Sunday, July 5, 2020

Are Masks the Magic Bullet to Stop Covid Spread? What does the data say?

Data. We are swimming in it. It's driven our decisions throughout this pandemic and yes, we know it's not perfect. We've heard that hospitals have been categorizing deaths as COVID-19 fatalities when the deceased passed away from other causes. We've heard that increased testing is catching the asymptomatic population as contact tracing improves, which can account for the rise in numbers. Despite these hiccups in the data it's our best chance at tracking and uncovering the methods that will get us back to reopening our economy and sending our children back to schools. 

Some states have mandated masks in areas where social distancing cannot be achieved and while this decision may not be embraced by everyone, we can lean on the data to see whether it is an effective precaution in protecting our vulnerable populations. 

Illinois is in stage 4 of opening. We can see that their numbers are beginning to rise again. I wonder if as numbers drop and populations begin to feel safer, that more folks are gathering together and taking more risks, which could increase the numbers. 

Massachusetts isn't showing a huge increase once the decline kicked in, other than that weird random spike on June 1st. It's more than likely a result of Memorial Day celebrations which took place the week before. 

We can see the Memorial Day spike in New Jersey too. This hot spot has done an astounding job flattening their curve.

Pennsylvania looks like they party on the weekends. :) 

We can look at some states that have implemented a mask mandate and numbers have not been affected as drastically as the ones shown above. We could speculate and argue the reasons all day long, but in the meantime, mask up people. Caring about others, should always been in style.

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