The United States of America has about 340 million people. There are about 3.4 million confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection.

That’s 1 in 100.

For some places, like here in Siskiyou County, the ratio of cases to the population is quite different. We’ve got about 43 thousand folks here and 43 positive tests.

That’s 1 in a 1000.

Obviously there are places where the rate is much higher. LA county has 10 million residents and 140 thousand cases.

That’s 14 in a 1000, or 1.4 per 100.

That’s the problem, of course. Urban areas are more naturally impacted by a pandemic. Viruses don’t move, they need a host to get around. In crowded places (like New Orleans and New York City) it stands to reason that the virus will spread more easily.

So when I say 1:100 Americans have been infected that’s a broad generalization. It doesn’t apply to every region.

That does not make it any less alarming!

Germany has 83 million people and 200 thousand cases or 1:415.

The UK has 67 million people and 300 thousand cases or 1:223.

Sweden has 10 million people and 76 thousand cases or 1:134.

We may be, at this time, relatively safe here in Siskiyou County. After all, 1:1000 is ten times better than 1:100! But people move around. They travel. They visit friends and family. They do business outside of their homes. Not to mention that people in “hot spots” like to get away from there and go someplace safer. Someplace like Siskiyou County!

I like 1:1000 and I hope we can keep it that way. But I’ve got my doubts. I feel the inexorable pull of 1:100.

Tell me I’m wrong. Tell me I need not be concerned.

(Here’s the source of the country numbers. I used the county public health websites for the in-state numbers.)

6 thoughts on “1:100

    • Yeah I got it for about 30 sec and then they slipped their evil pop-up over it and told me once again how I’d exceeded my limit! It’s funny, I don’t use the Chronicle, I just sometimes click on a link in an article on another site (like MLBTR ) and it will be an sf.gate link and I think that’s why I keep getting cut off. I like to be sure I know the source of a story before I link to it in the blog and so I’m always bumping up against NYT or WaPo or WSJ or any other place that eventually puts a cap on visits.

      It’s OK. You can get a hell of a lot of data about the pandemic and in a hell of a lot of different forms for free.

      Our mutual good friends here with the house on the lake just informed me their next door neighbor tested positive and is asymptomatic. So, the virus is here.

      1:1000 is very reassuring, but it seems like people want it to mean “see, we don’t have anything to worry about” when I think it means “let’s stay vigilant and keep it that way.”


  1. From the NY Times case tracker: California has had just under 0.9 cases/100, you would expect California, with 1/10 of the national population, to drive the numbers. San Francisco has had just over 0.5 cases/100, Los Angeles just under 1.4/100. Imperial County is the worst, with 4.5/100. High numbers for a given county, nationwide, are usually driven by the presence of a prison or food processing facility in a sparsely populated county where an infection has occurred. The top infected countiesby percentage in California are Imperial, Kings, Lassen, Los Angeles, Tulare, Marin, and Riverside.


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