Comparing the Covid-19 Response The Right Way

Comparing the Covid-19 Response The Right Way

Background

The right way to compare the Covid-19 response is by Metropolitan Statistical Area in the US, or a roughly equivalent methodology which most other countries use (Example: Germany uses Metropolitan Regions). These metro areas are the best unit of measurement when comparing a country’s response because of several reasons:

  1. A metro area represents a unit of people that lives and works together
  2. The virus spreads through the interaction of people
  3. There is much less travel between metro areas right now
  4. The virus grows exponentially, so it will create hot spots mostly confined to these metro areas
So, as an example, let’s see how well the US is doing compared to Germany on April 10th, 2020 as I write this article. All all numbers are cited with links:

Germany

Berlin has a population of 3.7 million and about 165 Covid-19 deaths today, which makes it’s death rate approximately 1 in 22,424. Like Washington DC in the US, Berlin is both a city and one of Germany’s 16 Federal states. This makes it easy to find Covid-19 data, which makes it a good foreign metro area to compare the United States to.

United States

Detroit

The Detroit Metro area has a population of 4.2 million which covers most of Wayne, Macomb, and Oakland Counties. There have been 2451 (910 Wayne + 698 Macomb + 843 Oakland) deaths, making the death rate approximately 1 in 1713. The death rate is literally 13X as high in Detroit as it is in Berlin.
 

New York City Metro

The New York Metro Area has an estimated population of 23.7 million. There have been 19,200 deaths, making the death rate approximately 1 in 1234. The death rate is 18X as high in New York City as it is in Berlin.

Boston

The Boston Metro Area has an estimated population of 8.3 million. There have been 4557 (Norfolk, MA 635, Plymouth. MA 384, Suffolk, MA 703, Essex, MA 625, Middlesex, MA 1169, Worcester, MA 420, Briston, MA 260, Hillsborough, NH 40, Rockingham NH 27, Stratford, NH 9, Providence, RI 285), making the death rate approximately 1 in 1821. The death rate is 12X as high in the Boston Metro Area as it is in Berlin.

New Orleans

The New Orleans area has a population of 1.3 million. There have been 2,213 deaths, making the death rate approximately 1 in 587. The death rate is 38X as high in New Orleans as it is in Berlin.

Conclusion

I’ll let you do the math for other Metro Areas in the US, but I think it’s pretty hard to say that the United States’ response has been a 10 out of a 10 compared to the rest of the world.

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