Doing the right thing saves lives

I’m home alone and kind of miserable, but am willing to pay that small price if it reduces the death toll. It looks like Minnesota’s efforts might pay off!

When Walz issued the two-week stay-at-home order, the goal was an 80% reduction in face-to-face contact and viral transmission.

Modeling by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation suggests this is working. Deaths so far haven’t been increasing in Minnesota at the expected exponential rate, prompting the institute to lower its forecasted COVID-19 deaths in the state from around 2,000 two weeks ago to 932.

“We’re seeing the impact of these measures and how early they are” put in place, said Ali Mokdad, chief strategy officer for population health at the University of Washington.

Meanwhile, a bunch of states with Republican governors are dragging their heels and killing people. That’s what happens when you belong to a party that ignores the data.

Dang, I’m surrounded by three of those states, Iowa, North and South Dakota. When will you guys learn: don’t vote Republican, ever.


  1. aspleen says

    Also, Governor Walz has been doing an outstanding job dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, even while being in quarantine himself. Credit where credit is due.

  2. says

    Your noting that surrounding states with Republican governors aren’t matching Minnesota’s efforts reminds me of someone’s post last week that different states having wildly varying quarantining and social distancing policies (btw, just look at Georgia’s decision to reopen beaches today!) is like having a peeing section in a public pool. Minnesota’s effectiveness won’t necessarily be hugely undermined by those states (depending on what kind of travel restrictions are put in place), but it certainly won’t help.

  3. says

    We locked down early here in Oregon. It looks like as long as we maintain we will not run out of beds. I think a lot of it is due to the Oregonian’s natural tendency to obey social rules. It was a bit of culture shock when I first moved here to see people standing in line for beer, but that instinct and that obedience for the good of society actually helps and works.
    Also just have to mention the University of Washington’s excellent corona virus tracking web site.
    Curious how your state is doing? It’s all in there.

  4. says

    I read somewhere that it’s the republican-controlled states that make up the former south that all delayed telling their citizens to shelter in place and mask up. So, they’ve literally wiped out a bunch of their more stupid republican constitutents. It’s not evolution in action, it’s just normal corruption.

  5. says

    @3 kaimatthews
    Yeah, over here, Oregon, Washington and California are doing better than Idaho, Nevada and Montana. Nevada and Idaho are looking real bad right now. Idaho has always had a lack of hospital beds and Nevada should have shut down Las Vegas a month ago. They only issued a “Stay@Home” four days ago. COVID-19 is going to hit Vegas hard. It may as well hopped off an airplane and screamed “PARTY TIME! We’re in Vegas baby!”

  6. blf says

    Doing the right thing saves lives — US Navy, please take note ! (Besides relieving Captain Brett Crozier of his command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt of his command, both the USNS Comfort and Mercy are nearly empty apparently due to excessive / confusing admissions procedures (last I checked).†)

    The orange hair furor won’t take note, understand, or even listen. Related, from from the article poopyhead referenced in the OP:

    A new state web page lists existing supply levels, including 374,000 N95 masks in stock and 1,600 awaiting delivery, and 208,000 gloves in stock and 660,000 awaiting delivery.

    The state’s access to more supplies is unclear, as Walz said it is competing against other states and the federal administration of President [sic] Donald Trump, whose recent use of the Defense Production Act has raised questions about whether some supplies of N95 masks from 3M in St Paul will still be earmarked for local use.

    As an aside, another State doing well but probably surrounded by eejits — Texas, Oklahoma, Utah, and Arizona, albeit also by Colorado & Mexico — is New Mexico. They also have what looks like a fairly sensible site, 2019 Novel Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19).

      † In contrast, e.g., here in France, high-speed TGV trains have been outfitted as rolling intensive-care hospitals, and are being used to transport critically ill non Covid-19 patients‡ from heavily-impacted parts of the country to less-impacted areas, freeing up ICU beds &tc, in those heavily-impacted areas. Furthermore, this is a pre-planned contingency plan, actually tested last year, in case of a serious emergency, including (but not limited to) a pandemic.

      ‡ Some reports imply Covid-19 patients are being transported; that is very probably sloppy reporting, unless there was a change of plan since the first TGV hospital was deployed. There seems to be more than one TGV hospital now in operation, albeit I have been able to locate a precise number, or even confirmation.

  7. whheydt says

    If only COVID-19 would selectively kill Trump supporters…. I guess the Republican governors are doing the best they can to make that happen.

  8. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Today’s Chicago Tribune had an article showing projections based on different habits.
    The expected peak of the first wave is around the middle of April. There is second, smaller peak projected for June or July depending on how well people maintain social distancing. Yes, it does work. More testing would make the projections better.

  9. robro says

    …home alone and kind of miserable…

    I can’t begin to tell you, but for us we could drop the “kind of” part of that. There are three of us in this house, plus a dog. We all have our psycho-emotional issues…we haven’t been in continuous therapy for 3+ years for nothing. The stress is through the roof.

    To add to everything, it’s been raining so it’s gloomy and cold outside. Working in the garden or going for neighborhood walks isn’t pleasant. That looks like it will end mid-week.

    To think we’ve got at least a month more of this…at best. Although California and in particular the Bay Area is doing pretty good with slowing the rate, I suspect it will be June/July before restrictions start easing.

    At least we each have a room of our own so we can get some separation from each other.

  10. says

    @10 robro
    Sorry to hear the rough time. I’ve been occupying my new spare time trying to keep my friends who for one reason or another suffering from one type of mental illness or another. I just seem to attract the type. Whatever. I make sure to check in by phone to try and brighten their day in these dark times. Stay safe OK?

  11. blf says

    robro@10, My (admittedly informal) understanding is having a room of your own is a good & helpful strategy. I hope you are able to talk to (or otherwise keep in contact with) others. Please stay safe!

    On the rain &tc, at least for me, spring here in S.France is a nice time of the year: Not too hot, still few tourists / visitors, … albeit increasingly less rain. I admit to kind-of liking rainy days (that was true even when I lived in the San Francisco area); locally, it’s the Mistral wind which blows me ’round the bend, so to speak.

    I’m not thrilled with being in lockdown myself, but understand the reasoning and am following the regulations. Fortunately, I am able to do interesting things (most of which I’ve wanted to do for some time, but never seemed to get around to doing). I haven’t even started in (yet?) on my pile of unread books. What I cannot do is pop out for a dead-tree nespaper and beer or lunch, and the outdoor markets are closed (so besides shopping for more at a time (to limit my trips out), I’ve had to adjust where & when I shop). ;-(

    I suppose I should be “happy” I neglected to get my bicycle serviced & repaired during the winter, else I’d be staring at it all the time and wishing, wanting, to get out! France, spring, bicycling, Mediterranean coast, …

  12. KG says

    Meanwhile over in Europe, UK recorded Covid-19 deaths today exceeded those of Italy for the first time. There was absolutely no need for this to happen, as the UK got crucial extra weeks to minimise the death toll, and wasted them, thanks to Alexander Boris De Pfeffel Johnson and his Steve-Bannon-equivalent, Dominic Cummings.

  13. says

    Well, we didn’t learn after we (the SD electorate, in this case) tried to rein ‘em in with an ethics initiative and the jokers blew it off.

    The state barely has any Democratic Party offices operating—they may not have one left open anymore.

  14. robro says

    KG @ #15 — The NY Times is reporting that BoJo has been admitted to hospital for COVID-19.

  15. blf says

    robo@19, Johnson’s hospital admission suggests virus may have progressed:

    It is unlikely the prime minister will have been admitted unless doctors have real concerns

    Most people recover from Covid-19 within a week and cannot even be certain they had it, as they probably won’t be tested [in the UK –blf]. […]

    [… UK PM Boris Johnson] had a diagnostic test for Covid-19, so doctors will be looking for progression of the disease and to establish that he has not entered the second phase, where the immune system goes into overdrive.

    Given the increasing pressure on hospitals at the moment, it is unlikely he will have been admitted unless doctors have real concerns. Minor tests could be carried out in Downing Street.


    In the first week, people who are fit and healthy, with a robust immune system, will usually fight off the virus. But the problems come for some people in the second week, when their immune system overreacts to the virus and ends up attacking the body’s own organs. That is why the most seriously ill can end up on life support machines with organ failure.

    Chinese data showed that 20% of patients went to hospital. Some 15% had severe disease, [… but o]nly 5% ended up in critical care, with such severe illness that they needed organ support. Ventilators can take over the patient’s breathing, to allow the lungs time to recover. […]

    It is not currently known which hospital he is in, or if it is even an NHS one.

  16. says

    @#9, Nerd of Redhead:

    Thanks to a relative in Illinois, I looked up some information there, and it looks superficially like suburban Cook County* (not counting the 4 suburbs with their own separate health departments — Oak Park, Skokie, Evanston, and Stickney) may have peaked already, at least for the time being — the number of new reported cases has declined 4 days in a row, twice by significant amounts, to the point where it seems likely that the trend is downward even taking pending tests into account. Of course, the doesn’t mean there aren’t unreported cases, but still it’s nice to think that maybe the lockdown is having an effect. [Source (Official Cook County tracker)]

    *For those not currently or formerly in Illinois: Chicago is in Cook County, but there are several layers of suburbs around the edges which are not part of Chicago. (And also several counties of suburbs further out, like DuPage and Will.)

    Including Chicago and the 4 extra suburbs, Cook County has 8728 of Illinois’ 12262 currently reported cases (as of April 6), or a little over ⅔ of the total, and of that, the region covered by the link above contains 3250 cases, or approximately ¼ of all cases in the state, so although it’s geographically insignificant it’s still a hefty chunk of the outbreak within state borders.

    (New confirmed cases in Chicago are also apparently down, but the city’s official report — which is here if you want to look; you can get a graph of new cases by day via the Full Report link — hasn’t been updated for April 6 as of now, and from the need to include the text “Does not reflect pending tests” in the chart it sounds like they have a lot of pending tests.)

  17. DanDare says

    People not used to reason rather than opinion and facts rather than spin have trouple understanding geometric growth and the need to deal with it early while numbers are low.