|Originally posted by Arbiter |
It's been an interesting few weeks. In absolute numbers of positive test results, the U.S. has seen more cases in the past week than in any prior week during the pandemic. Of course that is somewhat misleading since we are testing many times more people than we were in March or April, but the increase compared to late May or early June can't all, or even mostly, be attributed to increased testing. Looking at the the top line number of U.S. cases is also misleading in that the recent increase is sharply regional, with significant increases in the south (especially Florida, Texas, Arizona, and southern California) overwhelming continued decreases in other parts of the country.
None of the explanations for this regional discrepancy in trends are really satisfying. Certainly the protests over George Floyd's killing can't directly be the cause, since the cities where protests were the largest are in places like New York, Minnesota, and here in the District of Columbia, where case counts have remained stable or continued falling. Some in the media have tried to link the increases to how or when states began reopening, but the data don't support that as the cause, either. While Texas and Florida indeed reopened quickly and early, Southern California did not. And northern states that reopened earlier, like Wisconsin did after its state supreme court stuck down their lockdown order, haven't seen the same problem developing in the south. Even geography fails to fully explain the discrepancy. Why, for instance, is Arizona seeing more new cases per capita than any other state, while its culturally- and geographically-similar neighbor, New Mexico, has seen only a very modest increase? And while the increasing case counts have been focused in the south, some northern states, like Oregon and Ohio, are also showing evidence of increased transmission rates. The lack of any evidence-supported explanation for these trends highlights just how little we still know about what drives (or limits) the spread of COVID-19.
the droves of people that came out to those protests (even though they were wearing masks) will likely show on the trickle down effects to elders and those with immuno suppressed conditions. the age group has gone down in cases which means likley more yonger people are getting sick due to their lax stance on quarantine and social distancing. wait a couple of more weeks to see if the deaths go up as well, likely they will and you'll know if it was "just" because of testing or the numbers are actually going up.
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