Tuesday, June 16, 2020

COVID thoughts

Last May, the Georgia Department of Public Health issued their final weekly influenza report for that the 2018–2019 flu season. Between September 30 (when the flu season began) and May 11 (when they had no reports of influenza to report), there had been 44 deaths attributed to the flu in the state of Georgia.

1 child between the ages of 0–4 died. 2 children ages 5–17. 6 people between 18–49. 10 between 50–64. 25 were 65+.

The final flu report that I can see for this year is for April 18. I'm not quite sure the flu season is over  (they just seem to stop publishing reports sometime in April/May and pick up again in September without ever really declaring anything over) and it was touted as a particularly harsh flu season (back in December and January, before we'd really even heard of the coronavirus). And by all indicators that seems to be true. There have been 93 deaths attributed to the flu this season.

3 children between the ages of 0–4. 2 children ages 5–17. 18 people between 18–49. 23 between 50–64. And 47 ages 65+.

Now do COVID-19!


I have to first criticize the graph I'm using because visually it shows no deaths below the age of 30 (unless I put my browser in full screen and squint, which is fair, I guess, but then it still shows no deaths for under the age of 18, which is also untrue). Georgia already came under fire for arranging their data by number of cases (most to least) rather than by date (you know, chronologically) so that the number of cases would seem to be going down rather than...not. So, I mean, we work with the data that's thrown at us, right? Thanks, Georgia. You're swell. Here's the source.

0 deaths between the ages 0–9. 1 death between ages 10–17. 10 deaths between 18–29. 44 deaths between the ages of 30–39. 91 deaths between 40–49. 208 deaths between 50–59. 477 between 60–69. 680 between 70–79. 1018 ages 80+.

That's a grand total of 2529 (35 of those deaths happened today).

Clearly that is many more deaths than the flu (27 times? I always forget which way to divide numbers so I may have divided this the wrong way). It's interesting to me that they break it down by decade, too because it makes it hard to compare it to the flu.

Let's take people between 18–49. There were 18 flu deaths this year. 145 COVID deaths. That's eight times as many deaths.  Clearly the majority of deaths are taking our more seasoned citizens (those 80+). We'll compare those 65+ who died with the flu (47) to those 70+ who died of COVID (1698). That's thirty-six times as many deaths!

We could consider hospitalization rates as well. For the 18–49 age group, the flu saw 757 hospitalizations in Georgia. For COVID we have had 2405 hospitalizations (three times the number as the flu). And again, the fun part is that these numbers aren't slowing down. This thing is no where near over!

Many of the deaths involve comorbidity (with diabetes or heart conditions and so forth playing a role in their death). Many of them don't. I see many people in their 40s, 50s, and 60s dying without underlying conditions. One 26 year old! So...I mean...I dunno.

And then there's the fact that patients have recovered doesn't speak to what they had to endure or are still enduring in order to recover. Our Relief Society floated the idea of having an in-person activity and the one person who had COVID said, "To be honest, my social anxiety has been pushed into overdrive and I will probably never interact with humans normally again..." She had a terrible time with the illness and doesn't want to risk repeating the experience or making her family sick and who can blame her?!

But we're continuing to open up things in the state(s) like nothing is going on anymore even though stuff is going on. Canada has opted to keep the border closed for another month (and I don't doubt they won't keep it closed a while longer). While Canada's numbers have also plateaued stagnated rather than actually go down, their numbers are much better than those in the United States. How do I know? Because Georgia alone has consistently had higher numbers of new cases and deaths daily for quite a while.

Yesterday Canada (37.5 million) reported 360 new cases and 29 deaths. Yesterday Georgia (population 10 million) reported 733 new cases and 43 deaths. The United States (population 328 million) reported 20,722 new cases and "only" 425 deaths (which is admittedly pretty low for us, so...go team...still the US has 8 times the population of Canada but 14 times the number of deaths and 57 times the number of cases (though admittedly, Canada has fallen behind the US's rate of testing so it could probably stand to do some catch up work there)).

What I'm saying is...this thing is still out's still real. We won't be jumping back into society with both feet any time soon because we can't afford for any of us to be incredibly sick for 10 weeks, should we develop "moderate" symptoms.

(Utah (population 3 million) ], don't get cocky with your 295 new cases and 4 new deaths; you're also contracting and dying from this disease at a rate greater than all of Canada (which isn't the's just another place I care about)).

This is all wild. 


  1. Can I say something here I wouldn't ever put on facebook, or tell anyone? We are scheduled to go back to a modified church meeting for the first time since March this Sunday. I personally know of at least two ward members in high risk categories who have not partaken of the Sacrament since we shut down, due to lack of access to the priesthood in the home. But the terrible behaviors on social media and IRL like COVID deniers, mask refusers, anti-vaxxers, etc. (you know what I'm talking about) have made it so that these same people are fearful of going back to church. (several of these Anti-mask-ites are in leadership positions!) I'm high risk, and so are 3/5 of my household. I will go with my stopwatch, because I believe in giving everyone the benefit of the doubt. However if I see that people are being casual about mask usage, I'm going to have no choice but to leave. Thus, those who are refusing to mask will deny high risk people access to the sacrament.

    No one should be prevented from partaking of the Sacrament because someone else doesn't want to be uncomfortable wearing a mask.

    1. I hear you, Sharaun. It is frustrating that so many people won't take a simple step to protect/help those around them. <3

  2. Our ward is going to church on a modified schedule. The first week, there were 15 people there. Spread thinly over the chapel. Everyone I could SEE wore masks. (They are streaming it, too.) I attended in person on Sunday, the assigned time for me this month, and there were 32 people there. All wore masks except 2 people who are new to our ward. They probably did not get the e-mail that said "masks are required." Those who used the microphone took off their masks, but a member of the bishopric was right in there sanitizing between people. So, it was good, I thought. Very careful. Even so, our older members (of which we have many, in our "newly wed and nearly dead" ward) do not plan to show up in person. We are grateful for streaming, but Sharaun's point about the sacrament, I get that.

  3. In our area we just got approved for "phase 2", which allows people to gather with 5 or fewer people from outside their household per week. But when they first announced the phase plan, they included estimated dates based on assumptions that things went really well - June 1 for phase 2. So lots of folks just saw that and have been getting together with others since June 1. *facepalm* We have friends repeatedly asking to get kids together indoors, despite my continued responses that we're not doing that. I *might* start doing some distanced outdoor activities with others in the next few weeks. And don't even get me started on the Facebook posts I'm seeing out of Orem/Provo area where apparently the pandemic is a thing of the past. So frustrating.

  4. 643 new cases in Utah yesterday. A new record high. Go team?