How Many Die If There is a Coronavirus Crest on Easter?

Mish

Trump administration doctors project coronavirus cases will crest on Easter, April 12. OK, what if?

The Trump administration coronavirus team doctors, Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, estimate there would be 1.6 million to 2.2 million deaths if no preventative measures were taken.

On that advice, Trump extended his recommended shutdown until April 30. This lowered the estimates of Fauci and Birx to 80,000 to 200,000 deaths.

For discussion and comments from Trump and the doctors, please see Trump Worried About 2.2 Million Deaths, Extends Shutdown Through April

My chart above projects the current slopes until April 12 then flatten.

Everyone is Guessing

It's important to note these are not my "predictions".

Rather, it is my projection of what would happen IF the current trends hold.

I made such an estimation on March 22 and was blasted for it.

Covid Tracking Project

On March 22, I started a series of charts based on data from the Covid Tracking Project.

On that date I received an email accusing me of hyping the data because "It is not presently feasible to get to 100,000 cases in the US by March 26th."

The email also stated "These publications do more to incite hysteria and grab clicks than they provide any basis for decision-making."

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

My trendline at the time suggested we might hit 100,000 cases on March 26.

We topped 100,000 on March 27. I was one day late. Apologies offered.

The amusing thing about my initial post on this data series is my specific statement about trends.

"Those are not my projections, those are observations of what would happen if the current trends last that long at the same pace."

What If?

Assuming a crest at the same rate of progression, US deaths will hit 10,000 deaths on April 6 and something in the neighborhood of 50,000 near Easter.

I suspect that is on the high end. But no one knows, especially me.

I also suspect the 80,000 to 200,000 projection by Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx is purposely on the high side, just to be safe.

If so, the total best guess would be in the range of 100,000 to 140,000 or so.

However, deaths will not drop to zero on the crest or in the next month. Moreover, the threat might very well return in the Fall.

Question of the Day

  • Now that Trump finally believes this is worse than the Flu, will his followers believe it?
  • Bonus question: Will Trump and his followers pretend they believed this all along?

Meanwhile

  1. Retail Grinds to a Halt as 47,000 Stores Close
  2. Unemployment Claims Spike to 3.28 Million, New Record High
  3. Coronavirus Trend: One in 10 of Those Hospitalized Die

Nothing Working

Also, please consider Nothing is Working Now: What's Next for America?

Other than those kinds of things, It's No Worse Than the Flu™ .

Mike "Mish" Shedlock

Comments (118)
No. 1-36
Tengen
Tengen

We have yet to see a country "beat" this virus. China has been blatantly lying since mid-February, and related places like Hong Kong and Singapore are still having difficulties. Nobody is out of the woods.

From everything I've read, it seems like South Korea and the UAE have done the best job being proactive. I'd keep an eye on them to see a best case scenario. South Korea just reported another 78 cases and 6 deaths roughly an hour ago.

We (the US) and most of the world didn't take this seriously at first, so our final tally will be worse. It's still too early to expect victory and many places in SE Asia, South America, and Africa are trending upward, so globally cases will rise for some time.

CaliforniaStan
CaliforniaStan

I can answer that bonus question. Trump already is claiming he did. And his followers believe what he believes. So if he believed it, and they believe whatever he believes, then they must have believed it, too.

abend237-04
abend237-04

Well, surely we deserve a better than average death rate; We got the millions of college kids out of the bars and off the beaches before the end of March...

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

I track this model and it has been correct so far. It takes into account resources and shortages. The forecast is about 81,000 deaths mostly by mid summer.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

Based on this China has deaths in the 5 figures. Far above what they officially reported. They are probably missing people or have a mass grave somewhere.

Greggg
Greggg

I don't really think we have anything close to an accurate account of anything here in this country except a death count. I follow those more for an accurate account of where we were up to 2 1/2 weeks ago. Where we go with that?

Ted R
Ted R

This is depressing.

bradw2k
bradw2k

Do the models and extrapolations try to take into account the different cities being on different paths with different peak dates? Many cities (such as mine) must be several weeks behind Seattle and NYC.

Jojo
Jojo

This is Dr. Fauci's exact quote:

Fauci Says 200,000 U.S. Deaths Possible (10 a.m. NY)
U.S. coronavirus deaths could reach 200,000, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Anthony Fauci said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” More than half of the new cases are in New York, he said.

“Looking at what we’re seeing now, we’re looking at 100,000 to 200,000” deaths, “but I don’t want to be held to that,” Fauci said on CNN. “But I don’t just think that we need to make a projection when it’s such a moving target that you could so easily be wrong.”

The U.S. has almost 125,000 confirmed infections with more than 2,000 deaths.

In a similar vein I predict the stock market will set a new high in the next two months, surpassing DJI 30k. I will follow Fauci's lead on this prediction: [roflol]

“but I don’t want to be held to that,” Fauci said on CNN. “But I don’t just think that we need to make a projection when it’s such a moving target that you could so easily be wrong.”

Debbie C.
Debbie C.

Try living in Washington state! I told all the stores, & customers, late Feb, "to practice social distancing; just in case of maybe later"! I was very surprised, people actually did that! Pat on the back. I went to at least a half a dozen or more, stores all over town, showing them. I think it really helped. Since Beaverton, OR was just across the bridge 30 min drive, they had the 1st case in , Oregon . We needed to be prepared. Seattle was 2 1/2 to 3 hrs away. I live right across the bridge, in Clark co. Our hospital's already have a triage out front, & we have had 5 deaths already. Try wondering where those cases are at, & your trying to avoid those people. As of March 14, I went off the grid. No tv, no movies, no radio, unless I get in the car. Silence, doesn't feel golden, as they say. Wishing you, a long life. Be safe, & like me, wear MASKS, gloves, & sunglasses or glasses. Bummer, my contacts been out of my eyes since then. No touching your face. Well, minimal. 😎. As I've already been called a germaphobe , the 1st part of March! Hey. Take those temperatures twice daily, & keep records. Then, write down when you go out,. Every time I do, I start another 14 days. Just incase to clear people. That way they know I didn't get sick from them, or vise versa. Started March 9. It cleared Feb people, now 1/2 of March. Now, I have to start all over today. I went to the store! Crap! Lolllllkoolololol

Mish
Mish

Editor

JoJo needs to bottle and sell his Super-Optimism Infinity Vitamin

Realist
Realist

We can only hope that Trump and his followers will start listening to the scientists and medical experts now.

Bonus: I don’t really care if they claim they believed it all along.

I simply want all these anti-science types to open their eyes and look at reality. Refusing to see reality because of some political, religious, or conspiracy belief is literally killing people.

Sechel
Sechel

Good time to be an actuary

DeeDee3
DeeDee3

you can't get an accurate death rate until all cases resolve. China even by self report still has over 2000 unresolved cases. the complicated cases (severe with pneumonia) can take months to resolve. we won't know our death rate from this peak for months sadly.

Realist
Realist

Hi Mish. A week ago, I started a list of ”commenters on Mish’s blog who believe they know science better than the scientists, and claim that Covid 19 is nothing, not even as bad as the flu”

I’m sure this list is not complete but it will be interesting to see if any of them change their tune.

KenKam, RonJ, BillyBob, Quatloo, Awc13, Jojo

I believe that Awc13 already bailed and said that he will be back when you start talking about economics again. Lol.

Perhaps other readers can add to this list.

It would indeed be wonderful if some of these people start paying attention to scientists in the future.

njbr
njbr

It's obvious that there have been more exposure to the virus than what is being reported as "positive" tests.

How many people have actually been exposed to the virus without much effect?

That number is the answer to the question of when to "open up" again.

Instead, the only thing we can count somewhat accurately is the number of cases admitted to hospitals.

Even the number who die is a vague one, because there are those who die without investigation as to the cause. We may talk about China, but Italy and Spain have people dying away from hospitals, especially in nursing homes (some abandoned), that have not been recorded as caused by the CV. In the places it gets bad, that is what happens--whose job is it really to count the dead and enumerate the reasons? And there are far more reasons to not have a number.

We'll get a truer number in the coming years of the probable death toll from an "excess deaths" analysis of the population.

So we can predict an oncoming "number of deaths" but that will realistically cover only those who died in a hospital setting while being actively treated for the virus.

GeorgeWP
GeorgeWP

On a bit of a tangent. Once when I was in the US i needed to get some medicine for my son. Something that cost $15 in my country, was $60 and I had to get a prescription, so cost $160. A friend just told me she need some eye treatment, $260 was the best price in town in Houston. I can get the same thing in the local pharmacy for $15. Why is it so?

DBG8489
DBG8489

Saying this will "peak" in two weeks doesn't sound that bad when you say it.

However, with cases doubling roughly every two days, that means 7 doubles in 14 days.

If we stay in that track, that means a total case count of about 8 million by 14 April. And that's in the US alone - with most of them concentrated in major population centers.

The reality is that if we remain on that track, things will begin to come apart at the seams WAY before we reach reports of 8 million cases.

Let's face it - people in the US aren't used to real hardship or being told what to do. Around here, we give the orders. So when we are told that some little virus is going to run our lives for a while, we say "fuck that" and go about our business.

Imagine the confusion when reality sets in. Now think about the emotions that will follow that confusion. Think about what will start to happen when Grandma or Grandpa (or someone's child) either can't get into an ICU - or get moved out of one because they are triaged as "unlikely to survive." Think about what emotions will take over when doctors need an ICU for someone unrelated to CV, but can't get one because of someone infected. Think about how people in areas with lower rates of infection will react when they see people in cars from areas with super-high infection rates.

These are all things that are actually going to happen if nothing changes and the case load continues to double every couple of days.

But "two weeks" sounds pretty good when you say it.

Corto
Corto

Mish, I'd be interested in an investigation into the anti-malarial drugs and the antibody test, esp. availablility. Both of those being out and available will give us a better sense of being able to blunt this better and/or see how these numbers compare to the true number of people infected. I sure hope we are on the low end of these numbers and get back to arguing and second guessing decisions because we were too aggressive vs. the other way around.

JohnB99
JohnB99

Hopefully United Laboratories in Telluride can get us some data for those of us looking farther into the future.

If preliminary studies are true & anti-bodies degrade within 3-6 months, we could be looking at an even deadlier round two come September on.

A good portion of people that survive the 1st infection have compromised lung health, re-infect them and survival rates plummet.

Quatloo
Quatloo

We should have some historical perspective. Most are aware of the 1918 flu epidemic, SARS, and H1N1, but there are two lesser known 20th century flu epidemics in which 100,000 Americans died. One in 1957 (H2N2) and one in 1968 (H3N2). The impact of those deaths would of course have been much greater than COVID-19, due to a much smaller US population.

wootendw
wootendw

"Now that Trump finally believes this is worse than the Flu, will his followers believe it?"

Sure they'll believe it. They would follow Trump into Hell were he stupid enough to lead them there.

And, the TDS-afflicted will hope it's even worse (except the ones who get it). Gov Gretchen Whitmer is threatening doctors in her state who are thinking about prescribing hydroxychloroquine for it because Trump mentioned it.

Ultimately, this virus is going to help Trump politically. It's natural for Americans to rally round their 'leader' in a crisis. They rallied round Jimmy Carter during the Iranian hostage crisis until election day - a year later. Had the crisis ended before then, history might be very different now.

NewUlm
NewUlm

Until we have antibody testing and mass active testing the predictions are pretty bad and will shift like the wind. We still don't have a denominator!!!! Iceland has tested 4% of its nation and 50% of cases have no systems, which tracks the Diamond Princess, 30% with an older demographic, then an additional 50% of Iceland's cases had mild systems that would have never presented to a doctor.

What does that mean for the US? To start every model needs to add 2x the number of cases (estimate - like we do with the flu) to start. This will lower our death rate but also speed the time to peak. We are seeing social distancing work, but not lower R=0 below 1. With such a high silent attack rate, it seems all we can do is slow not stop C19 (until we can ID every case).

frozeninthenorth
frozeninthenorth

Equally interesting is the make up of those who are sick in the US, where nearly 60% are bellow the age of 50. Suddenly not so amusing for the FOX News talking heads who all assume that "they're parents are the ones who will have to make a sacrifice for the sake if the economy...interesting to see their reaction when they see how the US stats are different than the rest of the world.

BTW the reasons are unclear, maybe its because of the population's general health, but it seems that serveral who have died were healthy 40 year olds.

numike
numike

MIT has Posted Free Plans Online for an Emergency Ventilator That Can Be Built for $100. https://twitter.com/sinanaral/status/1244107247959056384

Zardoz
Zardoz

More importantly, will the ones that died rise three days later, and will people give them their stuff back?

WildBull
WildBull

@Mish

None of the expert's predictions add up.

If R0 for C19 is 3, C19 will burn out after about 2/3 of the population has been infected. At this point only one of three potential victims will be susceptible to a contagious person, effectively reducing R0 to 1. At R0 below 1, the number of new cases will contract. About 2/3 of the population becoming infected agrees with some epidemiologists predictions. This means that before this is over, 220 million people in the US will be infected with C19. It makes sense. There is no "herd immunity."

Your chart shows a ratio of about 1 in ten victims requiring hospitalization. This means that there is a pool of about 22 million people that will eventually require hospitalization. If the hospitals can accept 100,000 new cases per day, 22million cases could be cleared in about 220 days or 8 months. This assumes a curve that is very flat across the top, with short tails. There is already a lot of squeaking at 20000 cases per day. I don't know what the capacity of the hospitals is. It is an important question.

If the goal of shelter in place and stay home orders is to bring the level of infection low enough to manage with contact tracing, then C19 will be an issue for decades.

If the goal of shelter in place and stay home orders is to bring the level of infection low enough to keep the hospitals from being overloaded, 8 months of quarantine may be optimistic. Before 8 months have passed there will be trillions of dollars of defaults in mortgage, student and business loans as well as corporate bond defaults. What will be left economically after this is over? How much rioting and civil unrest will there be? Trump is right. This is not sustainable.

I'm asking for some analysis into how wide the curve will be after it is flattened. The area under the curve will remain constant.

Best Regards & Stay Healthy

PecuniaNonOlet
PecuniaNonOlet

Well the virus has hit close to home. My brother in law has tested positive and I have a good friend who has been sick for two weeks but cant get tested so I assume he has it too along with his wife because she is sick.

Ebowalker
Ebowalker

Feel free to correct this: Is there a possibility there have been millions who already beat their infection and symptoms were so mild they never went for treatment and therefore the exponential graphs we see are completely wrong?

Six000mileyear
Six000mileyear

I'm sure the US armed forces / CIA have their spy satellites focused on all activity to assess the real condition in China. If shipping all of the sudden improved, then the finance media would alert everyone.

Carl_R
Carl_R

It appears that, as predicted, the death rate is starting to rise in certain areas of congested hospitals. New Deaths/New cases, and cumulative death ratios for a three areas that seem to be rising:
New York: 4.2%, 2.0%
Michigan: 5.1%, 2.8%
Louisiana: 7.0%, 4.6%
Entire US: 2.8%, 1.9%

EmmaClae
EmmaClae

Why is 2020 a year filled with disasters? It is just the 3rd month & we have too many issues worldwide. Now, it’s COVID-19. Wait a sec, if not investing in BTCINVESTLIFESTYLE., how would it be planning the unseen circumstance of financial, economic regress. This came too sudden after build up since last year. I hope an effective cure is discovered soon.

FeralAndroid
FeralAndroid

Not sure how you get those numbers? We won’t see a decline until we get to herd immunity, which is 60-80% of the population infected. The medical system will break long before that.

Casual_Observer
Casual_Observer

So it looks like we are up to 3167 today. This is now above the model I posted which had forecasted a high of 3116 today.

Duncan Burns
Duncan Burns

Since we can't track the virus behavior due to lack of testing scaled random sampling, here's how we will know things are better: When we see the top of the test curve (the infection peak will be long over).

Not the best way, but that's what we get for our government getting caught with their pants down - lack of ability to test (no, Party in charge doesn't matter, this is long time in making).


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