Update: On December 15th, the Oregon Health Authority reported 54 deaths (all of these deaths took place across about six weeks prior to today’s report). Of these, 42 of those who died had a positive test for Covid-19 on or before the Thanksgiving weekend. There was a surge underway in November, well in advance of Thanksgiving. As of this week, the 7-day moving average of new cases and hospital census is trending down. It is too early to know if this has peaked. And it will take another 2 weeks to see if there was a post Thanksgiving surge, but at this point, it seems probably not. The point is – the recent spike in deaths (so far) was emphatically not due to Thanksgiving activities (by flight or local vehicle travel).
As noted in my other post, there were +3.4% more travelers during Thanksgiving week than during the prior week, inline with the normal weekly variation amid a six month rising trend.
Last week and up through today, there have been numerous news reports implying a huge surge in holiday travel. The surge did not happen. Fauci tells us there will be “surge upon a surge” of new cases through the end of the year holidays. (May be – but track records for predicting future aspects of the pandemic have been abysmal. Time will tell us what happens.)
Passenger count data shows that last week’s news reports were not true. Aa few media outlets are begrudgingly back tracking but in an off handed way. They now acknowledge that traffic was 60% below last year – but – wait for it – air traffic reached a post-pandemic high amid the holiday surge! Scary!
Except its a normal week over week climb out of the air traffic hole formed in March.
Since the bottom in air traffic was reached in the spring, 57% of all days have represented a higher value than the day before, typical of a rising trend.
On a week over week basis, most weekly passenger counts were greater than the week before over the past six months.
The WSJ also reports that grocery store pharmacies see themselves as ideally suited for vaccine distribution. My local grocery stores already had dry ice for sale and presumably had dry ice freezers on hand, as well.
Two weeks ago I did a curb side pickup order from a local store, as recommended by our State’s public health department to minimize contact. One third of the items on my order list turned out to be out of stock. And they were ordinary items – not toilet paper!
For Sunday through Saturday, there was a 3.4% increase in traveler during Thanksgiving week versus the prior week. Which is inline with the week over week variation of slowly returning air traffic, as has occurred for months. The prior week did see a +10% increase but in recent weeks, the week over week change has been about -6 to +8%.
That does not mean there will or will not be a spike in new cases next week as there are many other factors in play.
Stated another way, all of the scary pronouncements and headlines are just stupid and not true. (Note – even car travel was down sharply year over year – there is no specific estimate yet, nor is there a week over week estimate. Like air travel, it was probably not as large as claimed before the event.)
CDC update 11/30/2020
Note that due to the holiday, some reports may be delayed – we could yet see this curve change shape in the coming week. However, the slope has been moderating for weeks and per other data, there are indications that this trend is real. Time will tell, particularly as the government has asked everyone to get tested – mass screening using a diagnostic test – which will generate false positives. False positives can be taken into consideration and controlled – if they want to.
There is no science behind this mileage restriction:
Santa Clara County’s new restrictions will include a 14-day quarantine for all those traveling to the county from more than 150 miles away, as well as a temporary prohibition on sporting activities involving contact with other people …
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