Iron County Progressive

COVOD-19 – The Wisconsin Disaster

In Wisconsin we are facing some very dark days in the next month or two.  The virus is spreading, seemingly, out of control.  Above is a graph of daily new cases from March 18th through October 31st.  It clearly shows that the future does not look good.  We are not “turning the corner.”  In fact, the inflection of the curve is upward, and epidemiological curves don’t do 90 degree bends.  So, it’s going to get worse before it gets better.

Deaths are climbing too.  The graph above shows daily deaths (blue) and seven-averages over the same period of time (red).

Our research shows that the curves match quite well, with deaths lagging new cases by 27 to 33 days.  The deaths curve today is, therefore, reflecting new cases on about day 196, October 1st.  Since October 1st, the seven-day average of deaths has risen from 11.43 to 37.29, while seven-day  case averages have risen from 2,400.57 to 4,400.29.  That is an 83% increase.  If deaths increase proportionately, the seven day average of deaths on November 30th will be about 57 per day.  Perhaps that toll is baked in.  In the next 30 days the projected number of additional deaths here in Wisconsin 1,400, just 300 short of doubling the total number of deaths since March 18th,  Three hundred fifty persons have died here  in the last 10 days.

Our president claims that “We’ve done a great job,” “We’ve turned the corner” and “We did all we could.”  In Wisconsin, we’ve done next to nothing with the Republican legislature blocking any efforts to save lives on the part of the governor.


Just compare our (non)efforts with those of the nation of South Africa. 

“Why South Africa ?” you say.  Well, it’s a country with which I am familiar and I have good friends there who keep me up to date.  It is also what our President called “a shit-hole country” from which one could expect poor results compared to the richest, most advanced country.  It is a country with many very poor people, some in very trying circumstances.  It has a constant influx of refugees from central Africa, some years up to 10% of its total population.  It is just 28 years out of apartheid.

But, from my observation, it is a country much less divided than ours.  Race relations are surprisingly good. One of my friends is active in the conservative Democratic Alliance party.  One afternoon, out in the bush, we sat with the finance minister from the center-left  African National Congress party and had a beer and a friendly and constructive conversation about land reparations.

The graph above shows the results, so far, of doing nothing compared to a strict and well-thought-out pandemic response.  The red line is the seven day average of new cases per 100,000 for Wisconsin, the blue line, 7 day average of new cases per 100,000 for South Africa.  Again, the time span is from March 18th to October 31st. 

What did South Africa do compared to our do nothing?  Early on they instituted a nationally coordinated 5-stage program with the fifth stage being a severe shut-down for about a month.  During that time travel between provinces was severely restricted, bars, restaurants, hotels closed and travel to and from the country was restricted to South African citizens – with quarantining required.  Liquor and cigarette sales were halted.  The COVID-19 Risk Adjusted Strategy was very thoroughly documented.  All citizens knew what to expect and were kept informed of progress. You can read the whole program here:

Of course, there was conflict, but the government stuck with the program.  You can read some opposing opinions here:

and encouraging opinions here:

On this day, October 31st, 2020, in South Africa, population of 57.78 million, there were 1,371 new cases and 46 deaths.  On that same day in Wisconsin, population 5.86 million, there were 5,278 new cases and 59 deaths.  We need to pull together, depoliticize the pandemic and shut this thing down.

Sources of Data

For Wisconsin:

For South Africa: