I'm happy to announce the launch of our very own community hotline phone number! Meanwhile, Covid-19 infection and death rates have remained stubbornly constant the past few weeks, so the R0 transmission curve has been "bent" but not broken yet, even as some restrictions start to lift. It looks like a long slog ahead of us, and I remain grateful that we can help each other through it.
Any North Crown Hill resident may call and leave a message at any time requesting neighborly assistance with whatever needs or questions they may have. It's not for emergencies: call 911 or these numbers for that. But I am very excited that we now have a way to connect and support our neighbors who don't have the access or inclination to use the internet. The phone number is:
<redacted from web archive>
Please don't share this number publicly (so we can avoid spammers), but do program it into your phone and share it with your family members and neighbors, particularly any seniors or immuno-compromised folks who could use help lowering their risks. You can find more info about how it works at www.northcrownhill.com/hotline/, as well as a sign-up form for those who would like to join the neighbor support team that will watch the chat for voicemails and coordinate assistance.
King County Transmission Rate
The Institute for Disease Modeling in Bellevue put out a new analysis of King County data a few days ago. Here's the key graph from that paper (annotated for clarity) showing that the transmission rate into the start of April was not significantly lower than 1 (every infected person infects one more person).
The local numbers have been holding steady, and frankly that worries me. I had been hoping that the strength of our "non-pharmaceutical interventions" (lockdown) would have resulted in an R0 of 0.5 or lower, so we would have room to relax some measures while still having cases continue to decrease. Instead, we appear to be walking a tightrope that is neither disaster nor recovery. Opening up fishing and construction still seems reasonable, but we're going to have to dance carefully with social policy for quite a while.
Serowhat? This is the study of measuring antibodies in people's blood, which comes from having had the virus. These have popped into the news in the last week, and sadly the first couple studies coming out of California were quite untrustworthy - I've collected some expert reviews here on that. Meanwhile, it is plausible that 20% of New York City grocery shoppers have had it, given that they've had over 20,000 deaths in that one city. Regardless, not even NYC is anywhere close to being protected by "herd immunity" so these data are interesting but not really useful.
NCH Outreach Progress
I have now completed one full sweep through the neighborhood, knocking on over 350 doors in the last 1.5 months (this is a map of household status):
For 148 households, that "touch" was merely leaving a flyer, but of the folks I've actually talked to, 82.5% have already become members.
I plan to continue outreach for a few more weeks, maybe even a mass snail-mail now that the hotline number exists.
18 out of 70 confirmed Covid-19 cases in our 98177 zip code
have died, which is +6 and +24 since my last newsletter. That high mortality rate indicates that nursing homes or senior living centers may make up the plurality of local cases.