This map with a grotesquely mishapen Michigan outline isn’t a beginners’ graphics exercise or an Ohio designer’s cross-border prank. The cartography calamity comes from the University of Pennsylvania.
It’s posted by the Institute of Health Economics at that Ivy League campus, accompanying a study on hospital emergency room opioid prescriptions for ankle sprains.
The good news: Michigan’s prescription rate for those limping patients in 2014-15 is under 12 percent — below the national average. The painful side: An unnamed mapmaker renders our state as a kind of Salvador Dali-style melting blob.
The sunrise side’s Thumb region has fallen into Lake Huron, evidently. More dramatically, the Straits of Mackinac no longer exist in this nightmare vision and the Upper Peninsula has fused with the Lower. Lake Michigan and Lake Superior also are gone.
This distorted perspective, published two weeks ago, now draws bemused attention from a health policy scholar at Harvard with first-hand knowledge of geography here. Adrianna McIntyre, a doctoral student who has worked in Detroit and earned University of Michigan degrees in 2011 and 2015, tweets:
what the hell did you guys do to michigan?! https://t.co/oCpWTX7Qaf
— Adrianna McIntyre (@onceuponA) August 21, 2018
An emergency room physician in Chicago quips:
@daviesbj @statesdj perhaps our expectations for prescriptions inside Lake Michigan and Lake Superior were too high pic.twitter.com/VIFOO0C3mh
— Seth Trueger (@MDaware) August 21, 2018
Others also crack wise in the thread started Tuesday by McIntyre, who worked for a summer in the Detroit mayor’s office on a public service fellowship five years ago and earlier helped with clinical research regulation at Wayne State University’s School of Medicine:
Wisconsin’s gonna consider this map an act of war.
— John Maycroft (@JohnMaycroft) August 21, 2018
The mitten is gone!
— Pradheep J. Shanker, M.D., M.S. (@Neoavatara) August 21, 2018
Blame it on pipeline 5
— Linda VT (@lvt2012) August 21, 2018
It looks like a profile of Bart Simpson gazing at his…navel?
— George Hunter (@GeorgeHunter_DN) August 22, 2018
Turns out global warming has a disproportionate impact on Lake Superior and Lake Michigan. Who knew?
— Shawn Gremminger (@sgremminger) August 21, 2018
Where are those pleasant peninsulas, seriously!
— David Gregory aka DG (@dgregory1) August 22, 2018
It ate northern Wisconsin! EEEEK!
— James Frye (@JamesFrye) August 21, 2018
Apparently a lot of prescriptions are written in the middle of Lake Superior?
— R Despres, PhD, MPH (@knityarn) August 21, 2018
The lakes have overflowed their banks and Michigan is underwater. Clearly that’s why it’s blue.
— Louise Norris (@LouiseNorris) August 21, 2018