The horse race

I put this on Facebook, but as I don’t want to be too obnoxious, I kept it private. It’s not intended to start a fight. But one of my more bizarre ways of coping with stress is to study numbers (stats) or science (distance). When my father died, I became obsessed with trying to study the number of seconds a person has to deal with death — the instant of death that is — when someone dies in front of you, vs. the number of seconds a person deals with life. It was an attempt to understand why that moment of passing is so much more powerful than all the rest of living: the arguments, the anger, the simmering anger, the unspoken hostility, the love and the respect. I was convinced at the time, that I had experienced something unique. The other thing I did was try to draw on a regular size piece of paper, the size of the earth compared to the sun. And then I tried to draw the distances between the planets. I don’t know why but it comforted me. What I’ve been doing since the middle of March when everything closed down (and it closed down about a week before it was ordered to by the government, which I think is an important missing and forgotten fact), is doing a spreadsheet of the numbers of new cases. At first I started with the national numbers, and then I realized that New York’s high caseload was distorting what was going on in the rest of the country. Everyone was thinking that it was dropping, and it was, as a collective of 50 states plus Guam, Puerto Rico and DC. But if you separated out New Jersey and New York from the other 50 states, the picture was dire. I started doing that May 14 and at that time, the percentage of cases outside NY and NJ was already 65%. Now it’s 85% and it has not stopped rising. I then became curious about the top ten and whether or not the fast rising states of Florida, California, Arizona, Texas and Georgia would approach or even surpass New York’s numbers. So I did a rolling 7 day average of each states cases, added those to their numbers, and pushed this all the way out to the end of summer. After Memorial Day, I’m sure the numbers will skyrocket again, as people (with their Facebook degrees) continue to talk about herd immunity, or “trust in God,” or say idiotic things like “If it’s my time, it’s my time,” all of which is slap in the face of the health community and the hospitals, who are risking their lives to help save these people who, in my opinion, don’t deserve to be saved. Here’s the post and the numbers. I would love to be proven wrong, but so far, with the exception of NY and most of the northeast coalition, the numbers are actually getting worse, not better.

“Pushing the numbers out to the end of August. Congrats Florida. You’ll be number 1, with about 828K cases. (you can thank all your old folks and their fatalism “If I get it I get it,” attitude.) California, sorry, you only place with 766K cases. Texas, as big as you are, you just show with 753K cases. Very close. NY, you were sort of on your own, in the middle of the pack, with 440K. Arizona and Georgia, you were neck and neck at 267K and 260K respectively. You did manage to pull ahead of Illinois (208k) and New Jersey (185k). Penn and Mass, you fought for the 9th and 10th spots valiantly, but ultimately Penn, you take 9th place with 137K and Mass, just 125K.This forecast doesn’t take into account any of the current 10-20th place contenders. But it looks like Louisiana and North Carolina, by adding a whopping 15000 cases a day, might ultimately push Pennsylvania and Mass into the dustbin and could even give New Jersey and Illinois a run for the money. But Florida, this is yours to lose. Keep feeding your old people to the virus.”

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