Monthly Archives: April 2020

A Covid Story — Something is Rotten in Denmark

No it’s not in Denmark. Please forgive the bad Shakespearian reference.

But something is wrong (or right) in India, and Russia, and Pakistan and other countries in Asia.

The worldwide Covid-19 epidemic is not effecting any of these three countries, and others in Asia even remotely like it has impacted the United States and Europe — not even close.

Just by way of introduction, let’s look at some of today’s (4/13/20) numbers from the Johns Hopkins website (link below)

Covid 19

United States — 553,526 cases, 23,146 deaths

Russia – 18,288 cases, 148 deaths

India – 9,240 cases, 331 deaths

Pakistan – 5,374 cases, 93 deaths

We can immediately see the differences.  And let’s point out, these are not small countries. Russia has about 145 million people, Pakistan has 221 million, and India 1.35 billion people, almost tied with China for the most populated countries on the planet.

How is it then, that these vast and densely packed countries have far fewer cases of Covid-19 than the United States?

But wait, it gets worse. It is somewhat vague comparing countries, but what if I told you that thirteen US states have more cases than India or Pakistan,  and nine of those states also have more cases than Russia? Those states are California, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Washington state.

So why? Why the difference? The United States reported it’s first Corona Virus Case on January 20th.  India and Russia were not far behind, on January 30 and 31st respectively. Pakistan did not report until February 26th.  From the beginning, cases in the US spread like wildfire, but not in these other countries.

What is different? Could it be diets, climate, type of health care? Is there something genetic about the virus, something in the Asian genome that makes Asians less suseptable to the virus? Or is it something else?

I don’t know what it is, but I do know that the numbers are vastly different and no one seems to be paying much attention to that. Maybe I’ve been quaranteened too long, maybe I’m just nuts. But the numbers are still the numbers.

Don’t take my word for it. Links to the relevant websites are below, check them out for yourself and feel free to tell me I’ve gone off the deep end —or not.


Johns Hopkins Covid-19 Dashboard

The Covid Tracking Project

World Health Organization (WHO) COVID-19 Main Page



Scottsbluff — A Covid Story

American flag blowing, close-up

I was reading a discussion thread on Facebook about two weeks ago. The discussion was about the Covid-19 virus and how it was spreading.

Another commenter mentioned the town of Scottsbluff, Nebraska. He was pointing out that remote parts of the country were not experiencing the virus, and said there were no cases in Scottsbluff.

This caught my eye, because I’ve been to Scottsbluff.

Back in the early 1990’s we took a driving vacation in the Midwest.  We visited Scott’s Bluff National Monument, and spent the night in the town of Scottsbluff.  It’s a sleepy little town with a population of around 15,000, pretty much in the middle of no where.  It’s about sixty miles off Interstate 80 in Western Nebraska. The closest “city”( population 65,000) is Chyenne, Wyoming, about 100 miles away.

So anyway, I was not surprised that the virus had not found it’s way to Scottsbluff, it’s not easy to get there.

I don’t know why, but a few days later, I looked at the Johns Hopkins website which tracks all the reported cases of Covid-19 worldwide.

There was one case of the virus in Scottsbluff.

Somehow, someway. this virus had made it’s way across the country, off the Interstate into the High Plains of Nebraska. One case, just one, but it was there.

A few days later I checked again — There were three cases in Scottsbluff.

I  just checked the Johns Hopkines website. Scottsbluff Nebraska currently has ten cases of the Corona Virus.

Zero cases to three cases to ten cases in less than two weeks. No deaths so far, thank God, but the implications are there.

How did it get there? Who knows? A truck driver, a resident returning home from a trip?  A traveler passing through? We’ll probably never know.

Scottsbluff isn’t alone. Look at the John’s Hopkins map, and it is covered with tiny little red dots; small towns everywhere with at least one case of Covid-19: Gove, Kansas;  Henry, Missouri; Randolph, Arkansas, Crenshaw Alabama; Iron, Wisconsin; Aroonstook, Maine. Thousands, literally thousands of little red dots. The virus has penetrated every nook and cranny of the country.

As of today, (4/11) there are  503,594 confirmed cases of the virus in the United States. The death toll stands at 18,860.  That’s a death rate of 3.7%, far higher than any flu we’ve ever seen.

Is it tapering off; is “social distancing” working? I don’t know, maybe, maybe not. It’s too soon to tell. I do know this — One case of the virus can go to three and to ten cases pretty damn quickly.  Don’t think for a moment this virus is going away because we want it to.  We still have a pretty long road to travel.


Johns Hopkins Covid Website

Scottsbluff, Nebraska