It’s Everywhere, It’s Everywhere …

So far, the pandemic has hit big cities/blue states a lot harder than rural areas/red states. But that’s likely to change. Nate Silver wrote a couple of days ago,

Overall, although the number of detected cases is higher in blue states, the number is increasing at a more rapid rate in red states.1 Moreover, blue states have conducted more tests per capita than red states, so — given that the large majority of coronavirus cases remain undetected — the lower rate of cases in red states may partially be an artifact of less testing.

It already has changed, actually. New York City is being slammed, but if you remove New York, the distribution between red and blue states looks a lot more even.

About three-quarters of the confirmed cases in the United States are in states that voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. About half are in New York alone. …

… If we take New York out of the mix, the distribution of confirmed cases still indicates that blue states, which often are more heavily urban and populous, have the most cases. But this also reveals there are a number of states that preferred Trump in 2016 and now have a significant number of cases. …

… New York has more cases in part because it’s got more people. If we control for population, showing the number of confirmed cases per 100,000 residents in a state, other problem areas emerge. The District of Columbia, for example, has the fifth-most cases as a function of population. Louisiana has more cases as a function of population than any other red state, by a wide margin. …

… What’s important is that the number of cases has increased significantly across the board. In states that voted for Clinton in 2016, which make up three-quarters of known cases, the number of new confirmed cases from March 17 to March 24 increased by an average of 530 percent.

In red states, the average increase was 860 percent.

It’s now widely believed the rapid spread of the virus in Louisiana began with the big crowds in New Orleans for Mardi Gras, February 25.

And then there’s Florida, whose utterly worthless governor refused to close beaches for spring break and who still hasn’t issued shelter-in-place orders for his state. Instead, Gov. DeSantis has become obsessed with keeping New Yorkers and other “foreigners” out of Florida. It appears DeSantis was the one who put the idea of putting all of New York under quarantine into Trump’s head. Trump was talked out of it last night some time. See also Florida begins coronavirus checkpoints, threatens jail time for out-of-state travelers who don’t self-quarantine.

In truth, there’s no question that the virus is spreading freely within Florida and is past the point of containment. “The number of confirmed coronavirus cases in Florida is doubling every three days,” it says here. It’s way too late to keep the virus out. In a couple of months, Floridians may be trying to escape to New York.

As the pandemic spreads into rural areas, another big weakness in our sorry-ass health care system will soon come into view — the shortage of rural hospitals. More than half the counties in America have no intensive care beds, it says here.

Even in heavily impacted blue states, though, there is a significant partisan difference in how people understand the crisis, with Democrats taking it more seriously than Republicans. “Republicans consistently report less concern about the virus and that they’re taking fewer actions meant to slow the virus’s spread,” writes Philip Bump at WaPo. We’ll see if that attitude persists when the pandemic gets personal. Right now, it’s still an abstraction.

At Rolling Stone, Sean Woods says that the coronavirus pandemic can be compared to a fast-motion climate crisis.

Warnings about the crisis went unheeded. Scientists were ignored and called doomsayers. The press accounts were labeled fake news and brushed aside. “The cure would be worse than the illness” went the argument. Government watchdogs saw their budgets gutted. Lawmakers misled the country and did more harm then good. We were told by leaders that “everything was under control” or that the worry was nothing more than “a hoax.” …

…The mishandling of the coronavirus has terrifying parallels to the climate crisis. It’s difficult to think about the other civilizational calamity on our doorstep. It’s much easier to be consumed by what’s happening right now, or better yet to hunker down and binge watch your favorite shows and hope the plague passes over. But we cannot. Both tests call for innovation and a collective response. During the pandemic, we have witnessed failures of leadership but also incredible bravery, resolve, sacrifice, and innovation. That is the blueprint for our future. …

… In the face of the coronavirus and the climate crisis, any ideology that worships profit above all else, that trumpets individualism above the common good every single time, is simply a roadmap to self-immolation. As Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told Rolling Stone’s Tessa Stuart, “It’s not just about the science — it’s about the systems that protect all of the power that goes into defying the science.”

I’m reading that in places like New York, the peak probably will hit about mid-April. In rural areas, it will be later. And it is possible — no one really knows — that the spread of the virus will slow as the weather warms up. But even if that’s so, it will be back in the fall. There won’t be any escaping it.

11 thoughts on “It’s Everywhere, It’s Everywhere …

  1. Florida Man (I love that phrase) is going to be something to watch. DeSantis is almost as competent as Trump, another right wing idiot. 

    Interesting comparison between two states in the south, one run by a Democrat and the other by a Republican:

    …Beshear’s early actions in Kentucky became the subject of viral graphs by local educator Stephanie Jolly that chart the dates of Beshear’s actions, such as declaring a state of emergency on March 6, and those of neighboring Tennessee’s governor, Republican Bill Lee — who declared a state of emergency and closed schools about a week later than Beshear. The graphs show that coronavirus cases have spiked much more dramatically in Tennessee than in Kentucky.

    “This is what effective governance looks like,” Jolly wrote in a March 19 Facebook post. “Two states of similar demographic and rural/urban centers; two vastly different responses to the pandemic. One immediately declared a state of emergency, strongly encouraged social distancing, signed executive orders, closed schools and later closed all bars/restaurants. The other — did not.”
    As of Friday, Kentucky had 302 cases of coronavirus. Tennessee had 1,203

    My own theory about why Republicans don’t take it seriously is borne out in my boss, who was making sick jokes about the coronavirus a couple weeks ago (before we were all sent to work from home). He lives in a bubble, doesn’t read/take in much news, evidently out of distrust or laziness. I don’t know if he’s a Republican but he has many of the earmarks.

  2. For what it's worth, the temps here in Florida have been hitting the low 90's, and we'll be there until mid week, then drop to the mid to high 80's. It looks like we are in for a brutal summer, and with heat like this in March, Hurricane season may be a really big deal this year.

    • They just arrested Rodney's fat ass. It's probably what he wanted because to get his name out there as a religious fanatic is his ultimate goal. I wonder if he was indulging in his holy laughter when he was on his way to the station house to be booked.

      I got more to say about "Doctor" Rodney Howard – Browne, but time doesn't allow me to vent properly right now. I have a story to share with those who resent charlatans like Rodney that pervert and exploit Christianity.

      Rodney is the original big bag of shit.

      •  Years ago Rodney Howard-Browne had a daughter who died at 18 years of age of Cystic Fibrosis. A tragic thing for any parent to have to bear. So I don't want to appear unsympathetic or lacking in understanding how an individual grieves in their own way according to their faith.

         But in Rodney's case it appeared to me that he used the passing of his daughter as a prop to exploit a tragedy to serve his own ends.  I say that because Rodney's mainstay in teaching and preaching is the second chapter in Acts where the Holy Spirit comes into the believer and imparts in them supernatural powers.

         Rodney instructed the members of his church and all believers in attendance at a special viewing/ funeral service to pray for a resurrection, to raise his daughter from death to life in the same manner that Jesus raised Lazarus.That God had given them the power as believers to make that happen. Needless to say that that supernatural event never came to be.

        So then, when it became apparent that she wasn't going to rise, Rodney engaged in a little necromancy saying that his daughter had spoken to him through some supernatural means and said that she wanted to stay with Jesus because it was so beautiful there with him.

         Rodney then went on with a vow to make Satan pay for creating the disease of  cystic fibrosis by promising to save and bring into the kingdom one million souls, thus depriving Satan of a million souls. Pretty steep price for Satan to pay, ya think? He'll be sorry.

        What's strange about that is the understanding in Christian theology that anybody and everybody who doesn't accept Jesus as Lord and Savior are already dead, and that in accepting Jesus the believer passes from death unto life. And considering all of mankind throughout the ages who never even heard the first thing about Jesus. It seems like denying Satan one million souls after all he's racked up over the ages is rather insignificant.

         My point being that Rodney's vow to save a million souls to punish Satan can't be done without financial support. Cash in on a personal tragedy?


  3. I'm not a big Dolly Parton fan but I do like her.  I read something she said and want to pass it on.  It made me feel a little better:

    "God is teaching us a lesson.  God is trying to hold us up to the light so we can see ourselves and see each other through the eyes of love.  When this passes, we're all gonna be better people".

    Although humans are considered the highest species on earth, are we the ultimate in what can be?  I have been wondering if we are due for an evolutionary leap.  Perhaps this virus is God's way of making that happen.  Perhaps this virus can change the human DNA.  I have more thinking to do on this and this is a good time since I am hibernating.  Maybe y'all have some thoughts.

    • Life is continually evolving. There have been at least five major extinctions since multi-cellular life appeared, 550 million years ago (we're in the sixth great extinction right now). When this happens, at least 75-90% of all species die out. When the cataclysm ends, the remaining life adapts and brings forth an explosion of new species. When a meteor wiped out the dinosaurs, mammals took over. Dinosaurs were the dominant species for 150 million years, an enormously long run. Not any more.

      Humans are by no means the endpoint, because there isn't one. When humans first arrived, some 200-300,000 years ago, they were almost wiped out, until they learned to hunt. It's hard to believe but in our early history we were by no means the dominant species – other predators were stronger and faster than us.

      I've been studying a lot about "Deep Time" – the history of everything, from the Big Bang (13.8 billion years ago) until now.

  4. Hello everyone, I haven't had much to say lately, but, I read all the comments every day and it seems like a community to me.

    I love the quote from Dolly Parton, grannyeagle, I think it could speak to everyone, so thank you for sharing it.

    As you know, we're part of the rural demographic.  For what it's worth, staying at home isn't much different than my normal life, so far.   My wife had a nasty fall a couple of weeks ago and she'll be home for at least a month.  That might have been a very big blessing in disguise.  She works for a county health department, she will be exposed, there is no doubt of that.  As the article says, some rural folks aren't taking this as seriously as they should.  One of her co-workers went to Walmart last week and described it as "packed, as normal."  I expect that hasn't changed drastically. (There are a few places that I might risk my life to visit, but, Walmart isn't one of them.)  Once in a while you see exactly why there is such a thing as the "Darwin Award."

    My neighbors and most of my the people I deal in the agricultural sector are fundamentalist Christians.  I don't think it's possible to overestimate the significance of their church in their lives.  When a crisis hits, their church, both as the people and the building, is where they seek comfort.  I can't blame them for that, but it seems likely to impose a tragic irony in this case.  That irony won't end on the church steps, we'll all pay for it.  Our local hospital and medical services are sorely lacking.  So, this article nails as far as I'm concerned.

    Good luck, everyone!



  5. There's 67 counties in FL – about 12 don't have the virus (yet.) The state has 4,700 confirmed cases. About 10% of tests are coming up positive. And 60 deaths. Florida is a microcosm of the country – several large cities and a LOT of low-density counties in the center of the state that are agricultural. It's very narrowly split in terms of politics – we came close to electing a Democratic governor and senator, but fell short. Will the virus cause a shift?

    The contempt of conservatives here for Obama and liberalism runs deep. The knee-jerk reaction is to do the opposite of what they think Obama would do. I suspect that those counties with no reported cases are ignoring (to a large degree) the weak social distancing which the governor has half-heartedly endorsed. My guess is that Miami and Tampa sill spike in two weeks (it's a guess) and the central (non-tourist) center of the state will begin to spike as the urban areas are in decline.

    Florida has gotten ALL the supplies they asked for from Trump. Maybe we're viewed as essential because we're a swing state. Lucky me. You Yankees double up on ventilators – which Trump calls generators.

    The key factor in Florida is not the beach cities or the agricultural center. It retirement homes. I noticed that as Mimi first spiked and testing began there were cases in 19 nursing facilities in Broward/Dade. To me, that suggests somebody was proactive in determining the possible spread in the highest risk group. The death toll hasn't spiked. It MAY be that someone in the Florida Dept of Health took decisive action early – I don't know. If we dodge that bullet, there's probably a single unsung hero who won't ever get credit.

    The governor seems to be a Trump Mini-Me. Trying to keep people from NY and Louisiana out is pure grandstanding and a prelude to blaming those people if things get out of control. Not doing anything to deter Spring Break was an obvious bow to the industries (hotel and bar) who make a killing. The problem which may not be measured is that the revelers met, infected each other, and went HOME. So while the governor points the finger at other states, it's actually FL and the governor's choices that made Florida  the source of infecting dozens of states. Though New Orleans is spiking, the majority of Marti Gras folks are from out of state (Louisiana) , so that spread embers all over the country, tourists with hangovers and infections. Together those two events seeded the country.The delay between recognizing the danger (Early Feb.) and acting on it  (Mid-March) will be fatal to thousands. 

  6. Perfect description of the airhead in charge of the state of Florida. This guy (DeSantis) is useless. He's in way over his head, this guy couldn't run a 7 11 much less a state, especially a state with such a serious problem as COVID 19. This clown (DeSantis) was no where ready to be the governor during normal times and will most likely be a complter and utter failure at handling this crisis. I honestly believe that there will be thousands of people dead in Florida while Ron sits on his ass spending weeks thinking about what we should do. Also these reports on the high amount of people being tested is total B.S. I am 63, have heart disease, COPD, and work in Healthcare and I can't get tested if I showed up with a doctors note, and a fist full of $100 bills to bribe someone to test me. 


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