Yes, Virginia, The Distancing Is Working

Despite social distancing measures in place in Virginia, despite the shutdown of non-essential businesses, despite everything we’ve all been sacrificing to keep COVID-19 in check, VA still reported it’s largest jump in confirmed cases today with 864 new positive tests.

Let’s say we’ve decreased overall social interactions by 80% – could you imagine the panic if 4,000 cases were being reported today? After 2,500 yesterday? Or 3,000 the day before?

And that’s IF we could get testing capacity to stay above 2,500. Which we can’t seem to do.

This thing still has a 3.4% fatality rate among confirmed cases. That’s more than 320 lives that would be lost if we had 9,500 new cases in the last few days instead of 2,000.

That’s more than 100 new fatalities a day and a curve still aiming for the sky.

The further flattening of the curve and declining projection of fatalities isn’t a sign of failure or fake news – it’s a sign of SUCCESS!

Yes, one can argue if the measures have gone too far and whether or not we should have a plan to reopen and what that can look like.

But we can’t pretend this wouldn’t have been much worse, or that we’re out of the woods yet.

To those that have stuck to their guns and stayed home, THANK YOU! You’re helping keep my family and friends safe and healthy.

Let’s keep on this together so we can get out of it sooner.

Why the sudden outburst from your friendly neighborhood Jason? I’m sick of seeing people point to a lack of resource shortages, the availability of beds, the extended peak and curve, the lack of deaths as some sort of “told you this wasn’t a big deal!”

Despite treating this like a big deal, hundreds of Virginians are dead, hundreds are still in the ICU and on ventilators, thousands are sick with hundreds more being reported daily, assisted living facilities RAVAGED, and all from something that is clearly not “just the flu.”

There are going to be long term economic consequences of this, and they are going to hurt, but the economic disaster of an overwhelmed healthcare system and a populace afraid to step outside and a government not taking this seriously would do far more damage.

We’ll bounce back. And, thankfully, thousands of folks who will be alive because of the decisions and sacrifices made today will be part of that recovery.

UPDATE: Test results take time, anywhere from 2-8 days, so positive results from this morning may reflect reality over a range of time.

By averaging over the last 2 weeks or 1 week we can see a bit more of the continuing upward trend.

In the chart below, red is the One Week Average, blue is the Two Week Average.

Since April 1st, the 2 Week Average has NEVER declined. The 1 Week Average has only seen single digit one-day drops that adjust back up the next day.

Why is this significant? Because the results of a single day is just noise and not reflective of an actual single day snapshot in the Commonwealth. But by running averages we can get a feel for trends given how results take X days to come back. Say we have a series of low days and one really high day of positive results – if the average is still LOWER than the proceeding days or weeks, we’re trending downward overall and that’s a win.

As long as this trend continues to rise, we still have a growing problem in Virginia.

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