By Lambert Strether of Corrente
Patient readers, this Water Cooler is abbreviated because I must finish basting and roasting the Biden Administration on Covid once again. So this is an open thread. –lambert
Bird Song of the Day
I thought I would try for some warblers this week, since they might be showing up where people bird. OK, OK, this one’s from Tanzania, but it’s very pretty, and who is Mrs. Moreau?
If you missed it, here’s a post on my queasiness with CDC numbers, especially case count, which I (still) consider most important, despite what Walensky’s psychos at CDC who invented “community levels” think. But these are the numbers we have.
Case count by United States regions:
First decisive upward turn, so we’ll see how it goes. Remember, it’s 100% certain the cases numbers are significantly understated. They’ve always been gamed, but it’s worse than before. One source said they though cases might be undercounted by a factor of six. Gottlieb thinks we only pick up one in seven or eight. Yikes. But how do we know? Here are the cases for the last four weeks:
A little encouraging! (I do have priors, and worries, but even I wouldn’t wish a pandemic on a population to prove a point.)
NOTE I shall most certainly not be using the CDC’s new “Community Level” metric. Because CDC has combined a leading indicator (cases) with a lagging one (hospitalization) their new metric is a poor warning sign of a surge, and a poor way to assess personal risk. In addition, Covid is a disease you don’t want to get. Even if you are not hospitalized, you can suffer from Long Covid, vascular issues, and neurological issues. For these reasons, case counts — known to be underestimated, due to home test kits — deserve to stand alone as a number to be tracked, no matter how much the political operatives in CDC leadership would like to obfuscate it.
I’m leaving the corporate logo on as a slap to the goons at CDC.
I’m encouraged, but as readers say, we’ll need to wait to week for the universitities and Easter weekend to unkink the data. (Both service areas turned down; I don’t think this is because the college semester has ended, either; readers please correct me.)
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 Biobot Analytics:
Also encouraging, in that the Northeast is flattening.
Cases lag wastewater data.
From CDC Community Profile Reports (PDFs), “Rapid Riser” counties:
California is improving as is the Northeast is improving, as confirmed by wastewater. The Midwest looks a little spotty. (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:
The Northeast remains stubbornly and solidly red. Now California is red as well. (It looks like portions of Maine went from High (red) to Substantial (orange), but that part of Maine is the Unorganized Territories, where virtually nobody lives.
Hospitalization (CDC Community Profile):
if anybody tells you hospitalization is down, tell them “No, it very isn’t.” (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):
1,017,609. I have added an anti-triumphalist Fauci Line. Numbers still going down, still democidally high.
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. From AM:
AM writes: “Visiting my in laws in Naples, FL again and happy to see that the orchids are still thriving outside on their own.”
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