The award for most contagious goes to…

Starting with an assumption that all cases in the last 2 weeks are contagious – we get these startling stats on which states have the most contagious populations. We hope this population (after all they have been tested postive), are self isolating – but there is also an unknown population of untested, asymptomatic people. Anyhow – knowing what we know, which is the number of new positive COVID tests over the last 2 weeks here’s what we get.

Now, some states have bigger populations than others; after all California is home to 40 million people. So lets adjust for that and look at all states on a per capita basis. Here’s what we get:

Arizona is the #1 state – per million of residents with the number of known cases, assumed to be contagious. South Carolina is #2, Arkansas #3, Alabama #4, Florida #5.

Lets expand this a bit – to identify the people who we assume to be ‘coping with covid’ – those who may, at some point, be in need of hospital care. If we assume that coping window to be approximately 1 month, we get the following CASELOAD stats – per million.

For states in the top of this leage table, the potential stress on the health care system are going to be very significant.

Recall my earlier post on the high bar set by Vermont. Vermont is using a caseload measurement to determine who is allowed to visit. A sensible measure to prevent Vermont’s numbers from skewing higher. Take a look at where Vermont sits, basically 49 out of 51 states (including Washington DC – which I know is not a state).

How did Arizona, and many of these states get so bad, so quickly? The answer has to be some very poor decisions by individuals and leaders. COVID is making us realize that we cannot assume our fellow citizens will act sensibly and rationally. That’s so disappointing.

In a few weeks time we’ll see how today’s caseload numbers translate into fatalities. If past trends hold, then expect very significant fatalities. I would not at all be surprised with possibly around 8 – 12 fatalities per person per day in the next few weeks in Arizona.

Up until Memorial day, Arizona was trending at about 45 new cases per day per million people – with a fatality rate of about 1.7 fatalities per day per million people and improving steadily.

In a little less than 1 month, new cases are now 8x higher at 360 per day, per million people. Fatality levels have already increased again to 3 fatalities per million per day and are on the rise.

We have to unpick the decisions taken in Arizona around Memorial Day and learn these lessons to apply to the next crisis.

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