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I’m sure that there are more headlines that we could reference here. We’re doing out best to give a broad overview today, largely focused on news that will be relevant for more than 24 hours.

SBA has announced the EIDL & PPP loans applications are available again.

These loans may be used to pay debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that can’t be paid because of the disaster’s impact, and that are not already covered by a Paycheck Protection Program loan.  The interest rate is 3.75% for small businesses.  The interest rate for non-profits is 2.75%.

SBA

You can barely find a mortgage at those rates. We’re glad to help you with the application if needed.

Arizona is being reported as a hotspot with over 1,000 new cases yesterday. The same day, the South China Morning Post called an outbreak in Beijing, “explosive.” Beijing had 79 cases Thursday-Monday. How does China respond to 79 new cases?

Authorities have locked down 21 residential estates in Fengtai and the northern district of Haidian, which is also home to a big food market. Access to the areas is strictly controlled and mass coronavirus testing is under way.

The South China Morning Post

We’ll probably keep highlighting the differences between how Asia and the West respond because the American media does a very poor job explaining how vast the gap is. The Asian countries that have the virus under control consider a couple of dozen cases serious. In the US, a couple of dozen cases seems like magical realism. In China, they will lock down harder over 100 cases than the US locked down at the peak of the outbreak.

It also means that it is very difficult for us to learn about public policy responses from watching China.

FDA has ended allowing the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. This isn’t a surprise, there isn’t solid science to backup that it helped and those drugs are needed by other people who have non-COVID medical conditions.

Ars Technica has an excellent article on a topic we’ve touched on: early research is showing that 10-20% of infectious people are responsible for most of the Sars-Cov-2 spread. In one study, 70% of people didn’t pass it on to anyone. Take all of this with a grain (or box?) of salt: these studies are still early and biased towards Asian data. As we’ve mentioned, the Asian response has been vastly different from the US response.

The Washington Post is reporting that those with underlying conditions have a mortality rate 12x higher than others. However, separate studies show similar increases in mortality due to race alone.

“Policymakers’ natural instinct is to think this correlation is because of income disparities, or having health insurance, or diabetes, obesity rates, smoking rates, or even use of public transit,” Knittel said. “It’s not. We controlled for all of those. The reason why [Black people] face higher death rates is not because they have higher rates of uninsured, poverty, diabetes, or these other factors.”

STAT News

It’s worth understanding how hard it is to tease out these separate variables. There is enough research into the effects of race and the inequalities that came with being non-white on health that we don’t doubt that race is a significant component, by itself. However, it will probably be years before we have solid science behind the effects of race on COVID-19 outcomes: we just don’t have enough quality data.

24 Hour Fitness is filing for chapter 11 (restructuring bankruptcy) and closing 130 locations. The same article notes that, “Financial services company Moody’s had already downgraded 24 Hour Fitness’ status in December 2019 before the onset of the pandemic…” You can call weak corporate finances a comorbidity for business outcomes, in our opinion.

Arizona is getting blistering criticism for it’s handling of Coranvirus. They are clearly on the upswing:

Source: Data from The COVID Tracking Project; Chart by JM Addington

The growth rate here is really high: that’s a 7-day average of >1500 new cases per day. It looks like AZ is on the exponential curve up. A key consideration: these numbers probably are close to reality, compared to New York at it’s peak when the actual cases were likely multiples higher than what was being tested.

Their cases are concentrated around Phoenix, however, the northeast counties have much higher rates per capita:

Arizona COVID-19 Case by County
Source: ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES
Arizona COVID-19 Case RATES by County
Source: ARIZONA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH SERVICES

Those would be the Navajo and Apache counties with the highest case rates per capita.

Parts of Europe are re-opening, with France re-opening borders this morning, and other countries opening borders or easing other restrictions.

Get In Touch

Need help thinking this through? Access to more data? Help getting your technology in order to handle what’s here and what’s coming? Contact us today.

Other

Thanks to those that have shared kind words or liked these posts. We’re doing out best to put out data-driven analysis, each one of these takes about 2 hours. It’s helpful to know that they are being read.

If you want copies of the Excel sheet and PowerBI Reports we use to put these together email us, info@jmaddington.com. Right now, our PowerBI combines data from NYT, COVID Tracking Project, and the TN Department of Health. Most sets are updated daily

Today is mostly a summary type of day. We have may have a second update later in the day if significant news comes out, especially from the TN daily briefing.

All in all, new cases are going down but lots of small problems are popping up. Welcome to the beginning of the new normal.

As a whole, new cases and deaths in the US are both down with about 29,000 new cases yesterday. For comparison, on March 22nd we had about 32,000 cases in the US in total. So, the good news is that adding as many cases as we had in a single day three weeks ago is better than where we were last week.

Source: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart by JM Addington
Source: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart by JM Addington

New York continues to completely dominate US cases.

If you take out NY & NJ you get a much more even distribution of cases across the US:

Source: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart by JM Addington

We think that there are two ways that you can read this data. First, the outbreak in New York makes the situation there different than in the rest of the county as a whole. Second, it’s still clear that there are other majors areas at risk for outbreaks.

Source: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart by JM Addington

If you break down those totals MA new cases are going up, MI is stable, PA is down three days in a row in cases but not deaths, IL is trending up, LA and FL are trending down. The point is that there isn’t an even response to COVID-19 across the US. We’d also like to note that one of the world’s leading epidemiologists recently stated that he doesn’t even trust the data unless there are at least ten days of trend behind it.

To give you another way to visualize it, here are new cases and new deaths by day across the US, with horizontal lines representing the levels at specific days. The purple one that lies just over the X-axis is 780 new cases/day, where we last were at on March 15th, which was one to two weeks before shelter-in-place orders became commons across the US. We’ve got a long way to drop.

Source: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart by JM Addington

East Tennessee & Knox County Numbers

New cases in Knox County are leveling off. To put that in context, they are around where we were at when the Knox County Safer at Home order went into place. We assume that the county wants to see cases below that point before re-opening.

KHCD also released a zip-code based map of cases, based on symptoms that were present as of April 4th. That’s 37919 highlighted. Dr. Buchanan of the Knox County Health Department said that it wasn’t clear if the differences in zip codes were due to differences in cases or availability of testing. Zipcodes with fewer than five cases are not identified due to privacy concerns.

The New York Times data, which doesn’t track with local data exactly (the state data also doesn’t always track with local data) show the nine-county region somewhere between stabilizing and living off in new cases.

As always, take a few days worth of data with a grain of salt. (See Dr. Buchanan’s remarks on this specifically below.)

Source: The New York Times; Chart by JM Addington

Notable Tennessee News

At today’s KCHD briefing Dr. Buchanan stated that she and Mayor Jacobs were not ready to limit the restrictions on travel and social distancing if Governor Lee allows his executive orders to expire (tomorrow at 11:59 PM). To consider lifting these restrictions KHCD would want to see a trend, more than a couple days of data.

“Where are we on the curve? That’s easy, we’re at the beginning. We’re still on the upslope of the curve… We need to see that for several days. One day of fewer cases does not mean that we flatten the curve, at all.”

Dr. Buchanan, April 13th, 2020 KHCD daily briefing

To get a test locally, the county has expanded qualifying symptoms to include loss of smell, loss of taste and “some GI symptoms,” beyond the more typical flu-like symptoms. KHCD is also prioritizing people at highest risk for complications, such as those with chronic medical conditions or healthcare workers that can’t otherwise be tested. Results from KHCD are currently being turned around in 3-4 days.

Mayor Indya Kincannon signed an extension of the City of Knoxville’s Safer at Home Order.

An employee at Target North in Knoxville was found to be positive with COVID-19. Given that, (1) most people are contentious before they are symptomatic (a 5-7 day lag), and (2) you can’t get tested without being symptomatic in most cases it seems likely that we’ll see some more cases come out of this.

19 staff cases of COVID-19 were found at two Tennessee correctional facilities. On Thursday during the TN daily briefing, it was announced that there would be mass testing at these two facilities, of staff only. The decision to test staff only is puzzling to us, given the lag in symptoms and confirmed cases we just mentioned we don’t understand how the offender population wouldn’t have cases as well. The state is issuing cloth masks, which haven’t been shown to be effective.

A Tyson plant just north of Nashville is being investigated for a possible outbreak of cases, no updates have been posted on this since Friday.

US Testing

US testing remains on a pretty much a straight line, i.e., we are not ramping up testing. The chemicals needed to run the tests are in short supply. That means we can’t expect to see the number of new tests per day increase until we figure out how to increase the supply chain.

Also, as Dr. Osterholm notes, many of the “re-opening” plans rely on widespread testing. There isn’t any evidence that we can actually accomplish wide-spread testing, right now.

Source: The COVID Tracking Project; Chart by JM Addington

The turn around time of the tests is also a major concern. As Bill Gates noted on CNBC’s Squawk Box, the test results are most valuable within the first 24 hours of the test. The longer you take to test the more you’ve allowed the virus to spread.

Any time the queue [test result time] is over 24 hours that’s complete mismangement because the value of the result is far less worthwhile… the best case is [the test] goes positive before you’re symptomatic or infections; and then you can act in such a way that don’t infect anyone else.

Bill Gates, Squawk Box, April 9th, 2020

The Food Supply Chain

A fantastic article on Medium explained how the toilet paper shortage is more about supply chains than hoarding. In short, “the average household will use 40% more toilet paper than usual [at home],” under social distancing. The single-ply toilet paper you have at your office, hotel, conference center, etc., literally comes from different factories and they can’t just flip a switch to make the double-ply stuff you buy at Kroger instead. We believe that this insight explains a lot of empty shelves at grocery stores, beyond TP.

Indeed, there are multiple reports about the disruptions coming in the food supply chain. First, the supply chain needs to change. Restaurants and hotels don’t need nearly as much food as they did before, grocery stores and food shelves need lots more. But it’s more complicated than just changing where trucks deliver their goods, the type of food changes as well. Second, slowing immigration (due to COVID-19) will make it difficult to let in the immigrants who come to harvest our crops.

Third, the factories that produce our food — especially meat — have to cope with COVID-19 as well, and they simply aren’t set-up for social distancing. 5% of pork production in the US was cut today with the idling of a single plant. Fourth, there are inter-dependencies that are not well-understood outside the food industry. One expert told us about how cutting sports was going to affect animal feed:

So, there’s an ingredient called wheat middlings. It is essentially the leftover stuff after you make white flour. White flour is used mainly in hotdog and hamburger buns, which aren’t being eaten at the same rate because sporting events are closed. Same with restaurants. First thing you get on the table is bread. We aren’t eating as much as a nation. These wheat middling are used in most animal feed as an energy source as well as a pellet binder (The feed usually comes in pellet form.)

No baseball, no buns, no flour mills making white flour, no middlings.

We’ve personally seen this, where local grocery stores are out of essentials (flour, meat, toilet paper, etc.) it is still available to us from the commercial supply chain.

What Does it Mean to Re-Open?

We released our own whitepaper on what we believe next few weeks will look like, to be clear, there will only be a new normal for months not a return to old normal. Vox.com reviewed four of the re-opening plans and summarized them all:

…there is no normal for the foreseeable future. Until there’s a vaccine, the United States either needs economically ruinous levels of social distancing, a digital surveillance state of shocking size and scope, or a mass testing apparatus of even more shocking size and intrusiveness. […] All of them then imagine a phase two, which relaxes — but does not end — social distancing while implementing testing and surveillance on a mass scale. This is where you must begin imagining the almost unimaginable.

Ezra Klein, Vox.com

Axios has their own summary which reads a lot like our own, “The future will come in waves — waves of recovery, waves of more bad news, and waves of returning to some semblance of normal life.”

You need to be seriously considering how your business, non-profit, family will operating inside this new normal. We’ll get through this, but getting through it successfully will require planning and effort.

Financial

IRS Stimulus Check Registration Tool: read about it on Forbes, you probably don’t need to use it.

BlueCross of Tennessee sent us an email stating that they are waiving all member costs for COVID-19 treatment:

As part of our mission to serve your employees, we’re removing their barriers to receiving care. From now until May 31, 2020, we’ll waive member cost sharing for COVID-19 treatments, including hospitalizations.

If your employee or one of their dependents is diagnosed with COVID-19, they won’t pay out-of-pocket costs for treatment from in-network providers, including inpatient treatment.

BlueCross of Tennessee

International

Spain is lifting its strictest two-week lockdown. “That means that the majority of the population of Spain remain in their homes – schools, bars, restaurants, cultural venues and leisure centers all remain closed – but the economic activity that was halted with the hibernation decree will restart.”

Singapore, a country that has done very well to date, is under a partial lockdown as its cases jump.

The South China Morning Post reports that “China is taking extra measures to stem the influx of imported cases of coronavirus, particularly from Russia after a small border city reported a dramatic jump in new cases among arrivals.”

Cloth Masks: A Brief Side Note

Earlier we alluded to a paper in the National Academy of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine that said, “The current level of benefit [of wearing cloth masks], if any, is not possible to assess.” In large part, because there are very few studies done on the effectiveness of cloth masks, especially homemade ones. We will, for now, continue to use them out in public. However, there are two important caveats, (1) any benefit from cloth masks are to the public, not the wearer (it doesn’t protect the wearer), (2) it’s not a public policy response.

How JM Addington is Adjusting

Our thoughts and plans are shifted towards June and July. We believe that our financials are sound enough that we can bear front wave of the storm. The next part, learning to operate in our new normal will take more careful planning:

  • How do we keep our team safe?
  • How do we keep our customers safe?
  • What new services from us are our customers going to need?
  • Which if our customers are going to be negatively affected in 90 days? Which will see an uptake in business?
  • How is the competitive landscape going to change? Will price matter more in an economic downturn, or provider capacity to respond quickly and turn on a dime?

These are some of the questions we’re grappling with right now.

Get In Touch

Need help thinking this through? Access to more data? Help getting your technology in order to handle what’s here and what’s coming? Contact us today.

Other

Thanks to those that have shared kind words or liked these posts. We’re doing out best to put out data-driven analysis, each one of these takes about 2 hours. It’s helpful to know that they are being read.

If you want copies of the Excel sheet and PowerBI Reports we use to put these together email us, info@jmaddington.com. Right now, our PowerBI combines data from JHU, NYT, COVID Tracking Project, IMHE and the TN Department of Health. Most sets are updated daily.

See the Data

We are releasing the backbone of the graphs we’ve been using, a Microsoft Power BI Report linked to data from The COVID Tracking Project, The New York Times, TN Department of Health and some of our own calculations of those data. It’s much better on a computer or tablet than a phone.

We update the data when we can, typically the NYT updates around 11 AM EST and CTP updates after 5 PM EST. We then import the data and re-upload it to the report.

Thank you to those beta tested this for us and gave us early feedback.

Nationwide, new cases and new deaths are both set to be down or steady for the third day in a row. We’ve talked a lot about the issues with the quality of the data (it’s not great). At JM Addington we focus on the trends of the data and we’re optimistic that we are seeing both of those headed in the downward direction.

The data currently supports the IMHE model (on a national scale) that COVID-19 is peaking in the next week.

Tennessee is up to 4,600 cases and 94 deaths, a 2% mortality rate of known cases. The new cases and deaths are both up compared to yesterday. By comparison and warning, New York added 10,000 cases and nearly 800 deaths yesterday.

New York alone has more cases than the next highest country, Spain. New Jersey would be 10th on that list, if US States were counted as countries.

If you compare Tennessee directly to New York you almost can’t separate TN from the X-Axis.

Source: Data from The COVID Tracking Project; Chart by JM Addington

And that would be true of most states. NY, NJ and MI make up half of the total cases in the US. LA, CA, MA, PA, FL, and IL all have more than 10,000 but less than 20,000 cases.

The significance to us is twofold: first, COVID-19 is playing out so differently in different parts of the US that they are almost different worlds. The reporting doesn’t always make that clear, but for most of us, COVID-19 isn’t what is shown on the news.

At the same time, it’s cautionary that it can get a lot worse. This is how exponential growth works, if you stop something doubling at say, 100 cases, it makes a huge difference compared to stopping the doubling at 1,000 cases.

Source: Data from The COVID Tracking Project; Chart by JM Addington

Tennessee

Tennessee’s board of education voted on new rules that drop credits for graduating seniors. Students cannot have grades lowered during distance learning, but they can increase. It’s not official until the Attorney General official approves of it. The TN Department of Education (TDOE) requested public feedback by end of day Monday on how to spend dollars earmarked for education from the CARES Act. This money won’t arrive soon: the feds won’t take the state applications until at least mid-April.

TDOE has also partnered with PBS to release 30 hours of educational programming for students in 1st – 8th grade. You can find the schedule here and their YouTube channel here. They have even released student packets and teacher lesson plans for parents.

During today’s conference call with reporters Governor Lee declined to give a date that he decide whether or not to renew his stay-at-home executive order, “data changes quickly,” he said. That order remains in place through the end of Tuesday, April 14th, currently. During the call Lee also expressed that the state continues to plan for a surge of COVID-19 cases, although the timing and size of that surge was unknown.

Vanderbilt is expected to release a model specifically for Tennessee tomorrow. There has been some early reporting on it but no details until Friday.

Yesterday Lee issued executive order 25 which explicitly bars dental clinics (and related fields) from any non-emergency procedures, requires the postponement all of elective procedures, and, “encourages,” non-hospital healthcare workers to donate their PPE to the state. This order merely makes official much of what has already been done voluntarily.

Financial

We know some business owners who have been officially approved by their banks for the PPP loans. No one has seen money hit their bank account yet.

While we were writing this update we approved for the PPP, “awaiting instructions on funding.”

The president, as we write, is announcing new loans for larger businesses and work on increasing the funding available for the PPP loan. The PPP loan initially had $350bn behind it, which is widely expected to run out.

BlueCross of Tennessee sent us an email stating that they are waiving all member costs for COVID-19 treatment:

As part of our mission to serve your employees, we’re removing their barriers to receiving care. From now until May 31, 2020, we’ll waive member cost sharing for COVID-19 treatments, including hospitalizations.

If your employee or one of their dependents is diagnosed with COVID-19, they won’t pay out-of-pocket costs for treatment from in-network providers, including inpatient treatment.

BlueCross of Tennessee

International

Italy clearly has a hold on this, a great sign for the rest of the world. There is a long way to go, but things are headed where they need to be.

Source: Worldometers
Source: Worldometers

Spain made progress and then plateaued:

Source: Worldometers
Source: Worldometers

Both German and French data are noisy. New cases and new deaths aren’t moving together as clearly as Italy and Spain.

Get In Touch

Need help thinking this through? Access to more data? Help getting your technology in order to handle what’s here and what’s coming? Contact us today.

Other

Thanks to those that have shared kind words or liked these posts. We’re doing out best to put out data-driven analysis, each one of these takes about 2 hours. It’s helpful to know that they are being read.

If you want copies of the Excel sheet and PowerBI Reports we use to put these together email us, info@jmaddington.com. Right now, our PowerBI combines data from JHU, NYT, COVID Tracking Project, IMHE and the TN Department of Health. Most sets are updated daily.

Today is pretty much a mega-update. There are a lot of pieces of news that we think are important that we are going to cover today.

There are some things we are going to skip as well. US numbers today, TN numbers today. We want at least another day’s worth of data before presenting again.

Where are we on the curve?

About 10 days to peak (US whole) and new deaths per day coming in under the average estimate from IHME’s 03/27 projections. That is a good thing.

Source: Data from IMHE and COVID Tracking Project, chart by JM Addington

Tenessee is actually coming in well under the lower estimate. (Note, this model is newer than not he one in the previous graph).

That is, of course, mostly great news! We don’t want more deaths!

The question, of course, is why are we so far off the model? Did we social distance that well? (no). Is the model faulty at the state level? (maybe) Is our data on deaths off? (see below, maybe)

The uncertainty is especially problematic because it gives our policymakers (Lee, Jacobs, Kincannon, et. al.) less confidence in the data and projections they need to use to make useful decisions.

Source: Data from IMHE and COVID Tracking Project, chart by JM Addington

To JM Addington it also belays another point we’ve made: the data suggests that different localities are going to have very different experiences. To be transparent, we haven’t found an expert who shares our view. However, the data clearly indicates that Knoxville is not like Nasvhille is not like New York is not like Hong Kong.

Bill Gates thinks that the US death toll will probably come in under the White House’s 100,000 – 240,000 estimate, as long as the US continues to social distance. It is really important to realize that this is a direct trade-off, cut-off social distancing and the cases & deaths will rise. He rightly notes in this interview that what we do with tests matter more than the absolutely number. The US isn’t doing what it needs to be doing.

In a separate op-ed Gates expresses that he still thinks we have 10 weeks of social distancing left because we didn’t implement it correctly the first time. It’s worth the read if you have time.

Google has published a portal showing how different countries, states, and counties are practicing social distancing. It is likely that Google has the best data in the world on this. Tennessee’s numbers (below) line up with data from Unacast.

Knox County looks close to the same:

The reports are really easy to find, download and understand if you want to look up your city/county/state. So what? Early data indicates that there is about a two lag between implementing social distancing and seeing growth slow down. The data from Google and Unacast give us dates that people actually stopped going out, not just when the orders were handed down. For Knoxville, that date appears to be about March 20th.

We’ve talked a few times here about the importance of when we social distance and stop the case/death growth rate. On March 15th TN only had 7 new COVID-19 cases, on March 29th it was 164 new cases. We could have “flattened the curve” by implementing social distancing earlier on. At JM Addington — and thousands of other businesses around the state — this is especially important because the more cases we have the harder the economic impact will be.

Social distancing has already had an impact on our business and we think it will continue to have one. At the same time, we expect the virus to dictate the economic and policy outcomes. People are not going to rush back to theaters, restaurants, doctors’ offices, recreational activities, retail so long as there is the perception that it is or could be dangerous. Any state in the Union under lockdown could lift it today and lots of people are still going to stay home.

The piece that matters for both economic and medical healing is getting COVID-19 under control. And right now, social distancing is the most effective tool we have.

Does Social Distancing Work?

Short version: yes. Candidly, first, the physics of it work out really easily, if sick people aren’t close to well people they can’t infect them.

Second, all the experts we can find on record agree that it makes a real difference.

A couple of weeks ago we put out some simple exponential regressions showing how the US and TN were likely to increase in cases. They were not and are epidemiological models and you shouldn’t take them that way for a million reasons. However, they have an advantage in that there are no assumptions built in, just data.

Here are 10 regressions plotted on top of one another, the first has 21 days of data from March 4 through March 24, the second from March 5 through 25, and so on. Each regression continues past its end date to April the 12th.

Simple COVID-19 Exponential Regressions, by JM Addington\

It’s ok if the results aren’t clear to you. Before social distancing kicks in, the first trend shows over 16,000,000 million COVID-19 cases by April 12th. By the end regression, there are less than 5,000,000. For a bunch of reasons we don’t expect to see 5,000,000 cases in the next 7 days, the point is that even simple mathematical models can and do show the immediate impact of social distancing. You can repeat this using public data in your own copy of Excel if you desire. [1]

We can present it another way: while the absolute number of cases increases, the growth rate is decreasing. I.e., the speed at which COVID-19 is getting worse is slowing down.

The foot is easing off the accelerator. But at 120mph it still takes a minute to see the speedometer decrease.

Source: Regression data by JM Addington based off of COVID Tracking Project data.

Data Pains

In the last couple days there has been reporting of Italy significantly under-counting deaths from COVID-19, especially those that occur in nursing homes. The Washington Post has a similar article for the US. In the United States there is not a standard on how post-mortem testing.

The New York Times and Radio Free Asia both have articles that say China substantially under-reported cases and deaths in Wuhan. To be clear, sources from these two articles would be biased.

However, the implication for the rest of the world is that China’s 3.4% rate could be low, meaning that the number we thought was the worst-case scenario is higher.

Our view, is that for Western countries there is enough reliable data to come to our estimates. For the developing world, however, this is bad news.

The American intelligence about understated numbers predates recent reporting in the Chinese news media that the death count in Wuhan could be 5,000 or more, double the official number.

The New York Times

Social media users have been doing some basic math to figure out their daily capacity, while the news website Caixin.com reported that 5,000 urns had been delivered by a supplier to the Hankou Funeral Home in one day alone — double the official number of deaths.

Radio Free Asia

Long Term Care Facilities

WVLT ran a story late Thursday that 29 patients, 16 employees test positive for COVID-19 at a Cookeville long-term care facility. Minnesota, which has been very transparent in its COVID-19 handling, is reporting at least 30 longterm care facilities that have one or more cases. There have been some horrific news stories out of Italy and Spain around COVID-19 getting into nursing homes, to see the same in the US would be tragic.

Financial

TurboTax has created a portal to help you get your stimulus payments. Keep in mind that for most people that this will be a director deposit and not a check. The direct deposits are also likely to hit your account much faster than paper checks. Most Americans won’t need this service, including anyone who filed for 2018 or 2019 already. If you aren’t sure contact an accountant.


The PPP loans — the loans to be forgiven if used for payroll — are slow to roll out, where they are rolling out at all. As of Friday afternoon, the day they officially became available only $9b of the $350b had been applied for. JM Addington received two emails from our bank over the weekend basically asking for patience and stating that they were doing all that they could do.

We haven’t heard anything about the EIDL (disaster, 7b) loan we applied for since putting in our application. Nothing has popped up in our news feed and we don’t know anyone that has gotten it so far either.

Again, for reference, the last year we have data for the SBA processed 47,000 7a loans (the same type the PPP fall under). Presumably, any disaster loans issued were for “typical” disasters. There isn’t hard data on the total applications, but the US has over 30,000,000 small businesses. We assume that most of them will apply, dwarfing previous years. We expect that (1) the SBA and their partner banks will be completely overwhelmed by this, and (2) businesses that survive an interim shortage of cash need to find sources of capital on their own.

If you or your employer is using other funding sources we highly recommend that you get with an accountant to figure out how to track it as payroll-related so that when the PPP comes through it still counts as forgivable. Strategic, bold moves at this phase will pay long term dividends.

International Numbers

Italy is moving in the right direction. To us, this is more significant than other European countries because (1) Italy was hardest it, if they can make the right progress we all can, (2) they didn’t social distance well at first, which candidly reflects the US, and (3) they have a more vulnerable population than most countries.

Source: Worldometers

How JM Addington is Adjusting

Financially it is becoming more apparent that we need to be self-reliant on capital in the short-term. While the EIDL and PPP loans may come through we aren’t planning on them to come through when we need the cash and we are creating other plans to cover potential shortfalls over that period.

Masks: we’ve ordered enough fabric and elastic to make enough masks for each employee to have at least two, one for wearing and one that can be washed.

The South China Morning Post in Hong Kong ran an “I told you so,” article on the mask topic. And, well, they did tell the world so. Hong Kong still has fewer cases than Idaho.

Your author has been wearing a fabric mask while in stores for the last two weeks. The goal is mitigation of risk not elimination of risk. Just like washing hands won’t guarantee anything it helps and its easy.

JM Addington’s President with his bandana shopping mask

Other

Thanks to those that have shared kind words or liked these posts. We’re doing out best to put out data-driven analysis, each one of these takes about 2 hours. It’s helpful to know that they are being read.

If you want copies of the Excel sheet and PowerBI Reports we use to put these together email us, info@jmaddington.com. Right now, our PowerBI combines data from JHU, NYT, COVID Tracking Project, IMHE and the TN Department of Health. Most sets are updated daily.

[1] Major thanks to Matt Enlow for helping us through the math and Tim Bubar for getting us in touch.