– Ben Martens

COVID-19: Day 230

I said that I was going to stop posting so much about the pandemic, but I do want to keep posting periodically so I can look back at the stats. So here’s a quick checkin on where we are now.

Global deaths: 1.2 million
US deaths: 228 thousand

This has been a rough stretch for the US. Seven states set a record high for daily deaths and the Progress to Zero (P0) metric has fallen from 34% to 0% in the last three weeks. The upper/central part of the country is are getting hammered. The percentage of positive tests are going up too so it’s not just a matter of states doing more testing.

For many states, this is their first big wave. User Gullyn1 on the dataisbeautiful subreddit made a map showing what percentage of a counties total cases were discovered in the last month. This is somewhat similar to the P0 metric and I like these maps because they apply well regardless of the size of the county.

Locally we’re doing a bit better but we’re on a similar upswing. The R-value in King County is estimated at 1.3, the highest it has been in quite a while.

Just to the north of us, Snohomish is seeing more active cases per 100K people than they did in July. (Note that this chart in particular can be a little deceptive since it is directly related to the number of tests. It’s generally safer to rely on this specific chart for local trending more than for comparison of peaks.)

That Snohomish outbreak is particularly on my mind since that’s where Elijah goes to school. The school is amazingly still chugging along with only a couple quick shutdowns of specific classrooms for false alarms. Everyone seems to have fallen into a routine with the daily health attestation, new dropoff/pickup rules and the removal of any intermingling between classrooms. So far so good but I don’t expect it to continue forever, especially with the spike we’re seeing now leading into cooler temps (more people indoors) and holidays (more people getting together in groups.)

My company has said that the workers in this area won’t have to return to the office until July 2021 at the earliest. The previous date had been January so it’s nice to see them push it out to something that is hopefully more realistic. It seems like it will probably move out again but we’ll see how things go with vaccine approval, production, and acceptance by the general population. Personally I’m happy to keep working from home. I feel plenty productive and I love not having the commute! Although I do spend more time looking at opportunities to move out of suburbia if I’m not tied to the commute anymore…