The reason I posted the cases from two days ago (March 22) at 31,767 is because that is the day I created this chart based on Covid Tracking Project data.

It is also the day I received an email from someone whose name most of you would instantly recognize. I was accused of hyping the data because there was "No way we would hit 100,000 cases on March 26".

Here is my March 22 post: Covid Tracking Project: How Long to 1 Million US Cases?

Here is the Email I received with names removed.

It is not presently feasible to get to 100,000 cases in the US by March 26th.

To do so, the daily average growth rate in the number of cases would need to be 41.5% with a mean doubling time of case numbers of 2.0 days. I have not been calculating the numbers for the US as a whole, only for specific regions of personal interest, but a doubling time of 2.0 days is almost certainly too aggressive. In the regions I am tracking, where mitigation measures are in place, the mean doubling time is significantly longer; 2.3 to 2.7 days except for Colorado, where the reporting is very haphazard.

With respect to reaching a million cases by April 3, which is 11 days from now, this is certainly possible if current mitigations fail. It would require a daily average growth rate of 35% and a mean doubling time of 2.3 days sustained over that 11 day period.

These numbers are on the aggressive side of pessimistic, but feasible. They are, however, linear (well, log-linear) extrapolations of the current condition into the future, which never works accurately for large, complex systems, particularly where human decision makers and human efforts are at play.

A long way round to the same conclusion as yours: These publications do more to incite hysteria and grab clicks than they provide any basis for decision-making.

Galling Points

  1. Neither the person who emailed me nor the person so commented can read. This is what I said on March 22: "Those are not my projections, those are observations of what would happen if the current trends last that long at the same pace."
  2. Two days later, I do note we are still on track for the "not feasible" by March 26.
  3. I do not attempt to "inciting hysteria or grab clicks".

In regards to extrapolating data forever into the future, I agree. It will not happen.

But the person who emailed me could not even figure out that with hugely increased testing these numbers would rapidly rise for a while.

New York Coronavirus Cases

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Readers asked for state totals so there is New York, the worst of the 50 states.

I do not project New York forward because the lines are not as smooth. What seems to be happening is that the day-to-day amount of testing varies by states.

The more testing in a state the more cases there will be found.

Te pattern of deaths in New York is interesting. For a couple of days there is no increase then a jump for two more days, then stabilization for two days. I have no explanation for this pattern.

Final Thoughts on Extrapolation

I suspect the US will will not hit 100,000 cases by March 26 but within a few days of that. Regardless, it is certainly "feasible", and so much so that the extrapolated date has not even changed.

Meanwhile, what do you call someone who literally says it is "not feasible" while accusing you of presenting clickbait?

From the point of view of the average person in the US, is there any real difference if the number of cases touches 100,000 on March 26 vs March 27, or even April 1?

I suspect not.

Yes, the number of cases will stall at some point, perhaps sooner rather than later, but probably not.

Why?

Increased testing will pick up more cases while the virus itself is still spreading.

How hard should that be to figure out?

I ought to name names, but I won't.

For the record I do not spread clickbait hysteria and I do hope the trendlines I show are high.

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

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