Deep Dive into COVID-19 – Part 2 – Reopen Ohio Now

By |2020-05-01T00:33:45+00:00May 1st, 2020|Uncategorized|

This is part 2 of my series on the threat of COVID-19 and our response.  In part 1, I reviewed the data and came to the conclusion that the virus is a legitimate threat.  Why would I make that argument while simultaneously believing we should # RestartOhio now?  First, I've analyzed the data in depth and believe that it's true.  But just as importantly, if you want to convince others, we won't be successful trying to deny the threat.  We'll have to convince them it's possible to reopen in a safe fashion. Let's start with some good news - social [...]

Deep Dive into COVID-19 – Part One

By |2020-04-29T23:18:40+00:00April 29th, 2020|Uncategorized|

I'm not sure anyone is actually convinced by long Facebook posts, but I enjoy digging into the data and unlike many, I try hard to share my thought processes and assumptions. I'll apologize ahead of time since this is likely to be long, but I hope this ends up being one of the more definitive deep dives into the subject of COVID-19. I see a lot of people saying that this virus isn't a threat or is clearly much less of a threat than originally expected. This is typically used to justify moving away from the current partial shutdown very [...]

Death Rates, a Natural Experiment and 4/22 Update

By |2020-04-23T14:11:57+00:00April 23rd, 2020|Uncategorized|

The most important question we face around the COVID-19 outbreak is just how deadly is it.  We know the virus is highly contagious, we presume that there is little built in immunity since the virus is "novel," or new to our population, but there is considerable spread as to the estimates of the actual death rate.  Some will argue this is like the flu and around 0.1%.  Other estimates are around 1% and I've seen higher numbers than that.  Even if this really is like the flu and has a 1 in 1000 death rate, a novel virus that spreads [...]

What I Really Believe about COVID-19 and our Path Forward

By |2020-04-23T12:25:07+00:00April 23rd, 2020|Uncategorized|

As those of you who have read my commentary on COVID-19 over the past month are aware, I have been more optimistic than most on its health impact in Ohio, and in the USA. I never bought into the “Best Models” and their predictions of millions and later hundreds of thousands of deaths. Yes, this pandemic, like all pandemics and epidemics has brought sadness and death to many Americans. Every life is cherished, and I wish that every death could be eliminated in pandemics. Unfortunately, that is not Nature, and that is not possible. I’d like to share my unfiltered [...]

Ohio’s Prison Outbreak and What it Means for Ohio

By |2020-04-19T16:04:33+00:00April 19th, 2020|Uncategorized|

The story of the last few days has been a sudden rise in new cases reported in Ohio.  Yesterday's (4/18) total of 1081 lab confirmed cases blew away the previous record.  Even as tracking COVID-19 by onset date spreads out the new cases to some extent, we now have a very sharp positive trend showing up in the raw data. In fact, this is the strongest positive trend we've ever seen including back in mid-March before the shutdown orders went into effect.  I've heard a lot of speculation that this is a way to get the cases to actually match [...]

Step #1 in Reopening Ohio’s Economy

By |2020-04-19T15:08:51+00:00April 19th, 2020|Uncategorized|

Today, I implore Governor DeWine and DOH Director Dr. Acton to immediately retract their order preventing Ohio's Health Care system from performing "non-emergent" surgery and "other procedures". There were 2 reasons stated for this order: 1. Preservation of PPE for the COVID-19 surge 2. Mitigation of COVID-19 spread in medical/dental offices Let me address (2.) first: Medical professionals are as well versed in infectious disease spread as anyone in our society. At this point, they are fully prepared to take all steps to combine typical sterile procedure with social distancing, accompanied by PPE. Patients will be directed to wear masks [...]

4/17 Daily Update – Another Day, Another Record

By |2020-04-18T14:30:49+00:00April 18th, 2020|Uncategorized|

Another day of mixed news.  Let's get the bad news out of the way first.  Ohio set another daily record for new lab confirmed cases reported with 619, up 8 from the day before.  When you look at the cases by date of onset though (the important trend), the uptick is clearly detectable, but not as sharp.  When looking at the county level numbers, this continues to be mostly driven by the outbreaks at the Marion Correctional Institution (152 new cases yesterday) and the Pickaway Correctional Institution (57 new cases yesterday).  Franklin County also had 108 cases reported which shows [...]

Clearing Up Confusion on COVID-19 Testing

By |2020-04-17T14:36:27+00:00April 17th, 2020|Uncategorized|

Until recently, we've been referring to "testing" purely as the tests that use a swab to sample the back of your nose to see if the COVID-19 virus is there. The test, most recently the "Abbott test", is checking for the COVID virus "RNA" (like our DNA). Early test versions took 3-8 days to get results (backed up labs), and the " Abbott test" now takes only up to 30 minutes for a result on site. Even newer versions are checking the the nasal cavity or the mouth saliva, but that's not important for this discussion. The question for this [...]

04/16 Daily Update – Big Changes

By |2020-04-17T13:11:26+00:00April 17th, 2020|Uncategorized|

Today was a big day for a number of reasons.  First, the daily reported new lab confirmed infections were 611 - beating the previous day's record by 136 - a huge increase.  Seems like terrible news at first glance, yet at the same time those numbers were being released Governor DeWine announced that our state will begin to reopen on May 1st.  This is huge!  This represents a massive shift in his rhetoric from the day before.  While I still believe we can open safely sooner than May 1st, I want to celebrate this enormous shift in our direction.  The [...]

Daily Update 4/15 – Don’t Panic

By |2020-04-16T21:06:26+00:00April 15th, 2020|Daily Updates|

Today's new totals from the Ohio Department of Health showed a big leap upwards to 475 lab confirmed cases setting a daily record for the state of Ohio.  I've already seen disappointment on social media regarding the number. As always, don't overreact to any single day's numbers.  The trends are what matter when we analyze the data and the trend based on the date of first infection (blue line) is just as negative as it was yesterday.  What might be accounting for uptick in reported cases is a big increase in testing.  Today, 3678 new tests were reported - 1/3 [...]