Talking bout the Number Again

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Maybe I won’t get that haircut!

We never really used a food delivery service before the ‘rona. I mean we’d order a pizza every now and then but we never really thought about having stuff delivered. Going to restaurants was just what you did. I’m going to admit that it still feels a little weird to have someone drive to a restaurant and pick up your dinner and bring it to you. I don’t know why. It just does.

Most of the time, it works pretty well. I mean you do sacrifice a little in terms of temperature and presentation (all the best cooking channels say you eat with your eyes). One thing that does bug me a bit is the number of containers the stuff typically comes in. It seems like we generate a lot of waste for the convenience of not going out. Well, with the ‘rona, you are also dealing with safety but it still generates an awful lot of trash.

I did actually go to a store yesterday. Well I went to two but one was the pet store and that’s one of the stops I’ve still been making even through the pandemic. A dog’s got to eat. Delivery is an option but I just don’t know about shipping big bags of food. Plus, the pet store is kind of a wide open space and easy to stay away from other people.

The other store was one that had closed during the height of the panic. Since they do sell some food, they might have wrangled an exception but, since they are a chain, I think it was a corporate decision. I mean there was nothing I really needed there but they have an interesting selection of food items from around the world so it is fun to see what you can find. Technically, I did need some mustard because I couldn’t find any whole grain stuff at the grocery store on Saturday. Plus I had a coupon for 15% off and I ran the numbers and the savings outweighed the risk (not really). It was a little surreal with arrows indicating directions and times when I had to wait for someone to clear an area since I didn’t want to just get all up in someone’s space. I’m not big on mask but keeping a distance inside makes perfect sense to me. (I did wear a mask simply because it has become the norm).

Despite a positive energy quote, I do want to talk a bit about the ‘rona numbers. Because I did a lot of data analysis in my corporate life and because I have free time, I have been following numbers from various sources since this all started. What is fascinating to me is that the number of new cases worldwide hit a new high on July 4th (using WHO numbers) but the number of deaths is not increasing. Even as the number of cases explodes in places, the number of people dying is less now than it was in April.

If you look back at April 1, of the top ten countries in cases, seven were in Europe. Today it is just three and one of those (Russia) wasn’t in the top ten back in April. Spain is at 9 and within a week it could be passed by Pakistan or Saudi Arabia. It does seem to have passed to this side of world since, after the US, you have Brazil, Peru, Chile and Mexico in the top 10. The US, Brazil and India were responsible for over half of the new cases reported today – per the WHO. South Africa and Bangladesh are also high on the list for new cases and likely still in the accelerating stage. And there are some places in Africa that may also be ready to take off.

Not that there is any real shocking stuff here other than it shows how hard it is to really contain something like this and how fast cases can skyrocket. If there is good news it is that it doesn’t seem to be hitting as hard as it did in places like Italy and Spain – except for maybe Mexico.

My non-epidemiologist observation is that the a lot of places follow a pattern when you get what looks like exponential growth for a bit. Then, you either hit a long plateau or it starts to drop. Either way, it typically takes several weeks or even months for the drop to get back to “reasonable” levels.

Here in the states, we are of course in a state of panic because of a rise in a few places that didn’t really participate in our issues back in April. There is starting to be some evidence that things have settled down a bit in a couple of those places. There are also potentially some funny stuff with the numbers that I won’t get into. Even though the climb looks scarier than the one in April, the deaths haven’t climbed with it. Time will tell whether it burns out or if we are just stuck at this level for the rest of the summer. And wouldn’t that be fun.

But, at some point, this is going to end. That I do believe.


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