As the wave of Covid-19 coverage continues to wash over the United States and world, we wanted to take a more optimistic tone amid the doom and gloom that has dominated the news cycle in recent days. While drastic steps are being taken and life is disrupted in unprecedented ways for many across the globe, parsing the numbers in a slightly different way yields results –

Infection rates in the hardest-hit state – New York – are at 0.028% of the population, which is nearly double the rate of the No. 2 state (Washington) at 0.016%. No other states are above one one-hundredth of a percentage of total population confirmed as infected with the novel coronavirus as of approximately 6 p.m. on March 19. (Data on infection rates via

At the other end of the spectrum is West Virginia, which is at one ten-thousandth of a percentage of its total population at this time. Several much larger states are also very low in terms of their actual rates of known infections. Arizona, home to over seven million residents, has just six ten-thousandths. Texas – the second most populous state in the country behind California – stands at 0.0009%. Ohio, home to nearly 12 million, is just behind that with an infection rate of 0.001%

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Between the actual known figures and the level to which much of the country seems to be taking heed of the call to isolate and minimize the potential for overwhelming medical facilities, there is good reason to believe that things are perhaps not as bad as the news cycle would make you believe. There’s reasons to have some hope that things could be returning to normal – at least in many locations – before too long.

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