Whidbey Corona Virus November 5 2020

So much for progress. These updates were supposed to be a monthly thing – that would conclude after a few months. Oh, well. Too many aren’t well. For a while the county was close to progressing through the state’s phases for restrictions. Now, it looks like the progress is in the wrong direction. Because some people use this blog to check on such things, the monthly updates will continue. Put on your mask, wash those hands, socially distance yourself – not because they’re necessary to read this blog, but because you might want to hide a frown, have clean hands when palm meets forehead, and others might want to be more than six feet away if you have to shout.

One of the key metrics is the Daily Rate of newly diagnosed cases (per 100,000 population). Considering the county’s population is just under 100,000 (really more like 85,000) we need to have fewer than ~21 new cases per day. We were just about there at the start of October. Since then, the rate has effectively doubled.

Despite that increase, for now, Island County is doing better than most counties in Washington State, and Washington State is doing better than most states in the US. As much as we have to tackle this issue, we have maintained an impressive defense relative to most of the rest of the country.

November is the start of the storm season, a time when it is easier to stay indoors with family, a time usually reserved for planning how to celebrate so many holidays in the next two months. This year, the number of holidays hasn’t changed, but the size of the celebrations might. Maybe that will work to our advantage.

We’re witnessing the scientific method in action. Scientists and researchers find an issue, explore it, confront it, learn more about it, improve the ways to deal with it, and gradually provide us more effective ways to keep us safe – which in this case means finding ways for us to keep ourselves safe. Fortunately, the basics that have prevailed are simple, wear a mask, wash our hands, and respect others’ personal spaces. Maybe next year we can grow our celebrations again.

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