Alabama’s Covid Data Hero

Housekeeping: There was no post yesterday on Economist Writing Every Day. It was my day to write and family responsibilities just took up every minute. This might happen occasionally.

Last week I wrote about American Data Heroes. There are many that I don’t know of , but I wanted to share the work of tireless Frank McPhillips. For months he wrote a succinct post every single day within a private Facebook group for concerned citizens of Alabama. Recently he switched to Substack, meaning I can share it here.

McPhillips summarizes and explains the Covid data for the state of Alabama, where I live. This is data that is publicly available, but most people like myself don’t want to do as much work as he does to understand it. He also understands when the reporting might be wrong or late.

I’m going to quote from his most recent posts.

Dec 5:

The Chairman of the Madison County Commission was more blunt. “We’re now talking about alternative space for a morgue”, he said, adding that he has never faced such a decision in 25 years of public service.

According to HHS, 87.7% of Alabama’s ICU beds are occupied… Our State added 3,390 more COVID cases today (incl. 655 probables), raising the 7-day moving average to 3,228 cases per day, which is twice the daily average 3 weeks ago.

Dec 6:

With 473 more cases, Birmingham’s home county, Jefferson, has a 14-day positivity rate that tops 30% for the first time. 

Dec 7:

Now, brace yourself for the updated hospitalization data:  2,079 patients (105 reporting hospitals), a jump of 163 patients in a single day. The Huntsville Hospital system reported 378 COVID patients, an increase of 76 patients in one week. DCH Health system reported 138 patients, double the number just 9 days ago. And finally, Regional Medical Center (Anniston) announced new visitation restrictions due to the pandemic: “For end-of-life care, two visitors will be permitted to remain in the patient’s room, without leaving or re-entering the building and without substitution”.

I appreciate all his work. It’s obvious when he’s getting depressed or exhausted, but he’s decided to keep going (almost) every day. He keeps writing new prose on how this is the most deadly “war” of our time. He wants people to keep fighting back and not get complacent. See his Dec 7 post for more war comparisons.

McPhillips has helped a lot of people in his locality. He inspires me for Writing Every Day.

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