CORONAVIRUS: Friday 5/22 roundup

As we end the 12th week since King County’s first confirmed COVID-19 case was announced, here’s our nightly roundup:

NEWEST KING COUNTY NUMBERS: From the Public Health daily-summary dashboard:

*7,697 people have tested positive, up 52 from yesterday

*537 people have died, up 3 from yesterday

One week ago, those totals were 7,360 and 516.

4 MORE DEATHS AT THE MOUNT: One of the county’s dashboards includes data on long-term-care facilities, updated weekly. On that dashboard is a list of King County facilities with five or more deaths attributed to COVID-19. One West Seattle facility is on this list – Providence Mount St. Vincent, with 6. (Last direct update we received from The Mount was four weeks ago, when they announced 2 deaths.)

STATEWIDE NUMBERS: See them here.

WORLDWIDE NUMBERS: See them – nation by nation – here.

NEW WEST SEATTLE TESTING SITE: According to this King County Public Health testing-site list, the UW Mobile Clinic will do COVID-19 testing at South Seattle College (WSB sponsor) on Fridays starting next week (May 29th). No other details; we’ll be following up next week.

NATIONAL GUARD STAYING OR GOING? A bit of a battle in “the other Washington” over whether the feds will keep funding the National Guard‘s pandemic deployment past late June. In our area, Guard members are helping out at food banks, like this group we photographed earlier this week at the White Center Food Bank:

Gov. Inslee sent a letter today imploring the Trump Administration to let the Guard members keep helping until late July.

GETTING READY TO GRADUATE: A special event today for the West Seattle High School Class of 2020.

GOT INFO? westseattleblog@gmail.com or text/voice 206-293-6302 – thank you!

40 Replies to "CORONAVIRUS: Friday 5/22 roundup"

  • Lynn May 22, 2020 (9:56 pm)

    Thank you, National Guard! It’s an outrage that our “president” tried to screw you over.  You men and women are heroes.

  • Smittytheclown May 23, 2020 (6:11 am)

    Looking at the data as we are so often told 70% of the 20,000 “known” cases were to people under the age of 60.  This group represents 10% of the deaths.  54 people.  A death rate of .003%. (54/14,000).Why on earth don’t we keep 60 and older safe and quarantined and let the rest of the population return to normal?  Again, the death rate is .003% of the “known” cases.  It’s got to be even lower than that in reality because not everyone has been tested that has had it!This will go down in history as the biggest overreaction ever.  

    • JIm May 23, 2020 (10:00 am)

      Agreed

    • Seaweed May 23, 2020 (11:01 am)

      Political agendas; so much simpler than Data.
      Tinfoil over blindfolds, any day.

    • Anne May 23, 2020 (11:37 am)

      How about we ALL just continue social distancing, practicing good hygiene, wearing masks where required- opening up all restaurants/ businesses /churches in a prudent manner so as not to spike virus again, which could lead to overwhelming health care system -again , overworking  health care workers-again-until we have a vaccine . If we all do our part-as we have been ( maybe that’s why stats are as reported?) then no particular segment of the population HAS to be quarantined. Just guessing here-or hoping -that 60+ / those with compromised immune systems( of ANY age) are already self quarantining  as much as possible- I know we are in our family. If doing all these things is what you call an “ overreaction “-but it’s saving lives -then keep it up. 

    • ScubaFrog May 23, 2020 (3:10 pm)

      Smitty larping as a virologist.  I love it.  100k dead, and you’re manufacturing your own fatality rate, and recycling the Draft-Deserter’s “stay at home if you’re over 50!” meme for political points.  How classy.  On Memorial Day Weekend no less.  SO patriotic, your love of country reeks of American Pride.Sadly, kids are being affected by Covid 19, people of all ages are affected and have died. Out of 100k people I don’t know where you got “54 victims under the age of 60 have perished”, but that’s patently false.  Smitty says the death rate is .003%.  Thank GOD his supporters tend towards labor, and not Medical Doctors (nor mathematicians).Here, we follow Governor Inslee’s and Mayor Durkan’s policies.  If that’s a problem for you, Smitty, I’m sure you’d find ‘greener grass’ in Texas or Georgia perhaps.  Why stay somewhere you’re miserable?

      • Smittytheclown May 23, 2020 (5:27 pm)

        I was using the linked state data. the death rate for those under 60 is extremely low.  Do the math.  Keep the vulnerable quarantined and safe.  Even if that represents 40% of the population (which it doesn’t) that’s still less than 100%!  This country is falling into depression because of this.  People hate Trump so much that they are willing to overlook FACTS in order to make sure he is defeated.  What happens when covid 20 hits?  Covid 21?  Covid 22?  We can’t lock down like this.  The math doesn’t work!  

        • AJP May 23, 2020 (9:22 pm)

          It has nothing to do with Trump or politics of any kind . The virus doesn’t care about that. It’s science. So interesting how people who say “why do you make everything political” make a global pandemic political. 

        • LJ May 24, 2020 (10:39 am)

          The 19 in COVID-19 is for the year this particular virus first appeared (2019), not the number of times the virus has appeared/mutated.

    • LJ May 23, 2020 (9:16 pm)

      Smitty – it’s because it’s about much more than death rate. Even if the virus isn’t fatal for someone, they may require hospitalization. We can’t risk the hospitals being overrun. If you’re uncertain on this point, talk to folks who work on ERs.

    • ejm May 24, 2020 (3:32 pm)

      Please look at today’s New York Times. There are 3 FULL pages listing the names of almost 1 HUNDRED THOUSAND human beings who have died in America. They are not statistics. You are constantly  whining about Stay at Home orders, constantly denigrating the value of older people. You are beyond contemptible. 

  • Friend O'Dinghus May 23, 2020 (10:24 am)

    Great question STC. It is because the cases belonging to people younger than 60 may be asymptomatic yet contagious for up to 48 hours before the individual themselves even know they are ill. During that time, those younger than 60 are carrying the virus hither and yon, giving it to seniors, but also middle-aged folks and children, that they come into contact with. Those unknowing newly infected individuals (who themselves are likely short-term asymptomatic) are now carrying it everywhere they go. It is not possible in this scenario to prevent any crossover between a so-called ‘protected group’ and the population-at-large group, once the percentage of infection in the population-at-large nears saturation. Once cross-over occurs, the results are disastrous. As much as you or others wish to make this into a us and them scenario, we are all in this together. The virus cannot be negotiated with, and ultimately all of the decisions about risk boils down to each of us individually any way. For me, a dinner out seated at a restaurant is not something I am willing to risk for myself or others to do (purely unenjoyable as I would be hyper weirded out the entire time), but you do you. The same for in-person worship services, as my higher power understands the threat and really wants me to stay well to come back and pray another day, not kill the entire flock by choral singing in an enclosed space. We spent two painful months bringing the numbers down to the point that we may begin phased re-openings, and you simply want to throw us all back to square one. No thanks Bro. Also, since you seem so keen on this particular topic, perhaps you should consider attending a University and studying Epidemiology. I think you would really enjoy it, and learn many things too. Science and scientists are the voices to listen too. How many of them are suggesting what you propose?

    • Smittytheclown May 23, 2020 (3:20 pm)

      That’s my point.  If seniors remain quarantined they can’t get it from asymptomatic  people.  

      • AMD May 23, 2020 (4:23 pm)

        People over 60 still have jobs they’d have to go to and groceries they’d have to buy if everything went back to “normal”.  Locking up the elderly for the comfort of the young seems unfair.  There are people under 60 who are at high risk (pregnant women, those undergoing cancer treatment, etc.) that would also need to be locked up so they didn’t get COVID from you.  There are a whole lot of reasons not to treat the elderly like garbage, actually.  I can’t believe this needs to be explained.

      • nonni May 23, 2020 (4:58 pm)

        I can’t wait until you are a senior, then we can put you in quarantine, for a month (or three) and see how you like it.

        • Smittytheclown May 23, 2020 (7:24 pm)

          What the hell are you talking about?  We are ALL in quarantine now!  I’d gladly triple unemployment payments if we quarantine the 10% who are dying. I’ll deliver your damn food for free!  Why must we all suffer and putt the country into a depression? This is madness for a bug that kills most of us at the rate of flu!  

          • Lagartija Nick May 24, 2020 (10:20 am)

            Smitty, on average the flu kills 45,000/yr. There are now nearly 100,000 dead in just over three months. That’s twice as many dead in a quarter of the time. So no, it’s not just like the flu. Also, you really should look up the process for hooking you up to a ventilator, intubation is a seriously painful procedure that has many dangerous side effects. So even those who eventually recover suffer a great deal. Cavalierly ignoring these facts is not a good look.

          • KBear May 24, 2020 (12:28 pm)

            Smitty, you are NOT in quarantine. If you were, you would not be allowed out in public, with or without a mask.

          • heartless May 24, 2020 (12:49 pm)

            Yeah, I think this might just come from a fundamental misunderstanding of ‘quarantine.’ 

            I think Smitty understands it to mean–or is taking it to mean–the sort of standard social distancing that we’ve all been encouraged to observe; which is clearly different from an actual quarantine.

            But when Smitty says things like “We are ALL in quarantine now!” it’s hard not to think there is a fair bit of confusion on his end.    

  • Math teacher May 23, 2020 (3:50 pm)

    @Smitty – FIRST, your math is flawed. To convert a ratio to a percentage, you move the decimal over. So 54/14000=0.00386, and that becomes 0.386%, which rounds UP instead of down, so the numbers you quoted give a death rate of 0.4% under age 60.  SECOND you seem to be basing your ratio on local deaths but statewide positives.  Using the statewide fatality numbers (1050), and statewide positives at 19265, 10% of fatalities under age 60 leads to  105/19265, and we’re up at 0.5%, not  0.003%. 

  • Math teacher May 23, 2020 (3:56 pm)

    @Smitty, THIRD, When looking at the severity of this illness, consider the hospitalization rate. Many survivors have been critically ill and nobody in the whole world knows the long term impact of their illnesses. 37% of hospitalized patients have been under 60. Yes, with excellent hospital care most younger patients recover and are released from the hospital, which is a good thing, but don’t trivialize the impact.  FOUR how on earth would you quarantine 20% of the population, while the rest return to “normal?”  

    • WSB May 23, 2020 (4:11 pm)

      It’s more than 20 percent who would be quarantined under the “lock up everyone who’s at elevated risk and let everyone else run free” idea. Try FORTY percent of all American adults.
      https://www.kff.org/coronavirus-covid-19/issue-brief/how-many-adults-are-at-risk-of-serious-illness-if-infected-with-coronavirus/

    • Cool Rick May 23, 2020 (6:35 pm)

      You should take a look at the CDC’s current estimates. They are estimating that approximately 1/3 of cases are asymptomatic, and an IFR of .26% when including those cases. Also, the CDC data for hospitalization percentage is only 1.7% for under 50 years old AND that is only including the symptomatic cases. Their estimate on IFR for under 50 years old is only .05% and that is once again only including the symptomatic cases.

      https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html

      This is obviously a serious pandemic and worse than the flu, but it’s ridiculous to ignore the massive amounts of data that we now have compared to when we initially shutdown. It’s not nearly as lethal for most of the population as we thought it was, yet in this state we haven’t used this new data to revise our strategy at all. We can’t all shelter in place forever. It’s time to start moving forward and reopening things.

      • Friend O'Dinghus May 23, 2020 (7:19 pm)

        Undeniably though, the lower the levels of infection we reach now during stay at home, the greater the safety margin against an out of control flare as we slowly re-open.

    • Smittytheclown May 23, 2020 (7:36 pm)

      Easy.  60 and older who represent 90% of deaths remain Quarantined. It’s the math.  It’s the data.  We are all supposed to listen to it!  It’s not that hard. 

    • David May 23, 2020 (7:48 pm)

      https://komonews.com/news/coronavirus/nursing-homes-represent-over-60-percent-of-washingtons-covid-19-deaths-new-data-showsThe majority of Covid deaths are coming  from seniors in nursing homes / long term facilities.  Aren’t these folks already quarantined?Heck even the majority of hospitalizations are coming from that same population.  According to the CDC people older than 65 account for 80% of hospitalizations.  This explains why I don’t know 1 person or anyone that knows one person that’s had coronavirus it or has died from it.  https://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/volumes/69/wr/mm6915e3.htmFolks is all about politics now.  Because based on the data, our strategy should be more targeted to the people most vulnerable instead of the one size fits all approach.  THe problem with politics is no one pays attention to data that doesn’t fit their narrative anymore.  It’s unfortunate ….

      • LO May 23, 2020 (9:19 pm)

        Dave – Some of us do know someone who has died from it. Please show some respect 

        • Dave May 24, 2020 (9:25 am)

          Lo – sorry for giving you that impression that I don’t care.  I’m not trying to minimize death but Dying is a fact of life that we’ll all go through…. my point is when you remove nursing home &  long term care  (which is a population that is actually quarantined) from the data and look at hospitalizations and deaths in the general population, the numbers are very low.  In fact, you have a much better chance of dying in a car accident.  In fact 1.2m people die each year (3200 per day) but I don’t see us lowering the speed limit to 25mphs or making cars out of steel.  Its not done because it isn’t practical and lives will be lost as a result of that decision.  Another way to look at things is you’re just as likely to get struck by lighting (approx 80,000 per year in the US).  

          • LO May 24, 2020 (10:47 am)

            We are lowering the speed limit to 25 mph in most of the city:https://www.kiro7.com/news/local/seattle-speed-limits-be-reduced-25-mph-citywide/BTF3IMXBW5GERAEES2BH5XVBGQ/Because it’s a change we can make that saves lives. Much like socially distancing, wearing masks, and staying home when possible.

          • Math teacher May 24, 2020 (4:28 pm)

            Dave/David, there are indeed different ways that society could balance health risks and economic risks. But you claim  THe problem with politics is no one pays attention to data that doesn’t fit their narrative anymore.  It’s unfortunate ….”  That’s a good point, so let’s actually take a look at  car accident and lightning strike data, and see whether they support your narrative. There are approximately 40,000 annual US car deaths. (The car death number you shared -1.2million- is the world-wide total.) You used the KOMO link to argue that 60% of COVID deaths are related to long term care facilities. Well, if 100,000 Americans have died from COVID-19, the remaining 40% would be 40,000 so far – approximately the same as annual auto deaths, so, no, not “a much better chance of dying in a car accident”. The National Weather Service says there are around 50 annual US deaths from lightning strikes. https://www.weather.gov/safety/lightning-victims  “Hundreds” more are injured. So, no,  really , really not “as likely”.  

          • David May 24, 2020 (7:35 pm)

            Thanks, Math Teacher!  You’re correct only 40k die from auto accidents.   Not as compelling as the world totals I incorrectly quoted but my point is still valid.  You are as just as likely to die from an automobile accident but that doesn’t prevent us from driving.  Regarding the comparison to lighting….my point is still equally valid, you are much more likely to get struck by lighting than being hospitalized or dying from if you don’t live in a nursing home.  I’m sure people get seriously hurt and die from lighting strikes but similar to coronavirus, I don’t know if anyone or that’s been hospitalized or died from coronavirus.  

          • Stay well May 26, 2020 (11:37 am)

            To your point regarding the risks we take with driving…

            Consider for a moment, all the infrastructure, and mitigation strategies our society has developed to reduce the risks and prevent deaths from driving. Consider also that people, for the most part, choose to drive defensively to avoid getting in accidents.

            Now, consider how many more accidents and deaths there would be if there wasn’t infrastructure, education, licenses, laws, and individual responsibility taken to avoid getting in accidents.

            The current approach in managing the pandemic, similarly, is also trying to develop infrastructure and mitigation strategies to reduce unnecessary illness and deaths.

            Many people are choosing to take individual responsibility (wearing masks) and defensive actions (social distancing, staying home) to avoid illness and possibly death, for themselves and others.  If it weren’t for these efforts, there would be many many more cases and deaths.

            Disconcertingly, some are responding to this health crisis like a drunk driver, who is not following laws or safety guidelines, is not wearing a seatbelt, and all the while is swerving and shouting about their freedom, their perceived invincibility, and calling everyone else trying to behave responsibly on the roadway ‘sheep.’

      • Neil May 24, 2020 (8:43 pm)

        The point about most of the severe cases/deaths coming from nursing actually proves that simply “quarantining” the elderly and vulnerable and letting the rest of us go back to normal won’t work. Nursing home residents are in constant contact with employees there – folks who would not need to stay at home according to your logic. And most vulnerable people with underlying conditions live with spouses and children, who would be going back to work and school in your scenario. Should those (otherwise healthy) vulnerable people just live in the basement permanently and not have contact with their family for months on end? What some people don’t seem to understand is that we have to also protect those who are in contact with high-risk people as well. You are fortunate that you don’t have any high-risk people in your orbit, but please try to be mindful that many of us do. That’s why staying home, wearing a mask, and social distancing needs to be for everyone – not just old, sick people. 

    • Seaweed May 24, 2020 (11:04 pm)

      @MathTeacher;    as of May25: World Total sars2-ncov2 deaths = 346,761

    • Seaweed May 24, 2020 (11:53 pm)

      @MathTeacher; World Total this year from all causes May 25: twenty three million, three hundred and fifty five thousand and counting…

  • Flynmac May 23, 2020 (7:01 pm)

    Thank you Math Teacher!I love the quote “people are entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts”.

    • Smittytheclown May 23, 2020 (7:45 pm)

      I used facts.  You are all in denial. 

      • Hg May 23, 2020 (9:24 pm)

        Smitty – Math Teacher pointed out how wrong your facts were. Own it. 

  • anonyme May 24, 2020 (8:13 am)

    People who are 60 years old are not defunct and decrepit.  Most are still working, and probably contributing more to society than their younger counterparts.   The idea that anyone over 60 should be locked up due to increased vulnerability assuming they have nothing better to do, while everyone else runs amok spreading the virus, is absurd.  Having been in quarantine for going on four months now, I can tell you that there is a myriad of practical issues that make life very, very difficult.

    • heartless May 24, 2020 (6:51 pm)

      “People who are 60 years old are not defunct and decrepit.”  YES!

      Most are still working, and probably contributing more to society than their younger counterparts.”  Um, no, and you probably shouldn’t have gone there.

      The idea that anyone over 60 should be locked up due to increased vulnerability assuming they have nothing better to do, while everyone else runs amok spreading the virus, is absurd.”  YES!  Agree completely, and more people should be angry about this!

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