Numbers are as of July 24, 2020.
Since I last updated this graphic (June 25), over 1 million new cases have been reported in the United States.
Today is June 25, 2020. 122,071 people have died due to COVID-19 and there are over 2 million confirmed cases. The confirmed death toll exceeds the city with the highest population in six states: Delaware, Maine, Montana, North Dakota, West Virginia, Wyoming.
As states continue to re-open, cases continue to rise. Let’s be clear, there has not been a point in the timeline of this virus where the United States case rate peaked and went down. Every single day is a new peak. CNN predicts at the current case rate, the number of confirmed cases will have doubled in two months. Two. Months. That’s over 4 million cases. So, please. Wear a mask, get take-out, and wash your freakin’ hands.
It’s impossible to write this week without talking about the murder of Ahmaud Arbery. I mean, this situation was particularly appalling: two months without an arrest when the evidence clearly spells it out. But, aren’t all the instances of black people being killed in America particularly disturbing? Every report seems like a new way that we could not have imagined happening and it took a national outcry for legal action to happen. For every white man not held accountable for the death of a black man or woman, numerous others will die. This is an unacceptable precedent that must end. We, as a country, must stop desensitizing ourselves to traumatic events and hold each other, and our government, to a higher standard. I guess that is what November is for.
The president of my company said something when this all started “In the end, it will be impossible to know if we overreacted or did too much, but it will be quite apparent if we under reacted or did too little.”
Here is the question government has to solve: How do you balance public health with the economy? I’d say public health first, but I’m coming from a point of privilege where I live in a state where the number of cases has stayed relatively low and I’ve maintained employment throughout this whole ordeal.
Every week, there are more reports of protests, of people disobeying stay-at-home orders and in general, relaxing their approach to COVID-19 (as observed today at the grocery store where majority of people were not wearing masks, and admittedly, I’ve stopped washing my groceries.).
Yet every week, I update this graphic and the U.S. death toll grows.
I encourage you scroll down to the “Daily New Cases Over the Past 14 Days” section of this CNN page. Out of the entire United States, MT is the only one to show consistent decline of confirmed cases and one of the few states to have less than five daily confirmed cases. Not trying to flex here, but rather provide context (Con-flex? Oh god, I need to stop running my jokes past my cat.).. It feels like Montana is America’s test run to see if the economy can successfully re-open without a second wave of spread.
Time can only tell.
On a different note, making these graphics and posting on my blog feels good, despite the dire subject matter. I believe information is power and keeping up with the news is essential to feel like I have some semblance of control over my situation. Maybe control isn’t the right word, however it stops me from falling into existential dread. I love writing, despite the numerous spelling errors I make every day.
I do acknowledge that all the writing I’ve done so far on my COVID-19 blog posts are opinion pieces and for me that feels vulnerable. I think I’ve just been making really vulnerable art and writing during tHeSe UNcErTaiN TiMeS because that’s how I feel? Did I just have an emotional revelation on my blog? Wow. That is a new one. Okay, I need to go process this.
Go do what makes feel good and don’t forget Mother’s Day is May 10 (this upcoming Sunday, y’all!!).
Last week, a group took their children to a playground in Boise, Idaho, resulting in the arrest of one woman (for trespassing, as Meridian had closed all of their public playgrounds). While adults being idiots never fails to make the news, here is what irks me: how the kids were weaponized to protest.
“Weaponized?! Girl, it wasn’t that bad.”
Yeah, it was that bad.
The news reported it as an organized playdate protest as did the Idaho Freedom Foundation, the conservative advocacy group the woman quickly mentioned before the video cuts off. An. Organized. Playdate. Protest.
That’s why I say weaponized. The children pictured in the footage are young, and while they are at a low risk of contracting the virus, they are a prime demographic for being a carrier. These kids are so young, they probably don’t understand why they can’t go to school and see their friends, but rather were so excited to go to a park and play.
Who knows what went through the minds of the protesters “The police won’t do anything with children there.” “It’s just a playground, nothing will happen.” “I’m not sick, so we are fine.” I mean, I can speculate all day long, but at the end of the day, children were put into a situation where their health was at risk and, for me, that is not okay. On top of that, the stay-at-home order for Idaho is voluntary and less restrictive than several places in the world (like Ecuador that has a compulsory social isolation policy and a curfew, or Spain where you can be fined for being outside.).
Here’s the thing: Even with the stay-at-home orders in every state, the U.S. death toll is at 49,804 (I’m actually writing this commentary on May 3 and the death toll is close to 67,674). We are well in the lead compared to the rest of the world. I can’t fathom what the number would be if states had not put social distancing and isolation measures in place when they did.
I guess the whole point of this musing is that children should never be put into a predicament where their health is so blatantly at risk and I’m really disappointed with my home state.
No social commentary…yet.
This week, my home state made a rare appearance in the news (not good). Northern Idahoans and a group outside of Boise are pushing back against the stay-at-home order. One state representative is “encouraging her constituents to push back on the statewide stay-at-home order saying people have ‘a God-Given constitutionally protect the right to assemble peacefully.'” The national death toll surpassed the population of her hometown (256) long ago.
According to this NY Times article, Idaho surpasses California in cases per capita. California’s population is 22.55 times the population of Idaho. (Who knows if I phrased this correctly, I’m not a data analyst, just a graphic designer who is concerned about my parents living in a righteous state. California’s population is 39.56 million; Idaho’s population is 1.756 million).
Reading this article left me with a mix of emotions: Bewildered, infuriated, disappointed, but not surprised. While the entirety of Idaho is not conservative, only four of the state’s 44 counties were blue in the last election (2018 mid-terms). In 2016, a woke 19 y/o organized a rally in support of the Black Lives Matters movement in Lewiston, my hometown. On the Facebook page, people posted hateful messages directed at the organizer, the movement, and I remember some Facebook users threatening to drive their vehicles through the crowd. On the day of the rally, residents of the LCV drove past with confederate flags and organized a counter “All Lives Matter” protest.
After the article was published, they recruited one of the few celebrities to come from Idaho, Aaron Paul, to fix the situation.
Rural hospitals are ill-equipped to handle a surge of patients, and the stay-at-home measure is not here to infringe upon your rights as an Idahoan. It is here to help you survive this pandemic, so you can live to flex your beliefs, whatever they are.
No comments today. Just an update.