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Covid-19 Update | April 11 at 10:21 PM

So, tonight’s coronavirus update is brought to you by the Cadbury Egg. Remember, it’s just not Easter until you’ve savored the unique milk chocolate shell and soft fondant center of a CADBURY CREME EGG. Pretty excellent news coming from all sources today. 1,830 deaths is a 5 day low and the 30,003 new cases is a 9 day low. 65% of the nation’s cases and deaths are in NYC metro and Detroit. Florida’s 1,018 new cases is also the lowest number from the last 10 days and 680 of them are Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties. 38% of Florida’s ICU beds are empty and 45% of regular beds are empty. The idea that we are past the peak seems to be holding up pretty well. Bay County had no new cases today. The prevalence of positive cases in the nation is 1,608 cases per million. In Florida, it is 883 cases per million, and in Bay County its 212 cases per million. So, we live in a very safe part of the world. The rate of cases here is still lower than the average of every state in the nation. So, the giant question looming over every policy maker’s head is when do we start the economy back up? We all know the answer is that the sooner we open, the easier for the economy. The real question is, was it business closures and stay at home orders that were the key or was it public education on social distancing and hand hygiene that made the difference? I find many key indicators that it is not business closures. Two similarly sized states with different approaches are Florida and Ohio. In Ohio, they enacted non-essential business closures and a statewide Stay-at-Home order on March 23rd. In Florida, we did the Safer-at-Home order on April 3rd. Also, Florida has an older population and is much more reliant on travel and tourism. One would expect that Ohio would be doing much better than Florida if the key was the Stay-At-home order. But the actual outcomes for both states are almost exactly the same. Florida has a COVID death rate of 22 per million and Ohio has a COVID death rate of 21 per million. One will be quick to point out that Ohio has fewer cases per million than Florida, but they also have less testing per capita by the exact same amount as they have fewer cases per capita. So, it is very hard to explain the efficacy of Stay-At-Home orders when looking at these two states in an objective manner. Other points of interest that I’ve discovered today is that demographic data of the deaths seem to pretty clearly indicate that COVID has killed more Americans over 90 than under 30 and more Americans over 75 than under 50. It’s not to say that the elderly aren’t loved and valued, but whereas the flu has a bimodal distribution of death (the very young and the very old), COVID seems to favor just the elderly. COVID takes fewer total years of life than the flu under the current modeling at 60,000 total US deaths. I predicted early this week that if trends continued as they were going, we would begin to hear about the loosening of restrictions in some states. I am glad to be in a state where I can still legally visit my friends in the Cove and attend a worship service if I wanted to. I think it’s really safe for the stay at home orders to be lifted for those under 65 as long as we keep hand hygiene and social distancing in mind. The media is going to do everything they can to keep you scared despite the clear evidence to the contrary. I hope you all have a blessed Easter and fun with your families! I’m going to skip tomorrow’s update and catch back up with you all on Monday!

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