My occupation is a statistician. I tell people it is like "CSI without dead bodies" because analyzing a set of data that has been collected is like doing an autopsy on a deceased person in the sense that I'm trying to learn what I can from what statistics and information are available. Except in this case the information does not involve gross things. For me the research process can be humorous, scary, but always captivating.
The graph above shows how the rise in cases appears to be levelling off in Cambria County since Donald Trump came here on October 13. The 7 day average for new cases reached a high of 214.29 on Dec 11 and has steadily decreased to 96.57 on Dec 25 (a 54.7% decrease) as can be seen in the solid black line in the graph below.
Also in the graph above we see that the 7 day average number of test results presented per day in the county (dotted red line in the graph) also decreased from 335 per day on Dec 11 and also decreased to 182 per day on Dec 25, a decrease of 45.7% over the same period. This is a 9% smaller rate of decrease than that of cases in the county.
This graph above shows how the cumulative positive testing rates for the county (dotted blue line), Pennsylvania (red line), and the U.S. (yellow line). The 7 day average for positive tests peaked at 68.29% on Dec 8 to 53.14% on Dec 25. This is only a 22.2% decrease which is smaller than the decrease in cases and testing.
While it is encouraging to watch the number of new positive cases decrease in Cambria County, the smaller decrease in the positive cases suggests that there may be more cases that are being missed, especially outside of Greater Johnstown. The 7 day average for deaths in the county peaked at 8.14 per day on December 17 and decreased to 5 per day this Christmas day. The peak in deaths came 6 days after the peak in cases in the county. Lets hope the trend continues. The Governor's order against dine in restaurant eating and gym us appears to be curtailing the rise in cases. I wish I had better news this Christmas night.
Dave Sutor of the Tribune Democrat has tweeted that Conemaugh Memorial hospital has rented refrigerator trailers to handle possible over crowding at the morgue.
In addition to the school district estimates that I posted about two weeks ago the Census bureau has produced estimates for every county and municipality in the US just in time for the holidays. For Johnstown the poverty rate increased to 38.7% while it decreased slightly for Cambria County, Pennsylvania and the US. This is according to the federal definition of poverty which is about $30,000 for a family of four.
The census bureau also produced median household income estimates for the same counties and municipalities in the US for 2018. For Johnstown there was a slight increase of $658 in the median income which is still well below the county, state, and US medians. This increase was within the $1,770 margin of error so we must conclude that there is really negligible change in the median income. The median for Cambria County did decrease in 2018 by $844 in 2018 while the state and US medians increased by $1,786 and $1,601 respectively. The PA and US increases were outside their margins of error while Johnstown's and Cambria's were not. On Christmas Eve PBS Frontline rebroadcast a documentary on the effect of poverty on children in the US. It's not just a Johnstown problem. Unfortunately they do not allow me to embed it here but you can watch it at the link here. Merry Christmas to all.
We hear songs all the time without really thinking about what their saying. I never gave the song Baby it's Cold Outsidea second thought until the recent controversy. Recently I read a good critique of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer by Jade Saab called Be Useful or Die that argues that Rudolph became accepted after his nose became useful to Santa.
I've loved the song Do You Hear What I Hear.since I was a kid. I always found it soothing in tense times. The lyrics can be seen below. It has four verses. In the first two verses the night wind tells the little lamb about the star and then the little lamb tells the shepherd boy about a song high above the trees. This sounds like how rumors get started. Verses 3 and 4 can be seen below.
Said the Shepard boy to the mighty king Do you know what I know In your palace wall mighty king Do you know what I know A child, a child Shivers in the cold Let us bring him silver and gold Let us bring him silver and gold
The Shepherd boy tells the king about the boy shivering in the cold and suggest they give him silver and gold. Would silver and gold take away the boys chills by itself? Couldn't the shepherd boy knit the boy a sweater? He has plenty of access to wool. It would itch like crazy though. In Matthew's gospel the Wise Men or Magi only give the baby Jesus Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh. The Shepherd boy wants to one up the Wise Men.
Said the king to the people everywhere Listen to what I say Pray for peace people everywhere Listen to what I say The child, the child Sleeping in the night He will bring us goodness and light He will bring us goodness and light
This king sounds a lot nicer than Herod the Great, who, according to Matthew's gospel, ordered the deaths of all firstborn baby boys under the age of three in Bethlehem after the Wise Men left. Christian fundamentalists may see this as biblical revisionism. I seldom hear it sung in Catholic church. Other Churches might use it. The song never mentions Jesus by name.
The song was written in 1962 by Noel Regney and Gloria Shayne Baker. According to Wikipedia, it was written as a plea for peace during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Buon Natale a` tutti.