How bad is COVID doing in our worst hit states vs Europe?
It's hard to really understand the immense scale of the disaster that's unfolding in our hardest hit states. The gulf between them, and areas that are handling the outbreak well...it's difficult to grasp.
In May, Florida and Oregon had similar levels of COVID-19. Since then, Oregon has seen a major increase, while Florida exploded to a level about 8x higher than Oregon.
In this context, Oregon looks pretty good, but they have seen a pretty serious increase. Let's compare Oregon to a state that's doing really well...Vermont.
Here, you can see the scope of Oregon's case growth, rising from nearly even with Vermont to a level that's about 6x higher.
Oregon isn't at a crisis level yet, but the trend is quickly heading in that direction.
Vermont had a significant outbreak, brought it under control, and seems to be maintaining a very low level of new cases. But how does Vermont compare to countries in Europe?
In this chart, Vermont is the orange line at the top. Compared to the countries in Europe that are doing average-to-good work on the outbreak, Vermont seems to be an outlier. It's COVID rate is about double that of France or Germany, and about 10x higher than Finland, which might be the best comparison for a small-population state without a high-traffic major city.
Florida is much higher than Oregon. Oregon is much higher than Vermont. Vermont is higher than most of Europe. When you put it all on the same chart, the scale simply collapses at the bottom.
Here, Finland, France and Germany are just flat lines at the bottom of the chart.
I highlighted Sweden, which is running about 25x higher than Finland, and even they are almost flattened to the bottom compared to Florida.
Look at Luxembourg. They've had an outbreak for three weeks, it's now about a quarter as bad as Florida's outbreak.
Compare how the two groups are reacting. Florida has no mask mandate, Disney World just reopened, and there is very little action from the government.
Luxembourg reacted to its much smaller outbreak with an emergency government session on Sunday, enacting fines of $600 for people who break quarantine (you've been in contact with a COVID case and are required to stay home), and fines up $9000 for businesses that don't properly enforce distancing restrictions.
Any bets on which curve comes down faster?