I get sick to my stomach every time I watch the daily 5 pm presentations from Washington, because as learned as these people may be, nothing they predict is showing up later in reality.
Let that sink in. If an analyst’s assessments never pan out, either they’re BS’ing you and they know it, or they don’t know what they’re talking about. Either way, if lives hang in the balance you should run away, fast: you should proactively ignore their advice and think for yourself.
I mean, they sound knowledgeable, but all their assurances about things being under control are crap. Look at the numbers – which they should be doing.
A lot of people in the US are likely to die soon. They’re acting like that’s not true – except when they suggest that people like me would be happy to die, to save the economy.
Below, I’ll paste in my Thursday Facebook post. When Friday’s numbers come out, I’ll add those.
Today I want to focus on a different statistic – how rapidly the count of confirmed cases is doubling. I emphasize “confirmed” because we still don’t have nearly enough testing kits, which is exactly comparable to fighting a wildfire and not having reports from most counties so you don’t really know how big the fire is. That’s us.
This first chart from Our World in Data today (at top of this post) is messy to read but you can see the US case count (the green line) has been steadily rising, doubling every 2.5 days. (It’s halfway between the faint diagonal lines labeled “Doubling every 2 days” and “Doubling every 3 days.”)
That means in 7 days the case count doubles 3 times, which means it grows 8-fold. (Double, then 4x, then 8x.)
Does the recent history bear that out? Let’s test that by checking the numbers. Yesterday (3/25) you can see that the count was 46,442 cases; seven days earlier it was 4,661. That’s TENfold, not 8. So yup, that really is happening.
The trend line is steady so far, and the way these complex behaviors work, they continue unless something changes. If it continues for another week, that means by April 2 we’ll have 8-10x more cases than today: 400-500,000 confirmed cases in the US, plus some number of unknown (not tested) sick people.
It makes me sick to watch the COVID-19 task force on their daily briefings acting like this isn’t happening. “A hospital ship with 400 beds will arrive in LA Monday,” they say. FABULOUS news when we have 400,000 more sick people arriving, across the country. Time will tell which of us was on target. I’ll see ya in a week.
Today’s second chart shows that the US continues to track 11 days behind Italy and 5 days behind Spain. Both of those countries are now at 700 deaths a day (top right part of chart), so *IF* the pattern holds, we’ll have 700 deaths a day in 5-10 days. I’ll see ya in a week to see how it panned out.
The third chart shows, very unfortunately, that unlike Italy, we have not turned the corner on new confirmed cases. Yesterday the US had 14,000 new confirmed cases, more than Spain and Italy combined.
As of 5:30 pm Thursday, the US has more cases than anyone in the world – 81,000. And it’s rising. (By 6 pm the TV said it was 82,000.)
Our only hope to avoid disaster and thousands of US deaths is to STOP THE SPREAD by STAYING HOME as much as possible. Anyone who doesn’t see what’s coming – even if they’re on the task force – doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Think for yourself.
Remember – a week from now there may be ten times as many US cases as today, 100x more than a week ago. So the behaviors that kept you safe may no longer be sufficient. DON’T STOP BEING CAREFUL. The danger is still invisible but increasingly present.