Chadwick Boseman

An hour ago, Barack Obama shared this post:

Chadwick came to the White House to work with kids when he was playing Jackie Robinson. You could tell right away that he was blessed. To be young, gifted, and Black; to use that power to give them heroes to look up to; to do it all while in pain – what a use of his years.

“Chadwick came to the White House to work with kids when he was playing Jackie Robinson. You could tell right away that he was blessed. To be young, gifted, and Black; to use that power to give them heroes to look up to; to do it all while in pain – what a use of his years.” – Barack Obama

“To do it all while in pain.” That’s the part that gets me the most. That he knew his life might be cut short (or that it might be just long enough) and decided that this is how he would live it. That he would use his talents to depict heroes and fight battles on camera, while few people knew that he was fighting an even bigger battle off camera.

To do it all while in pain, Chadwick was a man living a life with purpose. He knew that he was called to temporarily occupy this time and place in history for a purpose. He did not strike many of us as a man whose time would be ending soon, although he probably knew this is the way his story might end while undergoing his treatments between filming.

To do it all while in pain, his graduation speeches, public appearances, and interviews – they should all be given another look under this new lens that few people had. There may be more that he left for us to see beyond his ground-breaking accomplishments on the silver screen.

What are our COVID-19 Key Performance Indicators?

What are our COVID-19 Key Performance Indicators? As a *general* rule, a good KPI is one that is not only meaningful, but can go both up and down. If it can only go one direction, then it is likely to be what is known as a vanity metric. An example is the cumulative death count graph. It can only go up. We generally want to avoid using vanity metrics to inform decision-making, since they’re not good at providing feedback on the impact of our decisions. Instead, here is one graph I like to track. It shows the US’s daily new deaths. Each day, we can have more new deaths or less new deaths than the previous day. It grows exponentially when we do nothing. So we can use this graph to assess whether our efforts have been effective. Fewer deaths than the previous day are good. More deaths than the previous day are bad. Weaker exponential growth would also be a good sign, but it’s not as easy to spot.

It has a two week lag, so while the media is sounding the alarm bells over 16,000+ cumulative deaths (and rightfully so), many of these deaths were unfortunately locked in weeks ago due to our activities weeks ago. However, in the past two days, the daily number of new deaths has gone down day after day. So that’s a good sign, if this trend keeps up. Maybe I should wait a few more days to see if this trend continues.

One thing to note though is that due to this being a graph showing all US deaths, it’s possible that this is just the result of a state with many cases like New York clamping down hard. And so states with orders of magnitude fewer cases may still be on a steep exponential growth trajectory and this graph wouldn’t show that. Since their numbers are smaller, their exponentially growing numbers wouldn’t move this needle yet. We’d have to see this graph at the state level for each state to assess how individual states are doing.

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