In March of this year, the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) was predicting a peak death toll for Indiana to be 1,681 by August 4th.
This highly cited prediction model was off….way off.
As of Monday Nov. 23 the total deaths attributed to Covid-19 in Indiana according to the Indiana State Health Department website is 5040.
Johns Hopkins University of Medicine reports Indiana death toll at 5305.
So, why were the models for Indiana so very wrong?
The short answer is that some of the assumptions used to produce these predictions have never materialized.
Social distancing outside has been virtually non existent in most communities across the State. Starting with Easter Day Services in jammed parking lots, crowded lines of people waiting for Dairy Queen, and even walking paths and sidewalks clogged with people wanting some exercise and fresh air.
Next up, the Face Covering Debacle. The CDC, Surgeon General, Department of Health and Human Services all strongly discouraged the public from wearing a face mask until they reversed course on April 5th. The message, however, had taken root already. Face mask would do more harm than good.
Federal employees up until mid April, were receiving threats of discipline for wearing a face covering. Many State and local governments followed the Feds example to keep their employees mask free.
While it may have been that “we just didn’t know how the virus spread” excuse is a reasonable one, Never did the Grand Announcement happen that a mistake was made. It was just left for individuals, businesses, whoever, to finally start processing the information and determine that face masks reduce the spread of Covid-19.
Next up, testing.
In the March and April the Covid-19 test was reserved for the sickest patients being admitted into the hospital. By mid May some of the general public was able to get tested after a lengthy online signup or a referral from a doctor. With many doctors not ordering the test due to lack of supplies.
Fast forward to September. Anyone can get a test using the same complicated online signup or by going to a testing site if you are SICK. Those that are asymptomatic must still use the ISHD Optum services to get tested.
This reporter took a test at 9AM on Saturday and as of 10PM on Thursday, I still do not have the test results. Try doing some contact tracing on this one Vigo County Health Department. I estimate that I have come directly in contact with 36 people of whom I have interacted with for more than 15 min. If those 36 interact with 36, then by the time my test results are in I might have over 1200 contacts for Joni Wise at the Health Department to trace.
Update: 3:00AM Thursday still no test results. Closing in on 5 days.
And according to ISDH website I can see that my test has not been an existing or reported test.
(Ain’t gonna happen. Never has, never will). Stick to inspecting Bobby Ques food truck for hand washing and fly infestations VCHD.
These are all the indicators of Epic Failure. The same failures we started with in March.
The interesting fact that Big Ten football announced that they have decided to resume football Oct. 24th due to their ability to test all players, coaches, and support staff Daily with rapid results in 15 minutes.
So, college and pro sports can test Daily with results in minutes. 5 days later, I may or may not be a walking, talking, human petri dish of Coronavirus.
So while Federal, State, and local leaders all clap one another on the back and sing the praises about the great steps being taken during this Pandemic, the reality is a test result still takes a week, they are cumbersome to get and everyday you will see as many people not wearing a face mask as you do wearing one.
The GOOD NEWS:
Business is open and the Police, EMT, Nurses, are being pressured to not use the Familes First Corona Relief Act to provide 80 hrs. of sick leave when they have a sore throat, headache, cough, etc.
Teachers and private sector employees are all taking advantage of FFCRA, squeezing every last hour of free time off before the Dec. 31st deadline.
Safety First and what not.
While law enforcement, in all its forms, are under attack, these same dedicated men and women refuse to just buckle under the 16hr work days of being taken for granted. Every cop and nurse in Indiana knows that if they take a day off, they just forced their co-worker into another double shift. Double exposure, weakening the immune system, and inviting exhaustion errors.
So, how high will the Indiana Covid-19 death toll rise? Whats the new prediction?
The latest projection from IHME is predicting about 9903 Hoosier will have died from Covid-19 by March 1st 2021. This is using a model that never moves Indiana into Gov. Holcomb’s Phase 5.
Indiana is not doing very well with phase 4.5
You may recall the that TerreHauteNews reported back in April that Indiana was “Lowering the Death Surge” by utilizing an accounting trick on reporting the numbers.
Once again, those “reporting” methods have allowed for much of the State, and Vigo County to again start to proclaim victory by spreading the results out over.
Indiana and the Federal Government have one thing in common. A solid plan, a disdain for it’s employee’s, and the leadership skills necessary for continued mediocrity viewed as exceptionalizm.