The vaccinated rate (not shown) is now near 70% with the fully vaccinated rate around 59% in the US. A fourth wave of deaths that begin in the mid-summer appears to be receding, but may give way to a fifth and worse wave over the winter - it is unlikely to be as bad as winter of 2020-21 though. Hopefully the vaccinated rate continues to inch up and may move up more substantially with vaccines expanding to ages 5 and over. The Omicron variant could be good or bad news - if it is milder and spreads quickly, it could effectively offer more immunity for those who can survive it. According to my epidemiologist friends, a mild, fast-spreading variant is usually how pandemics come to an end. Of course, that is not certain and with deaths in the US already crossing 800,000, there is still good reason to take reasonable precautions.
See the Home Page for the weekly tracking maps for cases and deaths per million population.
I evaluated each state’s handling of the pandemic based on two equally weighted factors.
1. Deaths per capita
2. Deviation from forecasted results for that state as of May 2020 given the number of deaths that have occurred to date.
The second factor requires some explanation. I built a model of how deaths could be expected to occur by state using factors such as climate/temperature, population density, population, and meat-packing plant employees. I then allocated more aggregate forecasts – some very pessimistic so actually higher than numbers through the end of March and some a bit more optimistic. I then compared each state’s forecast with results through March 29, 2021 (the total deaths for the US adds to exactly the total deaths as of that date) – did they do better or worse than expected given the number of deaths.
I was fairly liberal in handing out higher grades. Best grades: Alaska, Hawaii, Maine, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. Worst grades: North Dakota, Alabama, South Dakota, Arizona, and Mississippi.
One can argue about Alaska and Hawaii in terms of remoteness and ability to control borders, but I can
tell you from my own experience in Hawaii there was very diligent management of the pandemic. I was a bit surprised Texas and Florida came out as well as they did and Arizona as poorly, but those are the numbers.
While I will continue to update the graphs on the home page, this will be my last evaluation of the pandemic response or state level analytics/forecasts. With vaccines soon open to all, it is hoped that by mid- summer this crisis is largely in the rearview mirror. (I feel fortunate to have had my first dose of Moderna now.)
The table below shows all the states with the two grades and the final weighted grade.