New Year, Dark Winter (Part 3)

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Back for part three and our journey takes us to the Midwest. These posts are taking longer than I thought so its a good thing it is cold and wet outside so there is nothing else to do. See the first post for the appropriate caveats and background.

Illinois – Cases started to accelerate in early October and the peak was around November 20th. Deaths peaked on December 10th. Both have been dropping since then and you’d expect cases to drop off faster than deaths. Cases are down about 50% from the peak so things are improving here.

Indiana – Like Illinois, there was a peak in the spring but the cases and deaths in the fall have gone beyond what happened in the spring. The peak here was a little later occurring on December 10th. The first drop was an artifact caused by the Thanksgiving disruption the drop now is larger and probably beyond any impact of an end of year disruption.

Michigan – very similar pattern to Illinois. I think in parts of the Midwest, the first wave in April was cut short and so the cases and deaths have been higher in the fall. Here, cases peaked on November 21 and have really dropped off since there. Deaths peaked a little later and are also falling. Things are improving here.

Ohio – Ohio and Indiana have similar patterns and cases here haven’t dropped off as fast as they have in Illinois and Michigan. The peak in cases was on December 16th and for deaths it was on December 23rd. Again, like Indiana, I think the recent drop off is larger than could be explained by an end of year disruption so things look to be improving here.

Wisconsin – The one state in this little group that didn’t see any type of peak in April. Cases actually started rising here on September 9th and peaked on November 20th. Deaths have just now started to drop but they peaked on December 9th. Despite the small upturn at the end, the current average of cases is about a third of what it was at the peak. Things are improving here as well.

Iowa – Another state that really didn’t start having problems until this fall. Things were on a slow rise starting in mid September and then really took off around October 26th. It was a very short rise since cases peaked on November 14th and are now about a third of what they were at peak. Deaths peaked on December 11th and have also rapidly dropped off. Things continue to improve here.

Kansas – Kansas only reports every other day which leads to a lot of spikes in the graph. Pattern is similar to Iowa where they weren’t really touched in the spring and all seemed fine until October 25th when cases just took off. Cases peaked on November 25th so it was another case with a short rise. Deaths peaked on December 10th. Things haven’t fallen off as much or as fast as Iowa but the trends are clearly improving.

Minnesota – Had some issues in the spring but then things were basically flat until about the 17th of September when cases started to slowly rise. On October 28th, the acceleration phase kicked in and cases shot up until they peaked on November 23rd. Deaths peaked on December 17th and both have dropped off since then. Cases are way down from the peak so things are improving here.

Nebraska – Kind of an odd pattern with parts similar to other states in this region. A very low level of cases and death until October 26th when things started to accelerate reaching a peak on November 25th. Cases started to drop off and are about half of what they were at peak. Deaths peaked on December 15th and have dropped. Both cases and deaths seem to have started back up again so we need to see that the drop was just a disruption in reporting. Given the magnitude, I don’t think so I’ll still say things are improving here.

North Dakota – Harder to pinpoint the date of the rapid rise here. Cases were actually on the rise starting in late July but it was mid August before it really started to become obvious. Cases peaked on November 14th and have dropped rapidly since then to early September levels. Deaths peaked on December 11th and have also dropped off rapidly. Things are improving here.

South Dakota – Things were really flat here until August 19th when they was a small rise in cases followed by a bigger rise starting on September 16th. The peak was on November 14th and case levels are less than a third of what they were at peak. Deaths have also dropped off from a peak on November 27th (with smaller peaks as late as December 10th). Again, things are improving here.

We don’t know what the future holds with this virus. It is certainly possible that things could start to climb again here as we have a lot of winter to get through. Still, at this point, it does not look like a particularly dark winter for the Midwest. At least with respect to the virus.

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