I refused to ask the question: Why does the difference in death rates continue to rise to over 10 times if it is communicated sick-to-well for a rural county over a (sub)urban county?
You can ask, but I refuse to do so. It will lead down an avenue with answers similar to those Jack Nicholson got in the 1974 movie, Chinatown, I fear.
Remember the phrase, “its Chinatown…”
So, the model we have is those who are sick pass it on to those who are well – sick-to-well. That is the curve we are trying to flatten by minimizing social contact through social distancing. That is a HUGE assumption. It goes in the face of every pandemic humanity has faced. What if the virus was already present? What if SARS-CoV mutated many times in a similar fashion until one or two strains, pathogenic strains, won out between all the SARS-CoV subspecies? That is how every known pandemic among humanity has worked in the past.
“If pandemic influenza spread from sick-to-well by contact, then it should diffuse with reasonable rapidity over short distances. Yet it does not seem to do so. Could it be that somehow the organism that caused the epidemic was already present, but unrecognized, in various parts of the country?” – Dr. Edwin Shope, Rockefeller Institute, Commander USN
Second question. What is the control curve? I mean by this, how do we determine “if” we have “flattened the curve” enough. What is the control? There is none. It’s arbitrary.
We know that the virus infected rural residents in Benton County before it could “spread” from the cities. What does that say? Rural, meaning folks are spread out not in contact as much as a city. That is as far as this scientist can venture before going into both dangerous, as well as, speculative territory.
Of Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 by County in Washington State
10.6% death rate Benton (Tri-Cities and Rural)
6.6% death rate King (Seattle)
0.8% death rate Kitsap (Bainbridge Island and Bremerton)
1.9% death rate Pierce (Tacoma)
Kitsap County Census
Benton County Census