U.S. COVID-19 Deaths: A Grim Few Weeks Coming Up By Randall Bolten

U.S. COVID-19 Deaths: A Grim Few Weeks Coming Up By Randall Bolten
U.S. COVID-19 Deaths: A Grim Few Weeks Coming Up By Randall Bolten

Categories :

By citiesabc resources - Jul 19, 2020

“The dumbest time to lie is when you know you’re going to get caught.” (great advice from an old mentor)

And yet, that’s the trap that some of our elected officials are falling into, and continuing to dig themselves deeper.  They are saying that (a) the pandemic is under control, (b) the spike in new cases is due to aggressive testing, (c) death rates are dropping, and (d) since the people getting infected by COVID-19 in the U.S. are getting younger and younger, there’s less reason to worry.  These assertions range from misleading and cruel to downright false.  And we have not yet seen the consequences of the latest surge.

To get a sense of what the summer may bring, consider the following graph, showing daily new cases on the left-hand vertical axis, and deaths on the right-hand axis.  (Note that the axis scales are set such that at equal horizontal levels, Deaths are equal to 8% of New Cases – e.g., 2,400 vs. 30,000.)  Also, the Deaths curve is lagged by 7 days, so that for any New Cases datapoint, its corresponding Deaths datapoint reflects the level of deaths 7 days later.

COVID-19 New Cases & Deaths in the United States

We can learn the following from this graph:

(1) There is a clear relationship between new cases and deaths.  The 7-day lag creates a near-perfect fit between the New Cases and the Deaths curves, up through early April.  The decline in lagged deaths then tracks the decline in new cases, although the bottoming-out in lagged deaths in late June suggests that the cases-to-deaths lag time has stretched from one week to more like 3-4 weeks.

(2) The death rate is declining.  At the first peak in early- to mid-April, lagged deaths equaled about 7% of total cases.  After that first peak, the Deaths curve declined more rapidly than the New Cases curve.  There’s plenty of evidence that the average age of Americans diagnosed with the virus is coming down, and that age is a mortality factor.  It’s also clear that in the last several months care providers all over the world have learned a lot about caring for the most serious cases and about preventing death, and this has certainly lowered the death rate.

(3) The lag is getting longer.  As noted above, the Deaths curve seems to have leveled off and perhaps has seen a small upswing over the last week or so.  The New Cases curve showed that same characteristic in early June, before the dramatic upsurge we’ve seen over the last 3-4 weeks.  The most likely explanations for the lengthening of the lag time are that we are diagnosing and reporting cases earlier, and that we are doing a much better job of keeping people alive.

So yes, there is a clear relationship between new cases and subsequent deaths.  But with a 3-4 week lag between diagnosis and death, we have not yet seen the mortality consequences of the huge upsurge we’ve seen in the last few weeks.  The broken lines at the right of the graph are possible extrapolations of the Deaths curve – curve A seems like a best-case scenario, but the results could be as heartbreaking as curve B.

Even assuming a future case fatality rate as low as 2% – the U.S.’s total rate since the beginning of the pandemic is still over 4% – we face the prospect of several weeks with daily death counts of 1,000 or more.  At this point, it’s hard to imagine the summer ending with fewer than 200,000 total COVID-19 deaths in the U.S.  The U.S. is in for a sad and difficult summer, and I wonder how these elected officials will happy-talk their way out of that.

Tags

Metaverse, Data & Web 3.0: Braham Singh, CEO of BDx Data Centers & Author At Dinis Guarda YouTube Podcast

Metaverse, Data & Web 3.0: Braham Singh, CEO of BDx Data Centers & Author At Dinis Guarda YouTube Podcast

Oct 05, 2022
Dinis Guarda Reviews ‘Step Into The Metaverse’ by Mark Rijmenam on BooksABC Series

Dinis Guarda Reviews ‘Step Into The Metaverse’ by Mark Rijmenam on BooksABC Series

Oct 04, 2022
Gaurav Singh, Founder of JPIN – Spiritual Economics And Sustainable Investments

Gaurav Singh, Founder of JPIN – Spiritual Economics And Sustainable Investments

Oct 03, 2022
Metaverse, Green Tech, Cybersecurity… Tech And The Future At The Bloomberg Tech Summit In London

Metaverse, Green Tech, Cybersecurity… Tech And The Future At The Bloomberg Tech Summit In London

Sep 30, 2022
The Future of Metaverse Online Gaming

The Future of Metaverse Online Gaming

Sep 30, 2022
Digital ID, Financial Security, Metaverse – Dinis Guarda Interviews Lars Seier Christensen, Founder of Concordium and Saxo Bank

Digital ID, Financial Security, Metaverse – Dinis Guarda Interviews Lars Seier Christensen, Founder of Concordium and Saxo Bank

Sep 28, 2022
The AARON Retrospective Exhibition: Celebrating Harold Cohen, the Forefather of Computer Art

The AARON Retrospective Exhibition: Celebrating Harold Cohen, the Forefather of Computer Art

Sep 27, 2022
BooksABC, The New Youtube Series By Author And Entrepreneur, founder of citiesabc.com openbusinesscouncil.org Dinis Guarda, Kicks Off With “The Metaverse Handbook” Review

BooksABC, The New Youtube Series By Author And Entrepreneur, founder of citiesabc.com openbusinesscouncil.org Dinis Guarda, Kicks Off With “The Metaverse Handbook” Review

Sep 27, 2022
Shift Towards Circular Economy Driving Digital Transformation in Packaging Sector, Finds GlobalData

Shift Towards Circular Economy Driving Digital Transformation in Packaging Sector, Finds GlobalData

Sep 26, 2022
The ‘Most Hyped’ Upcoming Games, According To Google

The ‘Most Hyped’ Upcoming Games, According To Google

Sep 26, 2022