Wednesday, March 18, 2020

On the Button

A week ago (3/11) I estimated that the total number of coronavirus cases in the US would be about 8,000 in a week.

I just looked and the number is 8,019.
In the stage we're in, many countries had ~33% daily rise in virus cases. That would put the number of US cases a week from now at about 8,000, and 340,000 by the end of the month.
340 K now seems hard to believe. But back then, according to the FT chart, only Japan and South Korea has succeeded in flattening the curve. Since then, Italy has somewhat. Here are Italy's daily increase in the number of cases for the past 7 days:
Much lower than the 33% value the FT chart noted.

Now that the US is instituting some real measures, the 340 K number, which came from assuming a 33%/day growth rate, looks unlikely. (But we're growing at 30-40%/day at the moment.) At least for the end of March.  

1 comment:

Ned said...

I just posted an estimate (in this other thread) of 155,000 to 310,000 actual (not "reported") cases in the USA by the end of March.

The number of reported cases has been doubling faster (3-ish days) than the assumed actual spread of the disease (6-ish days) ... because there was a lag at first with no testing, and now we're starting to catch up.

The rate of doubling from testing will need to converge at some point on the rate of doubling of actual cases.

I am perhaps naively optimistic that we'll stay under 300,000 cases in the USA in March, as this social distancing begins to take effect. But that will still mean a huge number of ICU cases, and they won't be distributed evenly, so some hospitals are going to be in awful shape by then.