No, Miami was Never “Hard Hit” by COVID-19

Every day during the COVID-19 crisis, the media here would describe Miami as “hard hit” or a “hot spot” or the “epicenter” of the pandemic in Florida.

That was 100% horseshit.

According to the official statistics of the State of Florida, the pandemic in Miami-Dade county peaked on April 4, 2020 with 22 deaths. (See the chart below.)

22!

That’s literally 1/26th of New York City’s peak daily death toll of 581! (Chart here.)

Now, you might be thinking: “Yes, but NYC has more people, and the per-capita numbers are probably comparable.” Wrong. Florida has done fantastic per-capita too. As of May 11, 2020, this chart on Statista.com shows New York State with 137 deaths per 100,000 and Florida with only 8!

Miami Beach got international media coverage when spring-breakers refused to stop congregating on the beach. So, there were corpses stacked to the rafters in South Beach, right? Wrong! In the South Beach zip code of 33139, I can find only one resident who died of COVID-19. And even there, that victim was 79 years-old, in Mount Sinai for another condition, and was infected with COVID-19 while in the hospital. Today, the state is reporting 219 cases in 33139, but that is the total for the pandemic, and they do not say how many of those people have recovered. Most of them probably have recovered, and the number of active cases right now might only be a couple of dozen.

If you live in a real hot-spot like New York City, and can afford to do so, you would be crazy not to buy a place down here that you can flee to when the wheels come off up north. We have clean air, with no nearby petrochemical industry to weaken your lungs. We have plenty of sunshine to keep your vitamin D topped-up, and when the hotels are on lockdown, our population-density is downright spacious.

Daily COVID-19 deaths in Miami-Dade Country for March 16 – May 11, 2020 (click chart to enlarge):

Note: data is reported with a lag, so these numbers will continue to go up a little bit. And when we come off of lockdown, there are bound to be more cases and deaths.

Note: the media has tried to browbeat the State of Florida into including tourist deaths in their statistics in an effort to paint a bleaker picture. However, the state reports only cover residents. Were there a lot of tourist deaths? I don’t know, but I have been unable to find any at all in South Beach. The media reported on two Winter Party attendees who died, but they did not live in Miami Beach. If there were more, the media would have trumpeted them, so I would bet that the tourist death toll was very low.

Here are some death-stats that I compiled for this time-period:

Average age: 75.3
Median age: 78.0

Males: 299 (61%)
Females: 191 (39%)

Rashard Higgins Mystery Solved

During the 2019 season, Browns fans were baffled that one of their favorite players, Rashard Higgins, was benched. Higgins wasn’t talking, and neither was coach Freddie Kitchens. However, I think I have figured it out: Odell Beckham Jr. joined the team, and sucked the life out of all the other receivers (except Jarvis Landry).

Beckham demanded the ball, and a star-struck Baker Mayfield eagerly accommodated him. Baker also had to keep happy his other superstar receiver, Jarvis Landry. Baker was like a busy mother bird frantically feeding worms to her demanding hatchlings. Baker didn’t even see his other receivers. And it was all too predictable; one to Landry, one to OBJ; lather, rinse, repeat, and opponents didn’t even bother to double-cover OBJ most of the time. That third receiver in the slot? Don’t even bother covering him; Baker can’t see him. Baker went from being a superstar to one of the worst-rated quarterbacks in the NFL. Yes, there was an o-line issue, but whose fault was that? The OBJ trade.

From another perspective, you could say that Baker did his job perfectly: he ladled-out 1,174 yards to Landry and 1,035 to OBJ. While they will not admit it, that’s the metric the Browns were targeting. And they will probably do so again during the 2020 season.

The reason why Higgins became a fan favorite is that he is a clutch receiver. He has the rare skill of getting open and getting into Baker’s field of view. That’s the magic. Fans had one last taste of this magic in 2019 with Hig’s dramatic touchdown vs. the Bills:

In a season where the Browns went limp in the red-zone, Hig made it looks easy. Was he rewarded with more targets? Hell no. Hig finished the season with a grand total of 11 targets.

In 2018, Hig had 53 targets, which he turned into 4 touchdowns and 27 first-downs. So, 58% of the time, Hig turned his target into a big play. Fans ate that up with a spoon. It was pure heroin, and fans were drooling for more in 2019.

What the Browns did in 2018 was dramatically different to 2019. Baker threw mostly to Landry as they drove down the field. Then, when they got to the red zone, and the defense was keying on Landry, Baker threw to one of his other receivers for the score. Landry only had 4 touchdowns in 2018 as Baker spread the ball around.

It was genius, but cannot be reproduced with OBJ on the team.

The Browns should resign Higgins, and auction off OBJ to the team who will offer the highest draft pick.

But that isn’t going to happen. So, fans need to gird their loins for a repeat of 2019.

Update: the Browns resigned Higgins in May of 2020!

Higgins 2018 highlights:

Buckminster Fuller Wanted to Bomb the Rainforest

I am not making this up. Here is the exact quote from Fuller’s 1981 book, Critical Path, page 306:

“Certain it is that the jungle in no way lends itself to the easy, speculative wanderings of homesteaders and prospectors. An entirely different means for deploying the Brazilian population over the whole of their land for purposes of its development must be devised from those which augmented the pioneering of the U.S., Canadian, and Russian hinterlands.

Almost so simple that it will be shunned by those who prefer to plan the hard way, in order to take advantage of their hard-earned specialized experience of the past, is the technique now provided by modern warfare that would approach this whole Brazilian jungleland from above, bombing it open, then parachuting in with well-planned hand equipment and personal protective devices to carve out a complete polka-dot pattern of island airports over the whole country, into which pattern mechanical devices would be fed progressively as parachute deliveries graduate to plane-landed deliveries, etc. Each area would receive its quota of machine tools, drafting equipment, air conditioning, etc., and then its engineering and designing personnel would amplify the hold on the jungle. This ‘island’ network of ‘tropical research and development stations’ should form the nuclear structure for the new Brazil.”

What about the natives living there? Fuller didn’t give them a thought. I might also add that in the same book, Fuller lauded the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan as a strategic stroke of genius – and couldn’t have been more wrong if he tried. Fuller rooted against the USA during the Cold War; he was a true believer in the supremacy of the Soviet system. Start reading on the bottom of page 192 for more on this subject.

Believe it or not, President Reagan gave Fuller a Presidential Medal of Freedom for Architecture in 1983. I guess he didn’t read Critical Path.