It seems inevitable that COVID will not simply disappear so we need to turn our focus to “what is the acceptable level of COVID risk” that we are willing to live with. The fact that many states continue to reopen (or at least not roll back on some of the opening measures) means that our leaders are implicitly defining an acceptable level of risk.
Lets try to define an acceptable level of risk. My suggestion – 1 fatality per million per day. Here’s the reasoning. 1) It seems like a very small number 2) this is broadly equivalent to the US level fo FLU fatalities in a 6 month season 3) many states are already well below that level.
Using this measure, and looking at the week over week changes in fatalities – we can do some automated analysis of the states in the US. Here’s what we get:
27 states (plus Washington DC) – are not where they need to be – by a long shot. Of these 27 – 15 are improving.
Massachusetts and Rhode Island are far in excess of any reasonable acceptable level for COVID fatalities and are worsening. By the flip side – many states including Kansas, Arkansas, Tennessee are well within an acceptable level of COVD fatalities – using the above measure.
There’s a risk in some of the current reporting that small spikes in countries with very low levels of COVID get represented as very large percentage increases. This methodolody corrects for that. A state with a fatality level of less than 1 person per million per day – will still be reported as acceptable – even if there is a short spike.
The worst states today – with an unacceptably high current COVID fatality rate AND trending in the wrong direction are:
Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Georgia, Colorado, Minnesota
NY is improving rapidly – but current levels are still too high to be acceptable. Well done NY – keep it up! At that rate of progress, NY could be lower than Georgia within 2 or 3 weeks.