COVID DIARIES, WEEK OF 13 NOVEMBER 2020

Amid a Pandemic, Signs of Hope

The virus is out of control, and getting worse. But this week brought at least two positive signs

Almost every state in the nation is now a coronavirus hot spot. The number of new cases per day has doubled in the past three weeks, and both new cases and hospitalizations are at all-time highs.
This chart, compiled from state data by computational biologist Mike Bass, shows new cases in Ventura County are deep in the state’s most infectious purple tier, and continue to rise sharply. Mike observed today that the virus not only appears to be winning but also picking up speed.
All key US coronavirus metrics rose this week. Deaths increased at a substantially slower rate than new cases or hospitalizations — but they are a trailing indicator. Two previous surges suggest an increase in the death rate is likely in the next few weeks.
About the only encouraging things to say about the California situation are that case growth isn’t _quite_ as high as the national total, and that deaths declined this week. But deaths are a trailing indicator, and may soon increase following 19% and 12% weekly increases, respectively, in the state’s hospital and ICU patient counts.
In absolute terms, Illinois was the most infectious state this week. But 12 other states, including California, were also in the top tier of infection levels.
Adjusted for population, the Dakotas remain the most infectious place in the nation. But many other Great Plains and Midwestern states also saw skyrocketing numbers of new cases. The number of new cases per day is now double the level of three weeks ago.

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