Sunday, May 10, 2020

What's the summer look like?

We're on the down slope. The State of Massachusetts has had eight consecutive days of declining new cases of Covid-19.


But, we don't know what the summer will look like.

Baker's task force is scheduled to report on May 18 - jut a week way. Until then, we really won't know with any degree of certainty what activities will be allowed on the Cape this summer.

The marina's and golf courses are open. But, the bathrooms are not. If you have a prostrate problem, you might want to rethink to equipment needs.

Barnstable Town manager, Mark Ells, indicated that the beaches will open provided that residents adhere to strict social distancing. Ells plans to have police, natural resource officers and staff at the beaches to monitor compliance.


I don't know whether or not short term rentals will be allowed. Currently, stays under 31 days in length are to allowed. There's a $300 fine for unauthorized rentals.

I don't know if the hotels will be allowed to open.

And, I understand that some second homeowners have been approached by neighbors for crossing the bridge and  not self-quarantining for 14 days.

And, there may not be many places to find a meal (or, even an ice cream). Apparently several take-out places witnessed boorish behavior from unruly patrons.

The weather is improving nicely.. The fish are BIG and plentiful. If no one come to visit, it might be the  best summer ever (provided you have a place to stay).

I'll focus more on our plans to re-open going forward. Stay safe!

Saturday, May 02, 2020

In for the long haul

We're not seeing a decline in the numbers.

On Friday, the State reported 2106 new cases - that's a three day increase. The percent infected dropped to 15%. That's the good news.

There were 154 deaths.

Channel 5 has the best graphs.  Again, the noticeable decline in percent infected is our best hope right now.


There's a slew of new advisories. Basically you know have to wear a mask when you are off your property this includes neighborhood walks, the beach, and the stores.

The county issued guidelines for the summer. They are planning to keep the hotels and motels shut down for all non-essential travel.


If you need a little vitamin D, you may need to find your sun elsewhere this summer.

If you are interested in plans to re-open the state, you might enjoy this presentation

Mass. High Technology Council COVID-19 Recovery and Return to Work Series: Framework for Restarting the MA 


You have to join VIMEO to view the above presentation. Or, you can download the PDF, here:

Monday, April 27, 2020

A shot of disinfectant

If the skeptics are proven correct, you won't be needing a shot of disinfectant with your quarantini.

There's an anonymous twitter account called the Ethical Skeptic that has drawn a large following for his/her reporting on coronavirus. He/she has produced the most legible analytics available.


The Skeptic has been producing an Attentodemic Chart. What's that you say?

Attentodemic – a pandemic which arises statistically for the most part from an increase in testing and case-detection activity. From the two Latin roots attento (test, tamper with, scrutinize) and dem (the people). A pandemic, whose curve arises solely from increases in statistical examination and testing, posting of latent cases or detected immunity as ‘current new cases’, as opposed to true increases in fact.

Sure sounds like something we've been doing in MA. As testing ramps up, case detection increases even without increasing hospitalizations. We cling to this new case number, but we should moderate that view with an understanding of "daily percent positive."

We've talked about this percentage.

MA is starting to look okay. We started at around 10-12% positive, peaked at 32% and have gradually trended down. On Sunday there was a pronounced drop in new cases with only 17% of some 9255 tests producing a positive result.


The US as a whole is doing even better. According to tweet by the Skeptic yesterday was an encouraging day:

A very encouraging day overall. A 32% drop in percent positives in one single day. 269,799 tests with a 10,000 positive case drop to 10.1% positive.
CA dropped from 16% to 5.1% positive - could be just an anomaly of reporting/test arrivals. We shall see.

The weekend numbers in MA are usually a little screwy. By Wednesday, we'll know whether or not the improving trends are for real.

As of Saturday, Barnstable county cases where listed at 772. We're doing well here also, but keep in mind that this case count is up from 255 on April 1st - a three fold increase in just under 4 weeks.  This, too, could be an  attentodemi, but we won't know if we're out of the woods until we get some more data. Check back on Thursday.

Friday, April 24, 2020

Spoke too soon

The numbers are surging in East Boston. The city set up a walk-in test facility for the first time and increased the number of daily tests to 14,000. It wasn't that long ago that Baker was trying to get to 3,000 tests a day.


There are also a new town-by-town numbers available.


The Town of Barnstable continues to have one of the lowest infection rates in the State with 133 active cases and an infection rate of 296 per 100,000 as compared to Boston with 6744 active cases and an infection rate of 970 per thousand.

Brewster had an early out-break, but they have only 64 active cases and an infection rate of 645 per 100,000 compared to Chatham with 8 active cases and an infection rate of 134 per 100,000. Dennis has 42 cases and an infection rate of 317 per 100,000.

My concern is that these rates are not leveling off. The rate of infection is slowly and steadily increasing on the Cape. Hoping the warmer weather in June and July will help. Until then, the rain ought to keep us all safely inside.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Peak day

Maybe, we've passed the peak.

The State updated their reporting format. It shows that new cases have declined for 4 consecutive days. The percent of positive tests has leveled out just shy of 30%. Barnstable is up to 664 active cases, but still few deaths.


Hope you enjoy the weather today. Warm and sunny on the Cape. Well, it's not really warm, but it is sunny!

Saturday, April 18, 2020

June 8th or later

It's doesn't look like we'll be out of the woods any time soon. According to a new model by our friends in Washington State, the soonest Massachusetts will be open for business is some time after June 8th.  

This model will put a lot of pressure on Baker. He's planning to coordinate  a regional opening with New York. We're lagging New York and will likely be the last state in New England to open.

It looks like openings in Virginia and Kentucky could also be delayed until June. Michigan and Minnesota are on a good path. They may be open in May.

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

It's only been a month

I'm getting ever so slightly annoyed by all this posturing about opening up the economy.

This public health fiasco has played out in Massachusetts for just over five weeks. The State started publicly posting active case counts on March 6th. I re-opened this blog on March 13th to track those numbers. At the time, I was just trying to wrap my head around what was in store for us.

Back on March 15th, we had 164 Covid-19 cases in Massachusetts. 108 of those where associated with the Biogen Conference. There were 31 cases in Suffolk county and only 1 in Barnstable.

Two weeks latter on April 1st, we had 7738 active cases in Massachusetts including 1624 in Suffolk County and 255 in Barnstable.

Yesterday, we had 28163 cases in Massachusetts including 5872 in Suffolk County and 514 in Barnstable.

Barnstable is clearly lagging, but I'm not seeing an end in sight in Boston.

There is hopeful talk of a peak in a week or two as soon as the 20th of April, but the number of positive tests to new tests is still at only 28%. This approximation of our "Estimated Cumulative Infected" number has a ways to go before our "curve" flattens in a meaningful way.

So, optimistically, one more double and we're done. We'll see how that plays out.