In my daily attempt to quell the fear mongering that permeates our country based on a press that I firmly believe couldn't care less about the pandemic but cares greatly about power, here is my latest. Unarguably, the CASE numbers are climbing in states like Florida, Texas, Arizona and California. Despite what it may appear, I am data driven [afterall I played baseball my whole life and understood way back when people cared that batting averages were important and I always knew mine!] and I read the data just like everyone else.
What I do believe in is sifting a bit deeper into the data before making a 100% conclusion based on information that may or may not tell, as Paul Harvey used to say, "the rest of the story." Fortunately, in the case of Florida, they have a Governor who understands this, communicates well and often and tries to paint the entire pictures.
He had a sterling press conference, didn't duck any questions from an often hostile press, and made a strong case that the numbers, while on the surface appear alarming, really aren't so alarming after all. To wit...the MEAN [or average] age of all of those positive cases is 37, an age bracket that sees almost no real illness, much less death. He also said that pretty much no one outside of a nursing home is dying the state and that more people 90+ are dying that anyone 65 or under. My mom is 90 so please don't think I am heartless to this age group but it is still an important fact to know for an oft times panicked nation that is not in nursing homes or is over 90 years of age.
He also said, and this is HUGELY significant..only 3.5% of ALL the beds in the state's hospitals are occupied by Covid patients and the reason hospital bed caseloads are increasing is because A] those that who were too scared to come to a hospital before are coming now and B] those who were denied elective surgery before are getting it now. This is excellent news for the hospital work force, many of whom were laid off and in fear of losing their jobs.
He said that 5-6 restaurants/bars have indeed closed for a few days, per protocol, but this was not only expected, but prepared for. They close for 3-4 days, clean everything entirely, get the health department to give an OK, and re-open. But of course, the press headlines only tell part of the story....that they closed and never tell what comes next, how long it will last and what they are doing to keep things healthy. My take on this...its going to take a major lawsuit by some big chain restaurant that is able to show that the press unfairly told the story to scare people and caused the chain to suffer major financial losses because of this. It will take only one for this practice to cease, its unfair, its one sided, and it does nothing to help our country or the businesses that are the little engines that could and make up a sizeable portion of the nations economy.
As for Texas, again alarming numbers, but it turns out 1 major as in huge county , had not turned in their case numbers for a week and loaded them all yesterday at the end of the day. I suspected something like this had happened since Texas went from about 3000 positive cases an hour before closing to over 4000 almost instantaneously. Logic and common sense tell me those 1000+ were from that one county, still a big number but also a county with lots of college kids, bars, nightlife...and a green lite invitation to get an asymptomatic case of Covid 19.
As for California...as I mentioned a couple of days ago, Governor Newsome, who sees the same numbers we see but is allowed to dig deeper into them, continues to express optimism and points to the 4.5 per 100 positive cases in the state as evidence that things are heading in the right direction. And this from a Governor who is so negative normally that if he had been alive and a Phillie fan back in '64 or 77 would have predicted BEFORE the events that "I know a 10 game losing streak is right around the corner" or "I know Luzinski is going to drop a fly ball and cost us a game." So if he is optimistic, so should we be also.
As for Arizona, not sure yet, but will keep digging [I certainly have the time as I don't go back to work till August] and if/when I find something, either good or bad, I will report it.