Zero COVID Deaths in Texas Yesterday?

ZERO Covid deaths in Texas yesterday… The state is WIDE OPEN… Big winner: FREEDOM… Big loser: FEAR!

The Conservative Hammer

It is apparently true that Texas did not have any deaths attributed to COVID-19 yesterday. If you want to take a myopic view of what’s happening with COVID in Texas then reading far-right conservatives on Facebook certainly seems like a good way to do it.

The main problem with this view is that it ignores the bigger picture. It’s like reporting that on one day there were no people shot by police in the United States. It certainly doesn’t mean that police aren’t shooting people, or that police violence has isn’t still a problem. It’s simply a snapshot over a very short period of time where variation has the opportunity to create swings and dry spells. It also fails to look at what is happening with trends overall.

Once one bothers to dig a little bit deeper you can find that the 7-day rolling average death rate in Texas is currently sitting at 41, or about 0.15 per 100,000. These numbers are certainly far from the worst in the nation (that honor currently goes to Michigan), but it’s not the rosiest of pictures either.

So why look over 7-days you may ask? It has to do with trying to smooth out the data so that statistical anomalies don’t cloud the picture. By looking at the average over 7 days we get a better sense of what is actually happening over a short run, but also allows that view to be altered by new trends.

There is good news for Americans about COVID. Case rates are falling and that means that death rates will fall as well. Between vaccinations, the number of people who have been infected, and the warming weather which allows people to spend less time indoors (where the virus is more likely to be transmitted), the number of people who are getting sick and dying is going in the right direction.

There is hope to be had, but the fight won’t be over until we can reach a level of herd immunity, which will probably somewhere when around 80% of the population is vaccinated (which I doubt will happen in the US, given that evangelical Christians are much more likely to refuse the vaccine) or has been infected. I also hope that new strains don’t come along which are unaffected by existing antibodies. A new viral strain could put us right back to square one (but we can roll out an updated vaccine fairly quickly.)

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