Hysteresis, not hysteria.
Webster’s Dictionary defines hysteresis as “a retardation of an effect when the forces acting upon a body are changed …”. Wikipedia offers a different take on it, that “Hysteresis is the dependence of the state of a system on its history.”
No matter which way you look at it, a system with hysteresis is one that clings to its recent past, and does not change fully to reflect current conditions.
Source: Mask data from Carnegie-Mellon COVID Delphi project. Case count data calculated from: The New York Times. (2021). Coronavirus (Covid-19) Data in the United States. Retrieved 7/31/2021, from https://github.com/nytimes/covid-19-data.” The NY Times U.S. tracking page may be found at https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/us/coronavirus-us-cases.html.
In April, when we had 20 new cases /100K / day, and the CDC’s guidance was that everyone should wear a mask, about 85% of Americans complied with that request.
Today, when we
had have 20 new cases /100K / day, and the CDC’s guidance was is that everyone should wear a mask, about 85% 40% of Americans compl iedy with that request.
At least the trend is up. But at this rate, the Delta wave will be over before we get an appreciable share of Americans to mask up again.
And sometimes, clinging to the past means focusing on problems that needed to be fixed months ago. Which leads to this little bit of ironic juxtaposition on Google News today: