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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Some good news

I was reading an article by Rich Lowry at National Review today in which he said that we have flattened the Covid 19 curve in this country. Have we, I wondered? The flattening metric he uses is that the time of doubling of national cases has now increased to twenty five days.

I decided to look back at Rt.live. I had not looked at the site for several weeks. Looks like, according to this specific model, he might be generally correct although the metric in question is not exactly the same. The Rt number is how many people an infected person is estimated to infect. We want the number under one. One is shown as green in terms of number of states nationally. The last time I looked it was about fifty fifty red to green.

Now the only states with an ascendant or (bad) red Rt number are Iowa, Wyoming, Kansas, Wisconsin, Minnesota and Nebraska. Unfortunate for them but that also means that, if this analysis is correct, things have become much better in this country as a result of a concerted effort at social distancing.

We are certainly not out of the woods and as we saw yesterday with the modeling at IHME, previous national mortality estimates doubled this week as a result of people curtailing social distancing. But I still think that we can take solace and have optimism that we have, in fact, flattened the curve in this country. Of course, flattening is not eradicating, gains can certainly be reversed, but it is still something and I think we must be happy with any small and positive steps we do achieve. Now "the dance," as the author suggests. Ex FDA chief Scott Gottlieb is not as sanguine.

I read that there is similar positive news in Europe, where cases are now also declining. The only outlier is Bulgaria. Britain, Poland Romania and Sweden are flat. Russia is of course a different story. Now to find the proper vaccine. Things can't get truly good, normal and wonderful until that happens. So keep your guard up.

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