You know how all the public officials like to say they want to be guided by the data?
“The data should guide our actions.”
“Listen to what the numbers are telling us.”
Okay. Fair enough.
Well, this morning I got up at 3:15, even earlier than usual 🙂 I just worked out and now I have an hour before I go wake Hallie up. So I got on google, grabbed my calculator and figured I’d actually LOOK at the data.
I looked at Erie, Crawford, and Warren County. That is an area around us of over 3,500 square miles. That’s a pretty big region. Bigger than the states of Delaware and Rhode Island combined.
The population of these 3 counties is about 400,000 people (270k in Erie, 85k in Crawford and 40k in Warren)
Erie County has 62 confirmed cases and 0 deaths.
Crawford County has 17 confirmed cases and 0 deaths.
Warren County has 2 cases and 1 death. (An 82 year old woman; RIP)
This is what the actual DATA tells us about the pandemic’s toll in our region.
So, I wondered how that looked statistically. And, because this is not yet over (though, thankfully, it looks like we may be on the downside of it) I DOUBLED the numbers . IF it more than doubles, this analysis will be wrong.
So, even if we end up at TWICE the number of cases and deaths, your chances of getting COVID-19 in this tri-county area of NW PA is .0004. This means that 4 out of every 10,000 people (about the population of Edinboro and Northeast combined) will get the disease. And for many, getting the disease feels like a cold or flu, and MANY feel nothing at all—they don’t even know if they have/had the disease.
Your chances of dying from the disease have been. .0000025. If we double that it goes to .000005, meaning that 1 out of every 200,000 people would have died from this disease.
That is the actual data.
As with any data, you can analyze it however you like and put your own take to what it means and how we should deal with it. But, as they say, the numbers ARE the numbers.
I find that very interesting, especially in comparison to the harder hit areas.
Just an FYI.
-Jim Berlin, Founder and CEO
As many of you know, I’ve been reading Erik Larson’s book about Churchill during the German blitzkrieg of England in 1940-41, and have tried to glean lessons about leadership and how one faces death and destruction, and survives/even triumphs. Very interesting read. And Churchill’s speeches clearly rallied his people (and America), and are remembered even to this day: “We shall fight on the beaches…we shall never surrender…”
I was not around for Roosevelt’s famous “The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” (I know I’m old—but not THAT old 😊) that helped rally America out of the great depression and it, too, is still remembered and repeated to this day, nearly 100 years later.
The power of WORDS is impressive.
I do remember hearing John F. Kennedy’s words as a young kid, “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country”. Inspirational then and now.
And though I was never the #1 fan of George W. Bush or Barack Obama, I will NEVER forget when each of them won me over for good.
October 30, 2001, Game 3 of the World Series, and America still on edge from 9/11, George Bush strode to the mound at Yankee Stadium and delivered a perfect strike in the ceremonial “first pitch” even though millions of people (myself included) worried that he might be assassinated there, out in the open by himself in the middle of the diamond. Bush, who was never a great speaker, did with this action the same thing, though. Rallied the people and courageously showed that there was hope and a future. That day, I became a fan. (Funny side story—Derek Jeter, the Hall of Fame Yankee shortstop, told President Bush before he went out “Don’t bounce it. They’ll boo you”. New Yorkers are a tough crowd 😊).
And on June 26, 2015, when President Obama went to deliver the eulogy for the nine black parishioners mindlessly shot down in cold blood by a 21 year old white supremacist after praying with them at the Charleston, South Carolina Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, to deliver solace to the families, the community and the nation, and spoke about grace (many of the victims’ families had already displayed incredible grace in forgiving and praying for the shooter) he extemporaneously broke into song, singing Amazing Grace and lifting the spirits of those in the church and throughout America and the world, I became a fan.
I will never forget either of those moments and the strength and pride in humankind that they gave to me and millions of others.
It would be so timely today if something someone says/does in the near future will be one of the things that not only lifts our spirits and rallies our nation, but is remembered for generations to come as a symbol of the strength and the resilience of the human spirit.
NOT the time to argue, point fingers about how it got INTO the ditch (usually there’s enough blame to go around).
You need to figure out how to get it OUT of the ditch. Basic common sense.
That’s what I hate about people pointing fingers and blaming others (China, Trump, Obama, WHO, CDC, DiBlasio, NY State, whoever) for where we find ourselves today. Trust me, there will be plenty of time (And ink. And internet outlets.) to lay blame when this is over. We can all sort that out then.
Now, though, let’s focus ALL our attention on how to get through this please.
Two thoughts in this regard:
1. I watched a very responsible 5 minute segment on NBC Nightly News last night on how to best keep your house germ free. All the things you can do to help avoid infecting you and your family. My question though: Why did NBC not show anything like that BEFORE this pandemic? Shouldn’t they/the press have better prepared us for this mess? Didn’t they (and everyone else) have fair warning that global epidemic was only a matter of time? So why did THEY TOO wait until the shit hit the fan? Why no 5 minute segments on the nightly news about this last year? Is the media at fault then too for us not being prepared better? I suppose you can make that argument (I guess I just did 😊) but it is impractical, and if they HAD been showing stuff like that on the nightly news last year, no one would be watching and they’d be off the air.
2. I’ve been reading Erik Larson’s book about Churchill during the German blitzkrieg of England. Great book and lots of lessons, I believe, for us in this time (War, right?) In early December, 1940, Churchill called his top military advisors together to put together a counterattack on a German city to rival the death and destruction (and sheer terror) that British citizens of Coventry had others had experienced over the past few weeks. He asked them to let him know the strength of the German Air Force, the Luftwaffe, so they knew what to expect. But, I guess not surprisingly, estimates of German air strength put together by all the British military leaders varied so much that no one really a clue how many aircraft they actually had. BUT…it was the same when he asked how many actual aircraft the RAF, HIS air force, had. And the numbers he got were as widely varied as it was for the enemy. And those were THEIR aircraft! And THEY didn’t even know how many planes they had. Unbelievable (maybe). But very typical, I’d bet.
My point is that this shit is hard. There is the fog of war, and even the best folks, trying their hardest, are gonna have a hard time making ANYTHING go smoothly or even look smooth. Having beds and ventilators and masks and nurses and doctors and patients etc all in the right place at the exact right time is very tough. (Logistics, once again, plays a key role as it does in any war). And things are changing VERY quickly, and unpredictably, as we know, so every “best guess” is not gonna be right. To me, what you ask for is cool, calm level-headedness, crazy hours of effort, everyone doing their best, cutting some slack for whoever, and pulling together to get through this. We can play the big blame games later.
If I’m drowning and someone comes up and throws me a life preserver, I don’t ask them who they voted for in the last election. I don’t ask their race or religion. Right now we need to stop the second guessing and the know-it-all bullshit and just everyone do their best to just “do the right thing” and help each other out. Less “noise” in an emergency is usually a good thing.
Focus on the goal at hand. Do your best. Be safe. Be strong.
Let’s get through this first.
Jim Berlin (Founder and CEO)