Five Fact Friday #14

Five random facts for Friday:

North Carolina has roughly 322 miles of ocean shoreline. – UNC TV

The record high temperature for July 17 in Beaufort, NC is 97° That won’t be broken today but it still feels like a sauna.

Jamaican men have run 13 of the 20 fastest 100 meter races ever run. The rest have been run by Americans. – All Time Athletics

At 70 years old, Donald Trump was the oldest any president has been at inauguration. – President Story

9% of the milk produced in the US is used to make ice cream. –

About That Family Gathering

Catawba County (NC) recently published a case study to show how one family gathering of over two dozen people ended up with 14 family members infected with COVID-19 who then spread the infection to 41 people in 9 different families and 8 different workplaces.CatawbaSpread

From the Catawba County posting about this:

Situations like this have become painfully common in Catawba County. I share this example because I hope it can help our community see how easily COVID-19 is actively spreading. More importantly, I hope it will convince us all to be even more willing to do the small things we’re being asked to do to protect ourselves and others: wear a mask in public, maintain physical distance, and wash hands frequently.

It’s not hard to prevent the spread COVID-19. What’s hard is having to call 20, 30, 40 people a day and tell them that not only are they sick with an untreatable illness, but they are also required to isolate themselves from others, including their loved ones, and stay home from work for two weeks or until they recover. This is especially difficult when they do not have the support systems that many of us take for granted, such as paid sick leave, the ability to isolate in their own home, or available caretakers for their children. It’s even harder when they are experiencing severe illness as a result of their exposure – exposure that could have been prevented.

Five Fact Friday #13

Five random facts for Friday:

Coresight Research, which tracks retail store openings and closings, projects that a record 25,000 stores will close in 2020 — up from its pre-pandemic estimate of 8,000. The prior record was last year, when 9,800 stores closed. – Axios

Adolphus Busch, Arthur Ashe and Nikola Tesla were born on July 10. More importantly, so was my mom.

There are 50.8 million students in 91,276 public schools in 13,598 school districts in the US. Not many of them know right now what their school experience will look like in roughly six weeks. – Education Week

The heaviest freshwater fish caught in North Carolina was an 88 pound smallmouth buffalo. It was caught in Lake Wylie in 1993. – NC Wildlife Resources Commission

In 2010 the US resident population was 308,745,538 (87.4 people per square mile), in 1910 it was 92,228,496 (26 per square mile) and in 1810 it was 7,239,881 (4.3 per square mile). – US Census


Jobs Retained by PPP in the Triad’s 3 Big Cities

Digging a little more into the PPP numbers from the SBA (see yesterday’s post) it’s interesting to look at the number of small loans (under $150,000) versus the number of larger loans (over $150,000) and the number of jobs they have retained according to the report.

According to the data there were 9,670 loans combined in the three cities and of those 8,131, or 84% were under $150,000.

PPP loans by size

The data also shows that there were 115,448 jobs retained and of those 38,735, or 34% came from the small loans.

PPP Jobs Retained

PPP in Triad’s Big 3 Cities

After the SBA released the PPP data to the public I decided to take a look at the numbers for the three larger cities in the Piedmont Triad: Greensboro, High Point and Winston-Salem. Since the SBA divided it’s data into two separate sets, loans over $150,000 and those less than $150,000 I combined them all in one spreadsheet and then sorted by city and the size of the loan. Here’s what I found:

Between the three cities there were 9,670 businesses that were approved for PPP loans. Here’s how it broke down between the three cities:

PPP cities

The data is also broken down by loan amounts and this is how the loan sizes broke down:

PPP loan amount distribution

This chart reflects the distribution of all 9,670 loans across all three cities, but I found it interesting that this distribution was almost exactly the same across all three cities.

If you want to dig into the data yourself you can download the files here.

Five Fact Friday #12

Five random facts for Friday:

On average, a man’s beard will grow 5.5 inches per year. –

American individuals, bequests, foundations and corporations gave an estimated $427.71 billion to U.S. charities in 2018. GivingUSA

In 2018 the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s total budget, which includes the Section 8 program and other forms of public housing and rental assistance, totaled $54.887 billion. – HUD

Benjamin Franklin, age 70, was the oldest signer of the Declaration of Independence. Two men, Edward Rutledge and Thomas Lynch, Jr. were 26 when they signed – Rutledge was younger by three months.- US Archives

This one is special for the locals here in Winston-Salem: Dewey’s Bakery sells sheet cake remnants for $5 a pound. My life, or waist size, won’t be the same after this discovery. – Dewey’s Bakery via my wife


Five Fact Friday #11

Five random facts for Friday:

Instead of the names of dead presidents, Australians nickname their banknotes based on their colors. The yellow $50 is called a pineapple and the orange/red $20 is called a lobster. – The Whippet #97

In 2018 14.3 million households in America were food insecure. Feeding America

26.8% of US citizens age 6+ were physically inactive in 2019. 35.9% engaged in active high calories activities. Inactivity was defined as no to limited activity during the year.   – Physical Activity Council

In 2019 over 1.5 billion smartphones were sold worldwide.-Statista

Alaska has the longest coastline of all US states at 6,640 miles. – WorldAtlas



This New York Times interactive piece offers a chilling look into how COVID-19 spread in the US earlier this year. This part, in particular, caught my attention:


Top federal health experts concluded by late February that the virus was likely to spread widely within the United States and that government officials would soon need to urge the public to embrace social distancing measures, such as avoiding crowds and staying home.

But Mr. Trump wanted to avoid disrupting the economy. So some of his health advisers, at Mr. Trump’s urging, told Americans at the end of February to continue to travel domestically and go on with their normal lives.

And they did. Millions moved across the country, cellphone data shows. Some unknowingly carried the virus with them.


Travel volume from March 1 to March 14, based on aggregated data from Cuebiq, a data intelligence firm. Minor routes not shown.

The reason this caught my attention is that in the March 1-14 window I traveled from my home in North Carolina to Washington, DC for a business trip that included a visit to the offices of several legislators on Capitol Hill on March 11. If that date looks familiar it’s because that’s the last day that Congress was open to visits from the public. Every office we visited had signs on the door stating that they were discouraging shaking hands, but that didn’t stop at least one Congressman from shaking my hand and one staff member from shaking everyone in my group’s hands – around 10 people.

In addition to visiting the Hill, I was attending a small national industry conference held at the Grand Hyatt. Several hundred people flew in from around the country for that meeting, and we spent hours together in meeting rooms of various sizes over several days. At the beginning of the conference, the only precaution we took was making sure everyone had hand sanitizer and we refrained from shaking hands. Three days later they had set up AV equipment in the meeting rooms so that people could remote in from their hotel rooms if they weren’t comfortable meeting in person.

After the conference, we were informed that if anyone was diagnosed with COVID-19 we would be informed and we never did get that notification. To be safe I decided to work from home for two weeks so I didn’t put my office mates at risk, and of course, by the time that was done, we’d shut down our office and moved everyone to work-from-home status.

In an interesting coincidence the League of Municipalities had a meeting in DC the same week we were there. Several members of Winston-Salem’s city council were there and visited Capitol Hill on the same day we did, March 11. Less than a week later they announced that they were self-isolating because attendees at their conference had tested positive for the virus. If I’d had any question about working from home before that then I’d have made the call to do so then because our paths crossed on the Hill.

So, how many meetings/conferences like ours were held somewhere in the country those first two weeks of March? How many people attending those meetings unwittingly carried the virus home with them? How many were like me: they didn’t really want to go to the meeting, but felt they had to? If the government had come out earlier then those meetings likely wouldn’t have happened and we wouldn’t have had to make that decision. It’s impossible to know how many additional infections/deaths this delay led to, but I suspect it was a substantial number.

This final bit of info from the Times piece:

More than 22,000 deaths in the New York City area could have been avoided if the country had started social distancing just one week earlier, Columbia University researchers estimate.

About 36,000 deaths nationwide could have been avoided by early May had social distancing begun earlier, the estimates say.

Five Fact Friday #10

Five random facts for Friday:

In the United States, the top one percent of households holds $25 trillion of household wealth. The middle class, defined as the middle 60 percent of the usual income distribution, owned just $18 trillion. – Brookings

According to the International Monetary Fund the largest economy in the world, measured by Gross Domestic Product, is the United States at $21.44 trillion. The smallest is the pacific island nation of Tuvalu at $42 million. WikiPedia

In 2018 the United States had 23.5 square feet (SF) of retail space per person. The next most was Canada at 16.8 SF/person, then Australia at 11.2 SF/person  and the UK at 4.6 SF/person. Russia has 1.4 SF/person.  – Statista

According to the Airports Council International, in 2015 there were 17,678 commercial airports in the world. If you count all airports, aerodromes and airfields (civilian and military) the count is 41,788.-

In 2018 there were 129 breweries in North Carolina, up from 32 in 2012.- US Census


Five Fact Friday #9

Five random facts for Friday:

At 5’4″ James Madison was the shortest US President. – Wikipedia

The shortest land border between two sovereign states is a two kilometer stretch between Botswana and Zambia- GeoCurrents

3.7 million students are expected to graduate from high school during the 2019-20 school year. 3.3 million from public schools and .3 million from private schools.  – National Center for Education Statistics

The lowest daily total traveler throughput recorded by TSA during the COVID-19 crisis (so far) was 87,534 on April 14, 2020. By comparison the throughput on the same day in 2019 was 2,208,688.- TSA

It takes about 2.6 pounds of grapes to make a bottle of wine, which means there are about 736 grapes in a bottle of wine, or about 164 grapes per glass. – The Backlabel