Daily corona round-up

The fundamentals

I’m seeing way too many people on social media pushing for a quick and decisive return back to The Way Things Were. And one of them is the governor of Texas!

Obviously, everyone’s goal is to get back to public life: work, school, the earning and spending of money. And there are very good reasons we have not done so yet — they’re the same reasons we stayed at home in the first place. But to fully understand them, you must have a basic grasp on statistics and high school biology.

Let’s not bother with comparisons, because the coronavirus is its own thing. Comparing the COVID-19 death rate to cars and seatbelts is ridiculous, because car wrecks are not contagious. Same goes for cancer. And we can’t even compare it to the seasonal flu, because coronavirus may be an airborne virus — we just don’t know yet — which makes contagion more likely, and also because the death rate is exponentially higher than the numbers we have for the seasonal flu.

It was the No. 2 cause of death in the US this week. And though we’ve “flattened the curve” to an extent in North Carolina, this is still very much a problem. Front-line workers, like grocery clerks, are coming down with COVID-19. And some are dying.

I know everybody knows this. A Quinnipac poll found that 81 percent of registered voters support a nationwide stay-at-home order —including 68 percent of Republicans. There’s a lot more good stuff there that pertains to voters, if you’ve got the time.

But we’re drilled down on coronavirus news here today. So let’s look at the numbers.

The numbers

  • $8,005,752,270 — that’s the dollar amount of PPP loans approved by the SBA in North Carolina. Did you get yours? (Seriously, I want to know.)
  • Speaking of the Times, here’s a handy state-by-state chart showing where each state stands and where it needs to be in terms of testing before it could safely “reopen.”
  • Forsyth County’s slow trickle continues: Just one more confirmed today, for a total of 127.
    • Forsyth keeps a recovery count; found the data here. So far, 67 have recovered in Forsyth, and five have died.
  • Guilford County jumped five to make 176. They’re not reporting recovery data.
  • Yesterday’s case count in NC was adjusted to make 503, the largest single day yet. As of right now, we have 6,313 cases in the Old North State, but by the time you click the link there will probably be more.

A diversion

Network TV used to be really terrible. Back when all television was appointment television and we only had three channels’ worth of programs to choose from, we’d watch just about anything. One easy device the TV execs employed was to base a series on a hit movie. “MASH” was one of those shows — based on a movie that was itself based on a book. One of the biggest films of 1978 was Animal House, a raunchy college romp that was based on an essay in National Lampoon magazine. The film… does not age well. But it was the role that made John Belushi a household name. They tamed things down for the series, named “Delta House,” but a surprising amount of cast members from the film crossed over for the TV show. They couldn’t get Belushi. Anyway, here’s the pilot. It’s terrible.

Program Notes

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