April 17, 2020
The virus is trying to stay alive, but the direction is still downward, as pictured in the model graph below.
Yesterday’s number of new cases spiked to 1200 from the previous day’s 941 cases, a 27% increase in one day, but the overall model’s trajectory continues to point a slow downward movement. These kind of spikes are not unusual so don’t panic yet.
Based on the President’s new virus guidelines for opening up their economies, suggests (requires?) a 14-day downward trajectory in documented new virus cases. It does not specify any number or percentage of decline, just that the trajectory is downward.
Under that criteria, Florida should easily meet that requirement by the end of April. Taking any action is left up to the governor of each state. Personally, I think there should be a maximum number of new cases or at least a maximum percent of new cases to begin the process. In the end, however, it’s up to the governors’ discretion. The President doesn’t want the ball…
As expected, the number of Covid-19 daily deaths have continued to rise, as shown below.
As long as we have new cases, there will be some deaths. But as the number of new cases decline, eventually the number of new deaths will decrease as well.
The national level of new Covid-19 cases continues to decline, but a slower pace, as shown below.
Some of you have seen on TV recent graphs have shown the number of cases rising the last few days.
These are simple bar graphs used to measure linear data. Our model is a cubic regression model, which is more appropriate for the virus. As the new cases are added, the model adjusts the trend line accordingly. One or two days is not a trend.
The model’s direction continues to predict a continued downward motion, but the pace is slower than expected. The last few cases have clustered in a small group but still in a downward motion. Remember that this is a national model and many states have different mitigation policies and the effects of these different policies will have small but diverse outcomes.
The nation’s daily deaths, as you would expect, continue to grow, as displayed in the new graph.
Notice the larger red circle in the upper half of the graph. That represents 6185 deaths in a single day! This unusual spike occurred on April 14. The next day it dropped to 2700 deaths and slowly declined from there.
Why that spike? I really don’t know. It’s probably deaths that occurred earlier but for some reason, were dumped on this date instead.
A large number of nursing home deaths have been occurring nationally. It’s possible that some of these deaths are from nursing homes that have been holding back on notifying their state health departments. If I find out, I’ll pass it along. In any case, this anomaly only marginally effects the model and not the continued direction.
It’s apparent the social distancing requirements are having significant effect on the spread of the virus. That said, the states’ will be walking a tightrope, balancing the virus containment and the desire to get back to normal. Good luck with that…
In the end, some people will be unhappy that we are either not opening up fast enough or opening up too soon. President Trump’s decision to let the Governors’ make the decision how to handle the problem was politically smart.
The new issue is now testing and most experts claim that opening up without adequate testing will likely lead to a resurgence of the virus. Trump has made it clear that it’s the states’ problem.
He hand’s the ball to the Governors’ and then tweets to his base: “liberate” Michigan and Minnesota, putting pressure on those governors’ to open up.
If new cases and deaths spike, it wasn’t his decision, those Governors’ wanted to handle this themselves. If the states go too slow, he could of have done a better job. How can he go wrong.
Be safe and stay at home if you can…