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Some Good News – Looking out the Window

I have noticed that the number of cars in the garage under our building is slowly increasing. In February it was full, in March empty, but now maybe 25% and increasing at about 5% a week. It is also an off airport location and those spaces have a few cars in them, too. Seems like good news.

Traffic is definitely picking up on the 405.  Not back to the normal urban crawl, but more cars nevertheless. They have to park somewhere.

I’m told that when you fly (I know a number of people who have flown in the past couple of weeks), the planes are full. This is very good news. That means as reservations pick up, airlines will have to lay on more flights, airports will be busier, more cars will be taking people to the airport, and on and off airport locations will begin to feel more normal.

I print this without comment – You can read it all here

Deaths in the U.S. from all causes peaked during week 15 of 2020, which is April 8 to April 14. This is the CDC’s chart found here. It shows that the Wuhan virus has never had any significant impact on those aged 0 to 44. Within the age groups that have been affected by COVID (remember, this chart shows deaths from all causes, which I think is the most relevant metric), fatalities peaked during week 15 and have fallen precipitously since then. The last couple of weeks worth of data are incomplete, but CDC includes provisional estimates of total fatalities to try to fill in that gap.

This chart also comes from the CDC. It shows the percentage of deaths that are attributed to pneumonia and influenza, which includes the Wuhan virus. Normally during flu season these causes account for six to eight percent of all deaths, while during the current epidemic they peaked at a little under 16 percent. But the percentage has fallen rapidly and is now back down to the average level.

Taking the data together, it appears that the Wuhan epidemic is more or less over. At this point, COVID-19 is just one of around 150 viruses currently in circulation. That doesn’t mean that it does no harm–it’s a disease–but it does imply that COVID does not represent a public health crisis, let alone a unique crisis. People are dying at the same rates they generally do.

The current increase in “cases” is mostly an artifact of vastly more widespread testing, but the testing and consequent “cases” have little significance since most people who contract the virus don’t even notice it–not exactly the definition of the greatest public health crisis in a century. This is especially true in the younger demographics where the disease is increasingly identified through testing. To the extent that total deaths begin to rise again, it will be evidence of a “second wave” of greater or less significance. But at this point, there is no evidence that this is happening.

Enough for now

JVH

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