Slim odds for all the uproar

The model that projects coronavirus (CV) caseload applies New York City and New Jersey numbers to the rest of the country. Since most of the country doesn’t live the way those people live (apartments, subways -- all packed in and jammed together), that’s a major flaw in the model that predicted in some instances several times more cases than have actually been recorded.

For example, it predicted that over 121,000 people nationwide would be hospitalized with CV on April 1. The actual number was 31,142, about 25% of the prediction. That averages to 623 per state. In my state (Arizona) with its population of about 7m, that’s one person of every 11,236, or less than one percent of one percent.

And that’s by far the worst-case scenario. With wide, wide spaces, Arizonans live widely spread out. Our 7m people are about 37% of New York State’s population of about 19m. A rough-and-ready estimate using their numbers would be that our number of CV cases should at max be 37% of that 623 average, or 231 -- about one of every 30,300 people statewide. The Phoenix metro area dominates the rest of the state with about 5m of the total 7m. Phoenix, then, should have about 442 of those cases, leaving 181 among the remaining two million Arizonans. Just using these unstratified guesstimated numbers, your chances of having the virus are one in 11,050 or 0.00009% -- one percent of one percent. And that’s using New York numbers. Ours are undoubtedly far below that and will go even lower as the denominator increases.

Work all this out for your city and state. Remember that these are NY/NJ numbers, and the numbers where you live are almost certainly less. Appreciably less.

Pretty slim odds for all the sturm und drang.

Hunkering down is no way to live. Let’s get things going again.