2/13/21 | Submitted by Ruth Peterson
Two days ago, a friend asked me what the COVID numbers were in our area, because he has some serious health issues. I hadn’t paid much attention to the county-level numbers in a long time, and I was shocked. Shocked! (to find numbers for your own county, go to the last two paragraphs to find out how)
In Lewis Co, WA, a county of over 70,000 people, we have 12 cases currently w/ a rolling 7-day average of 22. We have 1 hospitalization with a rolling 7-day average of 2. For us to still be shut down is beyond ridiculous. Why are the numbers not being put in the headlines anymore? Could it be that if people knew how few cases they were, we wouldn’t be so terrified to go outside our homes? Really. Have you seen any numbers? Or if you do, they tell you only the cumulative number which is over 3500 cases. The thing is – cases that happen last July have no bearing on your life right now. Why are we told those numbers instead of the ones that are current?
We take risks every day. Right now, we have 10 inches of snow on the ground in a region that only gets a weather event with this kind of snow once every 5-10 years. Anyone who gets in a car today is taking a far greater risk than they would if they go out to eat. And yet restaurants are being forced to open only at 25% – half of what they were allowed last fall.
I wonder how much of this is paving the way for legislation to “help.” Let’s see – we need universal health care, because this has shown us how much everyone needs health care. We need to raise taxes, because we need to make sure people can “make it through” the crisis (instead of, well, maybe letting them go back to their jobs?). We also need to revamp our entire safety net system to make it bigger for these difficult times. Etc. That is what the Democrat majority in Olympia is saying for all these bills they are passing – all these things are necessary because of COVID.
This is a virus. A terrible one, and honestly, I’m not a fan of catching it. I will continue to wash my hands a lot, and I would urge anyone who is sick to stay home, for goodness sake! But this virus will never go away completely, and it will mutate and come back. It’s what viruses do. Risk is never zero – we have to stop acting like a miniscule risk is greater than the risks we take every day. And when we are down to a miniscule level of risk, like now, we have to ratchet up our questioning of these terrible decisions being made by the Governor.
If you want to check the numbers yourself, go ahead. Go to the https://www.doh.wa.gov/ website. Click on the very top (small) link that says COVID-19 page. You will see 6 photos with links below them. Click on the link in the bottom right corner that is labeled “Data Dashboard.” (or use this direct link – https://www.doh.wa.gov/Emergencies/COVID19/DataDashboard) You will be brought to a page with graphs. The first graph you will see is the cumulative numbers – the ones that mean nothing. This includes people who had it a year ago. Not relevant to today.
Click on the tab that says epidemiologic curve. On the left, you will see all the counties are selected. The top entry says “Select all” – click on that to de-select all the counties. Then go down and find yours. This shows you the current information. Before you even look at the graph lines, please look at the numbers going up the left side of the graph. In the case of Lewis County, the numbers only go up to 60, and the most number of cases we’ve even had at one time last year is 40. If you look at the hospitalization tab (it’s right below where you clicked on Epidemiologic Curves), you will see that the max number of hospitalizations over the past year is 7. Now – how to read it. You will see a solid blue line on that graph – put your cursor over the very last spot where you see the solid blue line. The number of cases today and the rolling 7-day average comes up (if you are on the “cases” tab – if you are hospitalizations, that will come up, of course). As you move the cursor along that line backwards, you can see what it was and what it is now for the entire past year. Again, we had 12 cases on the last day of confirmed data (Jan 31st). That’s in a county with over 70,000 people and over 2400 square miles of land.
Think about it. Maybe we could open up even more now, but honestly, I think that those in power want to have an excuse to pass a bunch of horrible progressive legislation while we are unable to participate. They still have 3 months left to pass these bills, and it would spoil their progress if people were able to go to Olympia to let their voices be heard.
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