And the Pandemic Continues


Three months ago I started posting about the coronavirus pandemic. If this hadn’t turned into such a huge national and global tragedy, it would be quaint to look back at the very first graph and try and remember just how naive everyone was when a bad day was not even 70 new cases. A day under three months later and 21,000 new cases in the U.S. would be a good day.

Here we are in June, almost two months after the news sources declared the “peak” of the American epidemic, and we’re far from done. Yes, the number of daily cases is down from the peak in mid-April, but the downward path is looking incredibly slow vs. the growth rate pre-peak.

If the slowdown in infections had mirrored the initial infections, the American epidemic would have been over already.

Mirror the first half of the US curve around the peak

More realistically, if the American epidemic has subsided at the same rate as New Zealand’s, the U.S. would have no new cases 80-90 days from now.

Scale up the Peak-to-Zero NZ curve to the U.S. epidemic

But alas, the peak was more than 45 days ago and the pandemic has barely subsided at all. Even ignoring what will happen as the lockdowns are lifted, simply appending this New Zealand curve to today, this very simple visual model predicts that the pandemic will last at least another 120 days. That would be early October.

What if the U.S. starts dropping like New Zealand tomorrow?

I know of no reason why the U.S. will have a recovery as quickly as New Zealand given the premature end to the lockdowns, a continued lack of testing and tracing, and an urgent need for social justice.

It might happen given some new breakthrough method of testing or treatment, but far more likely is the case where there are still hundreds of new cases per day in November and December, if not thousands.

And the pandemic continues…

By "Luni"


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