Covid-19 in Illinois and the U. S.

I am a resident of Illinois (IL), and also the United States (US). Of all the places in the world, these are two of them. I investigated how we in IL are suffering the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, compared to the national average. Following the assumption that most ICU beds and ventilators are used for hospitalized patients, I plotted those three categories together for both IL and the entire US (Figure 1). Early data are somewhat trimmed to eliminate showing periods of wildly inconsistent and inaccurate data collection.

Figure 1. Move the slider over the chart to switch between the IL and U.S. charts.

That’s a fancy reveal slider, but I prefer an alternative way to visualize the differences between IL and the US…First, I standardized the rates to per 100,000 capita:

gross count/population*100,000

then subtracted the U. S. rates from the Illinois rates:

rateIL – rateUS

Consequently, when a rate in Illinois is A) identical to the national average, the difference is 0 with no filling color, B) larger than the national average, the curve is above the abscissa and the filling is red, or C) smaller than the national average, the curve is below the abscissa and the filling is green. The resulting plots show when, since April 4th, 2020, the Illinois rate is higher than, lower than, or the same as the national average (Figure 2). Click on the thumbnail images to view the full version.

While Illinois (read: Chicago) wasn’t the first state in our glorious Union to be hit by the pandemic, it was certainly one of the early states, (generally those with large, densely-populated cites and high-traffic travel centers) to see significant numbers of Covid-19 coronavirus cases and the attendant medical consequences. As the virus has surged across the country, and I refuse to get into comparisons here with the world at large (please don’t look at my other posts), Illinois’ “success” in dealing with the pandemic has correlatively increased. I suggest that there are three primary impetuses behind this trend: 1) pandemic spread is highly correlated to population density, 2) lacking a coordinated federal response, state countermeasures are widely varied, and 3) Impetuses is the correct plural form. I looked it up.

That’s all for today. I’d like to avoid any overly-political statements for the moment, so let me just say this: while a month ago I might not have agreed with myself, I’m currently glad I live in Illinois, and not the United States.

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