, it may be due (in part) to increased testing.

Note the two right most graphs — hospitalizations and deaths.

A comparison with Massachusetts is instructive –Florida with a population of 20 million or so had only 2,005 COVID19 patients in hospital on Christmas day, while Massachusetts withs 6.7 million had 1,505.  So what has Florida done that we’re not doing up here?

Addendum 27 December — the number of COVID19 cases in hospital in Florida 26 December was 2129 a 6% increase from 25 December.

Date                     COVID cases (Florida)  Deaths

26 December           2129                               22

27 December           2228                               18

28 December           2560                              16

29  December         2963                               16

30  December          3376                              19

Given the greater than 50% increase in hospitalized cases in a few days, I think that daily deaths will similarly increase (with a 1 – 2 week time lag as is usually the case).

Then there are curve balls about the data itself

On 28 December the CDC said that it had overestimated the prevalence of omicron — According to agency data, omicron accounted for about 59 percent of all U.S. infections as of Dec. 25. Previously, the CDC said the omicron variant comprised 73 percent of all cases for the week ending Dec. 18. But that number has now been revised to 22.5 percent of all cases.– https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#variant-proportions

So that means that omicron deaths won’t be as large as the initial prevalences given by the CDC implied. Revisions of data are common and unavoidable in a fluid situation like this.

The sudden shifts in data and information (sometimes incorrect, sometimes conflicting) is so typical of the early days of a new disease.  It so reminds of the early days of AIDs in the 80s when I was in practice.

In medicine, you never have the data you really want.  But you do not have the luxury of waiting for it.  You have to advise patients and families with the information you do have.  It’s difficult and frustrating, but very fit work for your intelligence.  And it’s important in a way that few things are.

Now here is the old post with all its twists and turns. You may find it interesting

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This post is updated daily with new data — today’s is 31 December.

Addendum 30 December — nothing like new data to make you change your mind. Going from 2005 hospitalized COVID19 cases 25 Dec to 2,963 on 29 December in FLorida is a significant surge.  The fat lady hasn’t sung in Massachusetts, New York or Florida.  The pandemic is surging where it counts — hospitalized COVID19 patients.

 

I hope I’m not doing what I’ve seen many times, a devoted family hovering over a brain dead patient seeing signs of life when none exists because they desperately want to. Who can blame them?  They’re human beings not rational automatons.  Nonetheless, there are two signs that the pandemic is actually ending.

First, some background.  The media endlessly trumpets surges in ‘cases’.   Here’s the latest from Massachusetts — https://www.wwlp.com/news/health/coronavirus/covid-19-surge-in-mass-continues-to-cancel-news-years-eve-celebrations/.

Remember a case is defined as finding the virus (in the form of a viral protein or the viral genome) in your respiratory passages.  It does NOT mean you are sick

Nonetheless, there are two signs that the pandemic is actually ending.

First from Massachusetts, where ‘we believe’ in science and the adults in the room are in charge.  There is no question that the number of cases has dramatically increased in the past month — follow the following link to an excellent site which allows you to click and explore

https://www.mass.gov/info-details/covid-19-response-reporting#covid-19-interactive-data-dashboard-

If you click on various points of the curve you’ll see that a month ago the state had 750 people in the hospital with COVID19. On 23 December there were 1,595 — surge enough for anyone.

As someone well over 60 and being fully vaccinated (Pfizer) with a booster 9/21 I’me very interested in how many breakthrough infections in fully vaccinated people there are — it was 503/1595 on 23 December 31.5% hardly trivial.They don’t give an age distribution of breakthroughs at various ages, but based on past experience, it’s likely to be highest in the Medicare set.

I’ve been watching the site for the past few days and here are the numbers.  Date stands for the date of the report, and includes all data up to and including the previous day — Total cases is really total cases of COVID19 in hospital.

Date       Total cases   Fully vaccinated   % fully vaccinated

21 Dec      1,621            470                       29%

22 Dec     1,632            500                      31%

23 Dec     1,595           503                       31%

Addendum 27 Dec

27 Dec       1,636         509                       31%  — essentially the same

Addendum 28 Dec

28 Dec      1,707         529                          31%

Addendum 29 Dec

29 Dec       1,711         572                          33%

Addendum 30 Dec

30 Dec       1,817       631                            35%

Addendum 31 Dec

31 Dec         1,954     686                           35%

Not stable or decreasing — 1817 is 14% increase from a week ago 23 Dec.  Note that the percentage of the fully vaccinated is increasing.  Certainly no longer the pandemic of the unvaccinated. Florida jumped 10% today (see below) which shows why you’ve got to get figures each day and look at trends

I plan on daily updates for the rest of the week.  Things look quite stable in Massachusetts — not so much in Florida

Addendum 29 Dec — the statistics in New York State are nowhere as good — https://coronavirus.health.ny.gov/daily-hospitalization-summary

On 21 Dec there were 4200 or so COVID cases in hospital in New York State — as of the 28th there are around 6600.

Now both New York State and Florida both have about 20 million people, yet Florida’s case load today of 2560 is only 38% that of New York ! !  A smart friend thinks this is due to the far greater population density in NY (particularly in New York City).  Perhaps, but there has been a huge amount of criticism in the New York Times and other elements of the mainstream press of Florida and its Governor for they way they’ve been lax about masking, school closures, and social distancing.

Addendum 30 Dec

Comparing Florida and New York again.  Florida has a population of 21,480,00 and 62.390 deaths.  New York has a population of 19,450,00 and 58,560 deaths.   So Florida has 2% more death per capita.  Much closer than I had been led to believe by the press which basically called Governor DeSantis a murderer due to his unmasking policy.  Well, maybe he is, but then so is former Governor Cuomo for sending recovered COVID19 nursing home patients back to the nursing to infect the vulnerable

The numbers in Massachusetts are pretty stable and large enough to be significant. Now maybe this is seeing signs of life where none exist due to lags in reporting due to the Christmas holiday etc. etc.   But if it isn’t, it is good news.  I await next week’s numbers with great interest.

Addendum 30 Dec — Well it was wishful thinking.

Second — the data from Florida as of 26 December– according to the New York Times — https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2021/us/florida-covid-cases.html

There are 4 graphs, a big one on the top of ‘cases’ from March 2020 to the present.  You can click on it at any point and see how many new ‘cases’ there were that day.

In case you can’t, here are a few numbers.

Date                 new cases

24 December  31,683

23 November   1,605

Certainly, surge enough for anyone.

Now  below this there are 3 more graphs (but each is shrunk down to 1/3 the size of the top one to fit).  They are from left — number of tests, number hospitalized, and number of deaths.

Note the left most — the number of tests increases in December about the same way the number of cases does  — so although there is a surge, it may be due (in part) to increased testing.

Note the two right most graphs — hospitalizations and deaths.  They don’t really budge in December.

In particular the deaths appear to have declined.  Again a caveat about the reporting accuracy over the Christmas holiday.

Also note that Florida with a population of 20 million or so had only 2,005 COVID19 patients in hospital on Christmas day, while Massachusetts withs 6.7 million had 1,505.  So what has Florida done that we’re not doing up here?

Addendum 27 December — the number of COVID19 cases in hospital in Florida 26 December was 2129 a 6% increase from 25 December.

Addendum 28 December — the number of COVID19 cases in hospital in Florida 27 Dec  2228 another 5% increase

Addendum 29 December — the number of COVID19 cases in hospital in Florida 28 Dec 2,560 — a big increase

Addendum 30 December — the number of COVID19 cases in hospital in Florida 29 December is 2,963 — another big increase

Addendum  31 December — the number of COVID19 cases in hospital in Florida 30 December is 3,376

I should have reported the number of deaths earlier, but didn’t, but I will start now.  It is given daily by the NYT, but the graph of deaths isn’t interactive and you can’t pick these numbers from it

There were 22 COVID19 deaths in Florida on the 26th.

There were 18 COVID19 deaths in Florida on the 27th

There were 16 COVID19 death in Florida on the 28th — increase sure to follow the increase in COVID19 cases in hospital

There were 16 COVID19 deaths in Florida on the 29th — increases sure to follow

There were 19 COVID19 deaths in Florida on the 30th  — increases sure to follow

I plan on daily updates for the rest of the week, so you’ll be able to draw your own conclusions.  Look at the third graph in the second line, it doesn’t look like deaths are surging.

But if accurate, the conclusion is inescapable — the currently extant virus variant (omicron) simply is NOT putting people in the hospital the way the earlier surges did.  Again have a look at the preceding 3 bumps in hospitalization for COVID19 since March 2020, and note how they parallel the number of cases.

Addendum 30 December — nothing like new data to make you change your mind. Going from 2005 hospitalized COVID19 cases 25 Dec to 2,963 on 29 December in FLorida is a significant surge.  The fat lady hasn’t sung in Massachusetts, New York or Florida.  The pandemic is surging where it counts — hospitalized COVID19 patients.

It is thought that the omicron variant accounts for over 50% of new infections no matter where you are, and over 90% in the NY metropolitan area.  So the surge in the new variant may actually be a good thing in that it is replacing delta (the previous dominant variant), a more virulent form of the virus, by a more innocuous one,.

Stay tuned and relax a bit.

Yet another Addendum 29 December (if you can stand it)— yesterday the CDC said that it had overestimated the prevalence of omicron — According to agency data, omicron accounted for about 59 percent of all U.S. infections as of Dec. 25. Previously, the CDC said the omicron variant comprised 73 percent of all cases for the week ending Dec. 18. But that number has now been revised to 22.5 percent of all cases.– https://covid.cdc.gov/covid-data-tracker/#variant-proportions

So that means that omicron deaths won’t be as large as the initial prevalences given by the CDC implied. Revisions of data are common and unavoidable in a fluid situation like this.

Reasoning about data as it comes in is exactly what scientists do.  I love doing this. Any guesses as to what tomorrow will bring?

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 (https://luysii.wordpress.com/2020/06/29/where-are-the-deaths/).   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 — https://tallahasseereports.com/2020/07/08/two-charts-show-positive-trends-for-florida-in-coronavirus-battle/.  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 https://dph.georgia.gov/covid-19-daily-status-report.  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 — https://www.independent.com/2020/07/10/isla-vistans-deny-holding-a-covid-party/, https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/tulane-dean-students-who-throw-large-parties-during-covid-19-pandemic-could-face-suspension-expulsion/ar-BB16s4n0.  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 — https://nypost.com/2020/07/18/video-shows-people-in-queens-flooding-streets-without-masks/.   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.