Late Night Report: April 6, 2020 Things are Leveling Off.

The latest statistics show a little more reasons for optimism as the percentage of increases in coronavirus for positive cases are for the most part coming down while the same may be said for people dying of the illness.

The U.S. in positive cases experienced the second day of only having an increase of 8%; in deaths  it dropped from a 13% increase to an 11% increase.  The number of daily deaths are still over one thousand. Over the last five days they were: 1,093, 1,237, 1,289, 1,243, and 1,164.

This is indicative of a slowing down in the increase of cases and deaths, all welcome news. To go along with it the same applies to Italy and Spain who have remained at small increases. Japan has a relatively small number of infections compared to other countries, but there are concerns a sudden surge in cases in Tokyo could lead to a major outbreak in the world’s biggest city.

The nine states I follow show that California, Florida, Louisiana and Washington have seen the increase in their deaths fall from double figures down to 7 or 8 percent.  The rest of the states also seem to fall in around those percentages but the one outlier in all this is Massachusetts that went from a 6% to eleven percent.  These figures are very loose since they depend on reports by the states which may or may not get them in on time to have the latest figures included.

I’ve added another 9 states to follow. Most have over 100 deaths. With the expanded base we will get an even better  look into the virus. All who speak with some sort of authority have attributed the slowing to the stay-at-home orders so keep it up.

The only discouraging news aside from Japan is listening to the doctors who say we will never again return to what it was like before the virus struck or at least not until we get a vaccine.

As you know Boris Johnson is in intensive care. Let’s hope and pray it is only a precautionary move as some say and let’s say a prayer if you are the praying type for all the folks out there in the intensive care rooms.

 

5 thoughts on “Late Night Report: April 6, 2020 Things are Leveling Off.

  1. Good news, we seem to be slowing down the spread! Only time will tell. Only retrospective studies will assemble the data and disentangle facts from fiction, to give us a clearer picture of this pandemic, and the extent to which it could have been prevented or handled better. Human error will have played its role, as it always does. Bureaucratic biases, blindness and red tape at the World and National levels no doubt played a negative role, and perhaps still do. The prescient were few, but many acted heroically, some saintly, most neighborly. The medical scientists, from government, academia, the private sector, quickly jumped in and doctors, nurses, technicians, and maintenance personnel rode to the rescue, daily risking their own health and lives in the process. So did and do grocers and pharmacists, to mention a few. One thing for sure: We will learn a lot from the virus that hit us in 2020; a lot about life and death, the good, the bad, the sad, the inspiring.

    One thought, though, about mystery and complexity. At the end of “Murder on the Orient Express,” Detective Poirot asks, “Do you want the simple solution?(which was false, but conveniently exculpatory of all but one) or Do you want the complex solution? (which was true, but implicated everyone). The truth sometimes hurts, as at the end of the war movie ATTACK!, when the captain has to confront the consequences, of what I saw, as his rightful actions. Apparently, he thought not There is no simple solution here : The human body has 37 trillion cells; 30 trillion are red blood cells. Each cell performs about one biochemical processes per second, moving an oxygen atom here, a hydrogen atom there, splicing two carbon atoms together. The human body is a complex system. The human brain, more so, and we don’t understand what human consciousness is. It’s a mystery. Philosophers wrestle with understanding it; embryologists wrestle explaining how in months one cell, the fertilized egg, becomes a human body with one trillion cells. Think that’s complex? How the heck did this whole universe evolve in a split second from something infinitely smaller than a hydrogen atom? Scientists, physicists, say it did. The Big Bang Theory was first conceived by Father Lemaitre then doubted but finally accepted by Albert Einstein. We all make mistakes! Think too: how did all of life on earth spring forth from some replicating molecules inside the first very small cell (lacking even a nucleus) adrift in some lava pool, or stuck in the muck of some bog, a few billion years ago ? Mysteries. Complexities.

    Every human body has 10X more bacteria than cells; most are benign or beneficial. Same with viruses, some do a lot of good; for example, some viruses are called bacteriophages that infect and kill bad bacteria; some can kill good bacteria, too, I reckon. (phages are harmless to animals, plants and humans, I’ve read.)A very small percent of bacteria and viruses are harmful enough to cause disease or epidemics. I read in National Geographic that there are 10,000 times more viruses on earth than there are starts in the universe, and read elsewhere that there are more stars in the universe than all the grains of sand on planet Earth. And very few of them harm us.

    We can’t insulate ourselves, or else our bodies will be less resistant to the sea of bacteria and viruses that live within and without us. We can’t be like Howard Hughes. We can’t wear Hazmat suits day and night. We can’t run and hide or lockdown whenever a bug or baddie threatens us. We’ve got to live in the real world. It makes us stronger. Even little babies living in the real world get stronger. We all want to live in the real world. We want to socialize and congregate and walk and run outside and climb trees and play football and go to concerts and dance.

    1. each human cell performs about one billion biochemical processes per second, I read a long time ago

  2. Good luck to Boris and everyone else too.
    The problem with all these statistics is that no one knows what they mean. It is our nature to want this information even though it is insufficient to permit drawing any inferences. We have no idea how the larger untested population correlated to the tiny self-selected portion that gets tested.

    1. The biostatisticians and epidemiologists work hard to eliminate selection biases, but it’s true they generally report their results with qualifiers: 95% confidence level; 98% confidence level. The good scientists always leave room for uncertainty. I was never that good with math, and concepts like regression analyses befuddled and baffled me, at times, at does quantum mechanics and such concepts as quantum entanglement. But the physicists say they’re true.

Comments are closed.