About those numbers we’re all watching

Part of the fixation in watching the Covid-19 spread in the U.S. is in the suspense of discovering how accurately the experts’ projections hold up, especially in contrast to the deceptive and wishful thinking emanating from the White House and its cronies.

With the disease now in all 50 states and up more than 600 percent in the last week alone – or from 30 cases at the beginning of the month to 68,440 as of Thursday – the question becomes just how high and how fast those exponential numbers soar. You know, do our social isolation actions tamp down the rise or do continuing exposures fuel more spikes in the spread? To think, at the current rate we would have 2½ million cases in two weeks or 90 million by a month from now. Here in New Hampshire, the eventual infection rate is pegged at 50 percent.

You’re already familiar with the hospital overload potential. With 95,000 intensive care beds in the United States, most of them in regular use for heart attack and accident victims and the like, and a population of 330 million, there’s not a lot of margin to deal with.

For perspective, think what a serious cold does to you. I mean, sometimes it really zaps your thinking. Think of your workplace if even a quarter of your colleagues were out sick. Now extend that to every service you rely on. Uh-huh. Oh, yes, and what about those lingering bugs we seem to get, the ones that never quite go away like forever. By the way, a fever of 103 to 105 degrees is nothing I want to ever endure again. How about you?

And then, if our efforts really do deflate the dreadful scenarios we’re seeing, will a large portion of the public cynically dismiss the warnings as liberal hype? The disregard for the warnings has been disturbing enough, especially the part about infecting others even if you aren’t exhibiting symptoms.

The bigger health matter is not about the number of cases but rather the 20 percent of those that become life-threatening serious. Not just the deaths, either, but the potential for long-term harm. Permanent heart damage, for instance. We’re just now learning.

People under age 65 have been assuming it’s no big deal, but a figure out of France should be a wake-up call. Half of those in intensive care there were recently reported to be under 30. As for here? Welcome back from spring break. One more figure to keep an eye on.


You know many of the other questions and uncertain answers we’re following as we watch the numbers.

  • Will the number of cases actually fall off in warmer weather?
  • Will the coronavirus mutate and come back hard in autumn?
  • Will it become like the common cold, something that returns year after year?
  • How much immunity will we have?
  • How soon will a vaccine be available and what will the side-effects be? Will the anti-vaccers refuse it or welcome it?
  • And then there are all the stories coming out of the “shelter-in-place” experience.


In my circle, we’re still sputtering over the audacity of some of those who claim to be “pro-life” but now claim that the deaths of up to two million presumably older Americans is a small price to pay to “save” the economy. Remember, theirs is already a pro-military (not exactly a “pro-life” mission) camp that was all-too-ready to spout misleading anti-Obama advertising warning that “death squads” would rule important health-care decisions (totally ignoring the reality that insurance companies were already doing that) when it came to medical coverage. Now we see the true colors of these callous offiials. It’s been all about profits, not people, all along. Babies didn’t cost them anything. Honestly, they should be tagged anti-abortion. Pro-life is far more inclusive, embracing health care, housing, and education support.


What’s surprising you the most in the Covid-19 developments? For that matter, what worries you the most?

4 thoughts on “About those numbers we’re all watching

  1. I live on the other side of the world, and in a country that thankfully is continually telling us to stay home, stay home, stay home, and from the Federal Government’s prime minister all the way down through our three levels of government. Our Prime Minister gets really annoyed when we break the rules, and why not. He’s trying to save all of us, not just the select few.
    And yes, we’ve noticed the effect it is having on the young, and the imminent possible deaths of the 1 to 50-year-olds. This virus affects everyone and does not discriminate.
    This pandemic is not going to go away by itself, that is the message we’re getting hammered home, and it is the message all of our leaders, at all levels, are telling us. And, thankfully, and probably the first time in our history, they are all working together as one.
    I guess I’m glad to be here, and not there, and given the numbers of us trying to get back home, I think we all know that we will have a better chance of surviving if we are here.
    Good luck over there, and I hope that people will go down the self-isolation path because it’s basically the only way to stop it, that is until a vaccine is found. This virus will most likely be the watershed for the anti-vaccers, because if they don’t, it might mean there will be none left.

  2. I’m surprised, shocked actually, that the multi-national mavens of the “just on time supply chain,” didn’t pull fire alarms—Singapore to Silicon Valley. Then again, any excess inventory, now out the door.

    Worries me most? No Military Four Stars bivouacked the Beltway bellowed Attention!!

    1. Yes, the “just-on-time” practice crossed my mind earlier and then got overrun by other developments. Thanks for bringing it back to attention.
      Somebody with a warehouse full of toilet paper or sanitizer could have made a fortune in the last week.

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