• Dean Cranney

Happy 4th of July and. . . Spokane COVID19 observations

I wanted to wish everyone a happy 4th of July! Having lived in various countries throughout the world has been a great experience for our entire family but I do have to say that I truly appreciate this great country! It reminds me of the statement from Winston Churchill in the house of commons years ago, "Many forms of Government have been tried, and will be tried in this world of sin and woe. No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed it has been said that democracy is the worst form of Government except for all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.…"

I also have had time today to check on on the COVID19 situation again. . .

I wanted to share a great website that our county health department puts out that really helps bring out information for Spokane County related to all things COVID19. The site is https://srhd.org/covid19cases. The State of Washington has similar sites for each county and the State as a whole.

I wanted to share some of my observations regarding our situation here in Spokane County including our trends and possibly outlook. . .

If you go to the website above, you can adjust the date range to get an idea of movement in the data sets. I personally went and compared what our stats looked like the end of May compared to the beginning of July or as updated as we have.

The trend looks to be that initially we had a larger number of cases that were in the older age ranges especially when compared with the percentage of the population each age range represents. Then when compared with current data we've seen the spike in cases the largest number of which have been in the age groups 20-29 (303 more cases); 30-39 (156 more cases); 40-49 (108 more cases); and 10-19 (101 more cases.)

If you do the same thing for hospitalizations you see the largest increase over that time has been ages 50-59 (12 more hospitalizations); 70-79 (9 more hospitalizations); 60-69 (7 more hospitalizations); and both 40-49 and 80-89 (5 more hospitalizations). *although in the 30-39 age category the number of hospitalizations actually fell by 1 but I believe that must have been someone that was admitted and unfortunately passed away prior to 24 hours of hospitalization.

The last comparison is the number of deaths. Again looking at the additional deaths in each age category from the end of May to today (and the total number to date):

Ages 0-9: none total to date: none

Ages 10-19: none total to date: none

Ages 20-29: none total to date: none

Ages 30-39: 1 total to date: 1

Ages 40-49: none total to date: none

Ages 50-59: 1 total to date: 5

Ages 60-69: none total to date: 5

Ages 70-79: 3 total to date: 12

Ages 80-89: 1 total do date: 13

Ages 90-99: none total to date: 3

Also of the 39 total deaths we have had, 23 are related to residents of nursing homes.

So just looking at this information it seems to me that

  • Initial cases hit the older populations more than the younger

  • Older patients have a higher likelihood of being hospitalized

  • Older patients have a higher likelihood of passing away from complications

  • Current spike in cases is significant

  • Current spike in cases appears to be in younger populations

  • Younger populations in Spokane County (and this is reflected nationally) have the lowest risk for hospitalization and subsequent death.

  • So overall still concerning but also reassuring that we are taking appropriate precautions; more of our population is getting this illness but it is the portion that is least likely to have complications; this is generating the herd immunity that will be key to protecting our most vulnerable populations.

I am NOT encouraging people to go out and get an infection for any reason but pointing out that the data we're seeing here is not entirely panic inducing and actually reassures me that the course of the pandemic here in Spokane County is going as we would expect. Our reasonable measures are appropriate while we weather the storm. Hopefully this storm will spend itself out quickly over the coming weeks!

Stay healthy and happy!

Please feel free to leave comments and especially any questions!

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