Note: This thread is related to #Coronavirus #COVID19

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Derek Thompson+ Your Authors @DKThomp Writer at @TheAtlantic. Host of podcast CRAZY/GENIUS. Author of book HIT MAKERS. Talker on NPR's @hereandnow and @CBSNews. derek[at]theatlantic[dot]com Jun. 22, 2020 1 min read + Your Authors

The most important COVID story right now is the age shift.

In Texas: Young adults driving the spike. 

In Arizona: COVID cases growing 2X faster among ages 20-44 than 65+.

In Florida: Median age of new COVID cases fell from 65 in March to 35 this week —>

Why is this the most important story right now? Two reasons.

1. It helps resolve (for now) a statistical mystery: Why are cases accelerating but deaths (for now!) not accelerating?

A: New cases are younger, and young ppl have lower fatality rate.

2. The recent COVID case acceleration is being driven by three big states—Texas, Arizona, and Florida.

Caveat: This stuff is complicated, esp since our capacity to treat the disease AND our capacity to measure the disease are both dynamic, so it's hard sometimes to know if we're measuring reality or measuring our capacity to measure. More theories here —>

In closing: Accelerating cases among a low-risk group might be BETTER than accelerating cases among a high-risk group, but that doesn't mean it's GOOD; and hundreds of thousands of infected young ppl milling about in a haphazardly opening economy is, in fact, VERY BAD.

(To anticipate the inevitable, correct reply to that last tweet: This disease is not, in the big picture, "low risk" even for young adults whom it doesn't kill, or hospitalize. The long-term effects of the disease are unknown.)

Important point here about how the shifting age distribution of the disease represents, in part, changes in testing.

If age distribution of US COVID cases really is shifting toward young people, we should eventually see it show up in the age distribution of deaths.

You can follow @DKThomp.


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