South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem got one thing right in her TV remarks today, South Dakota cases peaked earlier than many other states.
As you can see in the chart below, SD cases peaked in November. However in a state of only 870,000 people – SD experienced far higher case loads and fatalities than necessary.
South Dakota is 7th in the Nation on COVID deaths per capita. And as the chart shows, virtually all of the deaths occurred since July. That’s right – virtually no attempt of learning the lessons from other states – and ‘following the science’ by slowing or stopping the spread.
I have a theory that the only reason why SD cases fell is actually because they are getting closer to herd immunity and that’s slowing the rate. Example over 100,000 people tested positive (more than 10% of the population). We all know that not everyone who has it, gets tested (particularly in the earlier days) – so is it reasonable to assume that the actual percentage of people who had it is 2 or 3x greater than these numbers. I think so.
1,886 people have died in South Dakota. As we all know, many of these deaths could be prevented by wearing a mask and stopping the spread. Ask the hospital workers how they felt at the peak of their crisis.
South Dakota has one of the lowest population densities in the country. Unlike NY, NJ etc where people are packed in to small spaces, South Dakota residents have plenty of space to spread out. Its quite some accomplishment then to create this level of covid spread.
Being a top 7 state for fatalities per capita is far from success in my view.