Thursday Numbers

The Western Word is coming to you, STILL coronavirus free, from deep inside an underground bunker in Montana. The bunker also serves as the worldwide headquarters for The Western Word blog!

Quote of the day…

One minute you’re young and fun. And the next, you’re turning down the stereo in your car to see better. –Anonymous

Welcome to “Thursday Numbers!” In case you’re a first-time visitor, this is the weekly column where I take a look at the numbers that are in the news (in descending order) and provide commentary sometimes sprinkled with sarcasm and humor.

This week’s topics include unemployment claims, body bags, sale of alcoholic beverages, coronavirus deaths in a single day, coronavirus/Trump poll, gas prices, checking temperatures, REO Speedwagon, earthquake, Trump & Facebook, and much more!


In the week ending March 28, the advance figure for seasonally adjusted initial unemployment claims was 6,648,000, an increase of 3,341,000 from the previous week’s revised level. This marks the highest level of seasonally adjusted initial claims in the history of the seasonally adjusted series. The previous week’s level was revised up by 24,000 from 3,283,000 to 3,307,000. The 4-week moving average was 2,612,000, an increase of 1,607,750 from the previous week’s revised average. The previous week’s average was revised up by 6,000 from 998,250 to 1,004,250. (


The Pentagon is seeking to provide as many as 100,000 military-style body bags for potential civilian use as the U.S. warns that deaths could soar in the coming weeks from the coronavirus pandemic. (Bloomberg)

That should get everyone’s attention…


The U.S. topped 1,000 coronavirus deaths in a single day for the first time Wednesday, a daily death toll more than double that of two of America’s most deadly illnesses – lung cancer and the flu. (USA Today)

Trump is number one in another category…


Starting Friday, 73 Montana Army and Air National Guard personnel will be used at 11 cities and 17 locations statewide to screen people arriving in Montana by air or rail in response to COVID-19 concerns. (GF Tribune)

Years from now members of Montana Army and Air National Guard can proudly tell their children and grandchildren that during the “great coronavirus war” of 2020 they were on the front lines checking temperatures…


U.S. sales of alcoholic beverages rose 55% in the week ending March 21, according to market research firm Nielsen. Spirits like tequila, gin and pre-mixed cocktails led the way, with sales jumping 75% compared to the same period last year. Wine sales were up 66% while beer sales rose 42%. And online sales far outpaced in-store sales. Nielsen said online alcohol sales were up 243%.(FOX5NY)

A toast for you to use: Here’s to staying positive and testing negative…


According to a new Associated Press-NORC Poll, 44% believe the President is doing a good job handling the coronavirus outbreak while 55% think he is doing a poor job. Overall, Trump’s job approval is 43% approve/56% disapprove. (AP-NORC)

The election is in November – I just hope I last that long…


Thanks to inclusion in the just-released third season of “Ozark,” REO Speedwagon’s “Time For Me To Fly” is making waves on the US iTunes sales chart. The song, which was first released on the band’s 1978 album “You Can Tune A Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish,” is up to #38 on the all-genre chart as of press time at 1:45AM ET Monday morning. Another version of the song is #106. (

This is very cool for REO Speedwagon fans, like me!


That was the magnitude of an earthquake that was felt in the Great Falls (MT) area Tuesday evening. The quake was centered about 44 miles west of Challis, Idaho, at a depth of about 6.1 miles. (MTN)

Expect an attack of locusts next…


That was the price for a gallon of gas at Sam’s Club in Great Falls, MT on Wednesday. (

Cheap gas and nowhere to go…


In a press briefing Wednesday President Donald Trump said, “Did you know I was number one on Facebook? I just found out I’m number one on Facebook. I thought that was very nice, for whatever it means.” (CBS News)

As far as I can tell and unless Trump has some special math he is using, Trump’s 26 million followers are far fewer than the Facebook’s 214 million, and Portuguese soccer player Cristiano Ronaldo’s 122 million. Trump even trails Barack Obama (54 million), which should piss Trump off.

Prediction: After this pandemic is over, Trump will go down in history as the President who killed the most Americans. So he has that number one ranking to look forward to…


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