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Coronavirus Deaths Spike

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There was a lot of chatter yesterday over the "unexpected" surge in deaths.

But here's the deal: As discussed previously, cumulative deaths follow cumulative hospitalizations, with a lag of about a week.

Thus my lead chart was no surprise to me.

Today I added Microsoft Excel generated curves. There was nothing scientific about what I did. Rather I displayed quite a bit of bias on the polynomial death trend, seeking a curve that looked right to me.

Assuming the poly curve is in the ballpark, we are looking at 80,000 to 120,000 deaths,

However, we are not out of the wood just yet as New York heavily influences the lead chart.

New York Coronavirus Cases

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Despite a surge in New York cases, all of the charts show flattening action. But other states like Florida, Louisiana and Illinois may be picking up steam.

Good News

Containment is working. This current death rate pickup will not last. That is what the charts suggest.

Yet, as expected and predicted, the "I Told You So" crowd is congratulating itself on repeated nonsense this is Just Like the Flu.

The fact is, these death counts and hospitalizations are this low only because containment efforts worked even better than projected.


Why the Surprise?

Eliminate social contact and the R0 (rate of person-to-person spreading ) will collapse. And so it did.

But although the rate of spreading will soon peak and turn lower, infections, hospitalizations, and deaths will keep rising due to the huge number of people already carrying the disease with no symptoms.

Rear View Mirror Analysis

Deaths are the rear view mirror.

The flattening of the curve is the future and it may turn down by the end of the April or Mid-May even as deaths still keep piling on.

This is expected and good news.

Economic Front

The containment effort shows promise. Unfortunately, the economic front is way lagging.

In particular, I estimate the unemployment rate will hit 20% in April.

If the rate does do not get that high, the most likely explanation is an enormous increase in part-time work, with employers spreading the work around an cutting hours down to almost nothing.

For details, please see How High Will the Unemployment Rate Rise in April?

And because of the economic damage to households, the Covid-19 Recession Will Be Deeper Than the Great Financial Crisis

Please Look forward to the time you can freely travel about, just don't expect things to ever be like they were as discussed in Nothing is Working Now: What's Next for America?

Mike "Mish" Shedlock