Research

One of my principles of research is that if it doesn’t show something you don’t expect, the experiment is poorly designed. If I’m in a bad mood, I’ll say that you weren’t (or I wasn’t) doing research, just trying to confirm biases. The same goes for searches.

My Travis COVID-19 page tracks various statistics in the Austin/Travis Count area. There aren’t many surprises there, just unhappy news. Searching for data about COVID-19 in Texas does show several things I did not expect:

  • A news story on an out of state news Website reposted on Facebook claimed Austin (along with Dallas, San Antonio, Phoenix, and Tampa) were hot spots. Yes, Austin hit record highs in new cases yesterday and again today (Sunday, June 21). According to the Texas State Health Services Website, most major cities (Austin/Travis County, El Paso City/County, Ft. Worth/Tarrant County) are running a 4 per 1000 capita infection rate. Houston/Harris County is around 5. Dallas City/County is 6.
  • Big cities will show big numbers of new cases. Per capita by county shows a surprise, somewhat. Walker County in East Texas is where the Huntsville Prison is. Abilene has a bunch of colleges, as does Amarillo. The big cities are not the hot spots.
  • As Governor Greg Abbott opened up business in Texas, I felt he wasn’t abiding by his own standards of declining cases. The curve was flattening (less growth in new cases), but had not flattened or declined. This graph at the Texas Tribune shows that it did. Did, past tense. It has been rising for the last two weeks.
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