Wednesday, April 15, 2020

The Case for Staying Home - LA's speedbump

Monday afternoon looked really good for LA.  We reported only 228 new cases, the lowest seen since we hit our peak.  At this rate, we were on track to be zero new cases by April 23 - just 10 days later.

Then yesterday happened and we hit a spike of 627 new cases, which was almost near our previous peak of 711.  Today it came down again with only 449 new cases, but this has pushed the "zero new cases" date into early May.

Now, LA has only 10m people, so the data is going to be much jumpier than when looking at a whole state or country, but I must admit I had allowed myself to get excited by Monday's numbers.  Nevertheless, I'm hoping that we drop back to the levels we were at before.

However, it's been my observation that people are starting to take this less seriously than before.  There's a dual feeling of "this can't continue, so we just need to get out", and "nothing has really happened, so there's no big deal about getting back outside".  If that is the attitude of the population at large, this curve will take a long time to reach zero, or could simply flare back up again.  Now is not the time to be complacent.

Perhaps we shouldn't be surprised.  I had been hoping that LA was doing better, but if we look at Italy, they also are on track for reaching zero new cases in the first week of May as well.  If Easter weekend also created a surge, we won't see that until late next week.  Let's hope people continue to take this seriously, otherwise, it's even longer before we can return to normal.

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