How Latinos May Have Saved Southern California

by Justin Hart

A thread on how Latinos may have saved Southern California from #COVID19 — and a word of warning to my City by the Bay!

First, look back on June 18th. Latinos, who make up 35%+ of California’s population (via CDPH), represent 55%+ of all cases!

Race & age in a treemap:

Now fast forward to July 18th (CDPH will update tonight at 3AM. As we all know #COVID19 takes weekends off). Look at those case jumps. What is a treemap?
Size indicates the number of cases.
Darkness indicates the most deaths.

21K cases for 18–34 rising 130% in 30 days!

BUT! Just like our friends in Florida this should NOT be cause for alarm. Unless #COVID19 has figured out how to kill 20 & 30 yr olds (the largest group of case growths for race and age) We should be in good shape. Here’s our well-known thread on FL:

Go back to the first graphic and compare that age bracket again.

  • Jun 18th: 21K Latino positive cases for ages 18–34
    & 40 deaths
  • Jul 18th 48K Latino cases for ages 18–34
    & 58 deaths

But that’s just 18 more deaths from Jun 18!?

TL;DR: Herd immunity is building.

Full table below:

Just race in table above but check out the Latino CFR?! How is the rate 2 or 3 times lower than other races?

Age brackets back in below: CFR for most ages is about the same (except for older Asians — more on that another time)

But the 18–34 cases bring the overall CFR DOWN

As one of my latino friends put it… “we’re just not culturally set up to do all of this distancing. We love family. Stay home alone on the 4th?! No way.” Plus, a lot of Latinos are in service & healthcare industries and are required to get tested before returning to work.

Another colleague put it this way: “SoCal will be ok. Thank goodness Latinos don’t stand for the social distancing nonsense and are enabling final transmission in the SoCal area. However the bay area — which has yet to open up could be crushed.”


The virus is gonna do what it’s going to do. It is the ultimate hubris to thing that we can END it.

If you delay it, you’re gonna end up butting up against flue season!

There’s this one guy — @nosmhnmh — and he has a theory that essentially says every big geography is gonna get this disease and most communities are gonna have to get to 1000 cases per 100K people. You can see his charts here:

Now — he’s a glass half-empty guy and I like my drinks full — but he’s not wrong (in theory). We’ll see how sustainable this is… but as you can see a lot of counties up north have a WAYS to go to get to 1000 cases per 100K.

Nobel Laureate @MLevitt_NP2013 was one of the first to call out a combo of factors which may bring the “traditional” herd immunity down significantly… as far down as 15 or 25%. My good brainiac friends took this to task. Really heady but good read!

Are We Closer to Herd Immunity than Most Experts Say? — COVID Planning Tools

So it is possible that some areas of the Bay Area will miss the big waves of this but don’t count on it. It’s tough for me to admit that since I grew up there & my parents are there and my grandma is in Sacramento. Perhaps the lower density population will improve their luck.

Back to my first tweet… it very well may be that Latinos and their unbreakable affinity for family and fun and gatherings… may be the single best thing to place a “brake” on #COVID19 in SoCal.

We’ll see.



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