Countering the fairly strong correlation between coronavirus cases and the size of the ethnically Chinese population at the state level come a pair of polls from SurveyUSA (N = 1,850). The organization asked respondents if anyone they know–a friend, a relative, a colleague, or a neighbor–has been diagnosed with coronavirus. The percentages who responded in the affirmative, by race:
Whites — 4.0%
Blacks — 8.5%
Hispanics — 8.5%
Asians — 7.0%
For those with numinous numeracy, it immediately jumps out. This suggests over 5% of the American population knows someone who has been diagnosed with coronavirus. That’s unbelievable. The country’s total diagnosed caseload as of this evening is ‘only’ 32,722.
For this to be accurate, the average size of the social network of those who know someone who has been diagnosed is an incredible 5,642 people! And that’s a conservative estimate of the size of the network. One of these surveys was taken a couple of days ago and the other last week, when the total caseload count was much lower and much, much lower, respectively.
Like so much else with this pandemic, these numbers are questionable, to put it mildly. When people panic, they see pandemonium everywhere. Histrionics and hysteria are on full display.
Speaking of questionable, it’s impossible not to be with regards to the US response up to this point. There are 37,000 automobile fatalities in the country each year. Half occur at night. By enacting a nationwide nighttime driving curfew, with exemptions for things like OTC trucking and emergency vehicles, upwards of 18,000 American lives could be saved. That’s forty times the number of people who’ve died from coronavirus in the US up to this point. Would that be more disruptive than indefinitely shutting the economy down?
It’s a tough situation. One of the kids gets sick on Saturday evening. Your wife wants to take her in to the children’s ER, just to be sure. Her temperature is almost 103, after all! You know it’s nothing the ER can do anything about. You don’t really want to get hit with the $200 co-pay. But what if you’re wrong? You’re probably not. You know you’re probably not. But what if you are? It’s untenable, so you relent and she takes your daughter in. When the bill comes, your I-told-you-so routine gets an indignant “$200 to make sure our daughter is okay is worth it every time” response. You’re the jackass, your wife’s a heroine.
The thing is that in this case, we’re not talking about a $200 bill. We’re talking about a $2 million bill that will wipe out your savings, cause you to lose the house, and lead to the repossession of all your stuff.