II. EXAMPLES OF THE CURRENT PANDEMIC PROBLEM IN THE UNITED STATES
A. THE ITALIAN VARIANT MOVES WEST
To illustrate what looks to me like the march of the Italian Covid-19 Variant from New York to California, I'd like you to look at the Daily Deaths graphs on each of the following webpages. This comparison will work best if you open each webpage as a separate tab in your browser so you can go back and forth. I'd also recommend that you use a larger screen device, because it might be difficult to click back and forth on your phones. By the way, I'm not providing screenshots of these graphs because, if you open them for yourselves, the data will automatically be updated to the moment you open each page.
You will need to scroll down to find the Daily Deaths graph on each webpage. And I think you'll find it helpful to then click on the "Seven-Day Moving Average" box below each graph to take the bumps out of the data.
For comparison purposes, let's start with Italy itself, the birthplace of the Italian Variant: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/italy/ Scroll down to the Daily Deaths graph, click the Seven-Day Moving Average box, and take a look. That's the classic look of that graph with deaths climbing steeply, rounding over, and fading down a slope. That's what's supposed to happen with a single wave pandemic.
Now, let's check California's Daily Deaths curve: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/california/ Scroll down to the Daily Deaths graph, click the Seven-Day Moving Average box, and take a look. That's a mess, and that's what I think a Second Wave of a more deadly CV-19 variant would look like. You'll see that, matching New York, California's Daily Deaths reach a preliminary peak in late April and began to slope down. But, instead of continuing to trend lower, Daily Deaths stabilized and then began to trend up more steadily in July reaching a record level at the end of the month - 70 daily deaths higher on July 31 than the previous record on April 22. Where will it go from here? We'll just have to see. Now, let's look at Washington: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/washington/ Again we see the classic ramp-up and slope-down that we want to see, but the slope-down ended in June, and the trend has gone slowly upwards since then. Now, let's look at Idaho: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/idaho/
Good news? No. Good time to wear a mask? Yes, indeed.
III. MY WEEKLY COVID-19 RESEARCH REPORTS
A. Explanation of Method and Format
Below are my analyses of Covid-19 death statistics for the last sixteen weeks. To be consistent, I collect data every Saturday morning using data published via https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/. Then I crunch the numbers over the weekend, and I'm ready to publish the summary on Monday. I picked the jurisdictions - cities, counties, states, and nations - based on their relevance and their illustrative properties. So, if your favorite jurisdiction isn't listed, please don't feel slighted. As I note below, great data are available worldwide, and you can find them all via websites like https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/
First, a little background about me. I have a BA in Social and Behavioral Sciences from Johns Hopkins and a JD from the University of Wyoming. After I quit practicing law and returned to business in 1988, I have been steadily engaged in analyzing data for the benefit of my clients, first as a stockbroker - I was the first Edward D. Jones representative on Bainbridge Island, Washington - later as a residential and commercial real estate broker, and for the last eight years as an independent college financial aid analyst - witness this website. So, I guess it'd be fair to say that I'm alert to the numerical differences around me, I know how to count, and I can present numerical differences in an understandable way for the benefit of my clients.
As the Covid-19 pandemic spread out of China, it was obvious to me early on that the disease being endured by Italy was a new and different variant of the CV-19 virus, that it was more than ten times more lethal than the original Wuhan Variant affecting south and east Asia, and that the reasons being given in the media for its extreme lethality - like "It's just those kissy-huggy Italians" - seemed rather childish. And those anecdotal reasons seemed all the less scientifically valid as the Italian Variant made its way from Italy through Spain, France, Belgium, The Netherlands, and then to Great Britain. "Those kissy-huggy Brits?" Yeah, right.
Thankfully, the quality of publicly available data on Covid-19 were and are superb, so by the middle of May I had a good idea just how much more lethal the Italian variant was. After some numerical experimentation I came to opinion that the multiplier was about twelve times, and I'll give you a good example of that below.
As the weeks passed, the Italian variant spread in an arc - a "Swath" might be more descriptive - from Italy west and northwest through Spain, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, and Ireland and with some apparent effect on the bordering nations of - such as Portugal, Switzerland, and Luxembourg. But the CV-19 effect from Germany and Denmark east throughout the entirety of Eurasia and nearby islands - with the exception of Sweden with its disastrous laissez faire approach - was relatively low, and it has remained relatively low to this day. Here, I'll note that there is no statistical evidence that the Italian Variant has affected any of these nations including China itself.
In North America, both in the United States and Canada, the data were bifurcated. The disease affecting the hardest hit states in our Northeast - meaning New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania - along with the Province of Quebec - had the statistical signature of the Italian variant. While the states on our West Coast, along with the Provinces of British Columbia and Alberta, had the statistical signature of the Wuhan variant. I picked one top-performing jurisdiction on each coast as my gauge, my point of comparison for all the jurisdictions around it. On the West Coast I chose the City and County of San Francisco, and in the Northeast I chose the City and County of Philadelphia. And, if you use twelve as your variant multiplier or divisor, and then adjust for population differences, you'll find that Philly and Frisco have pretty close numbers. This means that, if you adjust San Francisco's total number of CV-19 deaths to the increased population of Philadelphia and then multiply that number by twelve the result will approximate Philadelphia's current CV-19 death total, or if you adjust Philadelphia's total number of CV-19 deaths to the decreased population of San Francisco and then divide that number by twelve the result will approximate San Francisco's current CV-19 death total.
By the way, you'll see that the top performing states - meaning those with the lowest Covid-19 deaths to date - are Pennsylvania to the east and Oregon to the west. You'll also notice the huge variation between and even within states. Here, I concentrated on Washington, my home state. Those numbers are on Page 3, and the news can be awful, or it can be very good indeed. For instance, I lumped Kitsap County - where I live - plus the communities of Gig Harbor and the Key Peninsula with the five other counties - Clallam, Jefferson, Grays Harbor, Mason, and Thurston - as the Peninsula Counties. They have a combined population of about 850,000 and they had a combined total of only 38 CV-19 deaths as of last Saturday. That gave them a score that's 52% UNDER San Francisco's. So, let's hear it for the home team, and keep wearing those masks!
Note: In https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/, data breakouts for the sub-jurisdictions of individual US states are by county, rather than by city. For example, in https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/usa/new-york/ there is no separate entry for New York City, but there are entries for each of the five boroughs (counties) that make up New York City. For clarity, I have listed the five boroughs individually by their common names along with combined totals for the entire City of New York. You're welcome.
Week 18: Data collected on Saturday, 19 September 2020