Coronavirus Special Coverage

A collection of news posted throughout the week for those that want signal, not noise.

  • Previous coverage - all of our posts in this ongoing series.
  • Coronavirus status page - learn how to prepare for possible spread to your area. Scenarios, shopping lists, background info and everything else you need, all in one place.

COVID-19: key developments for Friday, May 1, 2020

There are roughly 3.4 million global cases.  The US has over 1.1 million cases, gaining over 34,000 new cases and over 1,800 deaths since yesterday. Of note: I keep seeing media posts to the effect that we’re over the hump, but that simply isn’t true. This is a large one-day increase. At best we’re plateauing. If too many states return to business as usual the plateau will revert to a mountain.

The unemployment statistics keep getting worse and worse:

The US Government has ordered 100,000 more body bags for pandemic victims. FEMA has also opened bidding for refrigerated trailers to house bodies. Refrigerated trailers are far less grim than U-Hauls. At least one funeral home has been closed due to the practice:

The Russian Prime Minister is positive for COVID-19. He has temporarily stepped down because of it. The Deputy Prime Minister will serve in the interim. Putin is unhappy with the news but was supportive in response. Putin found out through a teleconference.

Maryland is using the National Guard and local law enforcement to guard a cache of 500,000 COVID-19 tests in order to prevent its seizure by other federal US agencies. The tests were purchased from South Korea, which has had enormous success in testing its own population.

Two more years of this misery? It’s probably going to stick around until we reach herd immunity–60-70% of the population immune from either vaccination or previous infection. We can’t expect a vaccine to be ready for distribution until 2021.

Georgia’s cases surge. It’s not too surprising considering Georgia lifted its lockdown. Cases grew by over 1,000 overnight in the state.

The White House blocks Fauci from testifying on the pandemic response, adding that it would be “counterproductive.”

The US positivity rate is declining as we move to testing more broadly in the community. At the start we testing only the symptomatic. We expect this rate to decline as we move towards testing more and more of our population:

Hospitalizations for COVID-19 are rising throughout most of the US but are finally decreasing in NY:


    • Vaylon

      The state that I live in, Mississippi, today experienced its highest number of new reported cases since the pandemic began — 397 new cases in one day. Our governor’s “stay at home” order expired on Monday of this week, so I’m worried that the number of cases has yet to see its peak. I also saw an article in the Clarion-Ledger about chicken plants in our state closing because too many workers have contracted COVID-19.

      Pandemics are exactly the kind of large-scale event that good governance could be ready and able to tackle — but that ours, at both the state and federal level, is woefully unprepared for.

      10 |
    • TraceContributor

      I think you’re exactly correct, “I keep seeing media posts to the effect that we’re over the hump, but that simply isn’t true . . . At best we’re plateauing.”

      I also love the quote in CNN Health, “The idea that this is going to be done soon defies microbiology.”

      As has been said before, if social distancing is working it seems unnecessary (to the ill informed), but if social distancing isn’t working we’ll wonder why we didn’t do it.

      14 |