By Lambert Strether of Corrente
Patient readers, I’m afraid I must sacrifice a Water Cooler to complete a post on the Canadian truckers, which is a shame, because I have a lot to say. I’ll make it up to tomorrow, I swear! In the meantime, here is a skeletal Water Cooler. Talk amongst yourselves! –lambert
Bird Song of the Day
From Hancock, Maine, so I suspect the white noise is the Atlantic.
Case count by United States regions:
Rise like a rocket, and fall like a stick; the slope of the downward curve is more or less the same as the upward curve. (Previous peaks — how small the early ones look now — have been roughly symmetrical on either side. But the scale of this peak, and the penetration into the population, is unprecedented.) I wonder if there will be plateau when BA.2 takes hold. Since the Northeast has form, that is probably the region to watch for this behavior first.
The official narrative was “Covid is behind us,” and that the pandemic will be “over by January” (Gottlieb), and “I know some people seem to not want to give up on the wonderful pandemic, but you know what? It’s over” (Bill Maher) was completely exploded. What a surprise!
NOT UPDATED MWRA (Boston-area) wastewater detection:
Continues encouraging. No jump from the return of the students yet, which is even more encouraging, especially if you’re in “Waiting for BA.2” mode.
The Massachusetts Water Resources Authority (MWRA) service area includes 43 municipalities in and around Boston, including not only multiple school systems but several large universities. Since Boston is so very education-heavy, then, I think it could be a good leading indicator for Covid spread in schools generally.
From CDC Community Profile Reports (PDFs), “Rapid Riser” counties:
Continued improvement. Tennesse reports weekly. (Remember that these are rapid riser counties. A county that moves from red to green is not covid-free; the case count just isnt, well, rising rapidly.)
The previous release:
Hospitalization (CDC Community Profile):
Guam, come on! (Note trend, whether up or down, is marked by the arrow, at top. Admissions are presented in the graph, at the bottom. So it’s possible to have an upward trend, but from a very low baseline.)
Death rate (Our World in Data):
932,443. A million deaths would be a real milestone, hopefully achieved before Biden’s State of the Union speech in March.
Good news here too. For the time being. Except for Germany.
Contact information for plants: Readers, feel free to contact me at lambert [UNDERSCORE] strether [DOT] corrente [AT] yahoo [DOT] com, to (a) find out how to send me a check if you are allergic to PayPal and (b) to find out how to send me images of plants. Vegetables are fine! Fungi and coral are deemed to be honorary plants! If you want your handle to appear as a credit, please place it at the start of your mail in parentheses: (thus). Otherwise, I will anonymize by using your initials. See the previous Water Cooler (with plant) here. Today’s plant (johnnyme):
johnnyme writes: “I believe this is a Narrowleaf Zinnia (Zinnia angustifolia).” I stan for zinnias!
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