Today brought an unhappy increase of 1,008 new confirmed cases to Georgia and a rate increase to 36%–a rate we have not seen since Day 5. We also saw the largest one-day number of deaths at 21. I don’t know if this is a delay in reporting over the weekend or if this is a true one-day increase, so I have to take it at face value. The weekly average rate of increase is still trending downwards (Fig 1, orange line), even with the upward spike today (Fig 1, blue line). A total of almost 4,000 confirmed cases seems intimidating, but only 0.03% of Georgians are sick, and the death rate from this virus is under 3%. The experts predict that we won’t hit the top of the curve until the end of next month.

Fig 1

Scientific American proposes that the number of “invisible” cases is 10 times the number of known cases. Also, S.A. estimates that only 20% of infected people show symptoms. If we take those estimates as a given, then as of today, there are 38,170 people who are infected with COVID-19 in Georgia. Of those, 818 are in the hospital. That leaves 37,352 people with the virus in Georgia. Of those, 29,881 have the virus, show no visible symptoms, but are contagious. So approximately 3 out of every 1,000 people in Georgia are infected but don’t show symptoms. Seems like the safe bet is to follow the social distancing rules and keep the number of unknown people you are near to a minimum–like 0. But that is not happening anywhere apparently.

I’ve read a report about people refusing to heed trail closure warnings and I’ve heard similar stories from others over the weekend. A friend told me of motorcycle riders from another county coughing and spitting on the parking lot where they shop for groceries. I’ve heard continued reports about people ignoring social distancing when visiting the North Georgia Mountains to hike and fish. I’ve seen pictures of trails clogged with strangers and people standing in grocery store lines inches from people they don’t know on TV. So when these people ignore social distancing it is bad for everyone. South Korea and China stopped the virus by a complete lockdown. Is that what it will take in Georgia too? Is that what anybody really wants? I don’t think so. Continuing to ignore social distancing is going to cause it sure enough.

Yes, there is uncertainty. But there is really never anything but uncertainty. Your plant could close, you could get sick, you could have a car wreck, or the grocery store could be out of your favorite brand of toilet paper any day of any week of any year. Certainty is the illusion. Today is just another day. You have to deal with your life as it is now. If you are well, follow the precautions. If you are sick, follow your doctor’s instructions and pray for healing as I pray for your healing. If a loved one has died, mourn them as we all do and pray for their immortal soul. Today is the beginning.

Fig 2
Fig 3 (4/1/20 Data with 3/31/20 Predictions)
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