Thursday, July 9, 2020

Coronavirus - good news, bad news

The bad news is that the number of COVID-19 new cases in the USA are way up. The good news is that the number of COVID-19 daily deaths in the USA has fallen. The trend-line since the peak is significantly downward. See the graphs below. I won't politicize it like Rush Limbaugh and an article he refers to. Nor will I politicize it in the opposite direction like most of the hyper-alarmist, Trump-hating mainstream media.  

The article's title makes it a question, but it would be very premature to assert that the covid-19-epidemic is ending, unless "epidemic" means only that the fatality rate from COVID-19 has declined below a threshold (link). Most of that decline is the result of far more testing increasing the denominator of the fatality rate. The decline does not portend a continually lower count of daily deaths. Indeed, deaths have spiked recently and the short-term trend is rising again. 

How much the high number of new cases portends the number of future deaths is far from clear. The newer cases are reportedly younger people less susceptible to death following infection. Medical care is more informed. The virus might have weakened and/or the infected may not be infected as much. I hope all that does portend the future, but only time will tell.

The case count is probably inflated by counting people with antibodies, not just people who tested positive for the coronavirus. The hyper-alarmist mainstream media is fixated on case count. But higher case count has a flip side. It decreases the fatality rate!

This URL also shows graphs of daily cases and daily deaths. The numbers differ slightly, and I didn't know how to copy-and-paste them here.

Lastly, to add some perspective. To date the number of USA cases is 3.06 million, still less than 1% of the population. The number of deaths -- about 135,000 -- is about 0.04% of the population and still well below the count from the 1918-20 Spanish flu. That was in the range of 500,000 to 850,000, when the population was less than one-third of today's. 

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