Friday, January 14, 2022

Filling in the gaps

Sometime in late 2020 I realized that while the COVID-19 graphs provided for free by the Financial Times were wonderful, flexible, versatile sources of graphic information, they had one flaw: While you could easily specify a starting date for the x-axis, you had no control over the ending date - it was always the most recent day for which data was available. Which means that, in the event something like the Omicron variant came along and dwarfed all previous y-axis values, you permanently lost the ability to look at the detailed variation of the past data. I realized this early on when data from early March 2020 was rapidly compressed to insignificance by the enormity of the numbers coming in beginning in late March 2020.

Unfortunately, my blogging hiatus in the second half of 2021 meant that the last set of graphs I posted before the end of the year were from July 10, 2021. Nearly six months of data, including the rise of the Delta variant, the failure of the Great Unmasking, and the coming of the Omicron spike were just...missing.

But not really. Just because I hadn't been posting these graphs didn't mean that I hadn't been saving them. Here are the relevant ones, the ones that tell the story, and present the data before it got crushed  to nothingness.

July 16,  2021, six days after my penultimate 2021 post.
The Delta wave was here, taking advantage of the summertime Great Unmasking.



July 22, 2021. Where just weeks before it looked like we were on a trajectory to grind COVID-19 into the ground, the Delta variant combined with the end of mask mandates to undo two months of progress.

July 31, 2021: while the nation was on an upswing, it wasn't affecting every state equally. This graph displays new cases per 100,000 people. The top states by far were in the South, while Pennsylvania was lurking near the bottom. This would change a lot by the end of the year.

August 7, 2021: The same sort of breakdown shows things getting worse everywhere, but continuing to be especially bad in the Southern states.

September 4, 2021: New mix of top states, still all from the South. Pennsylvania is climbing its way up.

December 5, 2021: The same sort of graph, but now the top spot is held by New Hampshire, with Southern states dropping low, and Pennsylvania vying for the top spot.

September 6, 2021: A tale of two countries, the United States and Norway. Cases per 100,000 people. Norway has consistently done better than the United States in dealing with COVID-19. Maybe we should try to do what they're doing.

September 4, 2021: Deaths per 100,000 people attributed to COVID-19 in the United States and Norway. We really should have been doing whatever the hell Norway is doing. 

So that's it. I wish I had captured more graphs. The data is still out there, waiting to be analyzed.

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The latest, using the same sort of graphs that are displayed above:

New cases in U.S. as of January 13, 2022. Continuing to set new records every day.

New cases by state, per 100,000 people. Sates in the Northeast now dominate, with Delaware just missing the cut below New Jersey, and Pennsylvania lagging a few spots behind. For some reason, Florida is right up there between New York and Massachusetts. Maybe Ron Desantis can explain. (He'd probably blame Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for visiting her mother in Florida last week.)

Norway vs. the United States, cases per 100,000 people. Norway actually led the U.S. by a considerable margin from early November through late December, but the U.S. raced ahead after that.



Norway vs. the United States, deaths attributed to COVID-19 per 100,000 population. Obviously Norway is doing something right that the United States is not. We need to find out what.


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