March 26, 2020

"Using the length of time you chose, the model suggests that 101.2 million people could contract the coronavirus across the United States between January..."

"... and late October (with 27.1 million at the peak on June 17). More than 996,700 people would die under these conditions and 99.8 million people would recover. Tweak the settings, and these numbers will change. These numbers offer a false precision, for we don’t understand Covid-19 well enough to model it exactly. But they do suggest the point that epidemiologists are making: For all the yearning for a return to normalcy, that is risky so long as a virus is raging and we are unprotected....

Click through to the NYT interactive display with sliders to change the dates of when we stop the social distancing and see how that affects the numbers of hospitalizations and deaths. You can change many other variables, such as the degree of distancing and a prediction of the impact of warm weather and a prediction of the death rate.

141 comments:

Jersey Fled said...

Idiots will use this calculator to prove anything they want.

My prediction: no way 101 million Americans will get the virus.

Yes, I know this makes me just another idiot.

Darrell said...

Liar!
We're playing Liar's Poker, right?

exhelodrvr1 said...

Those predictions don't seem to agree with what is happening in "real life." But they do mesh nicely with the Democrats'/media's agenda

Darrell said...

101 million would mean that 1/3 of all Americans will have permanent lung damage (fibrosis). Might as well cancel the Olympics forever, then.

Fernandistein said...

These numbers offer a false precision but it's a nice parlor game for shut-ins.

Laslo Spatula said...

If you find just the right setting the Hale-Bopp comet appears.

Get your purple cloaks and Nikes before they're harder to find than toilet paper.

I am Laslo.

Shouting Thomas said...

After 3-1/2 years of Russia collusion hoax, I’m supposed to think now that the NYT is authoritative and objective?

The Times pissed away their credibility.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Everyone should read that Federalist article exposing the Covid Act Now lies.

Jersey Fled said...

BTW, the prediction of 101 million would make this worse than the Spanish Flu outbreak of 1918.

I guess medical science hasn't advanced any since then.

David Begley said...

I strongly urge everyone to click through and read that fake and partisan hit piece. Headline essentially says, “Trump could kill1 million Americans if we open by Easter.”

Exactly one variable in that so-called model.

And there’s this, “Dr. Larry Brilliant, an epidemiologist who is a veteran of the eradication of smallpox and is now the chairman of an organization called Ending Pandemics, warned that if Trump sends everyone back to work by Easter, “I think history would judge it an error of epic proportions.”

Fuck the New York Times. Just trying to scare people and harm Trump. And note well the appeal to authority. History is going to judge the NYT very harshly.

Lawrence Person said...

I trust the New York Times to come up with an adequate virus modeling tool less than I trust them to report the news fairly. And I trust them to report the news fairly zero percent of the time if there's a way to twist or distort the news in a way that hurts President Trump or Republicans.

Temujin said...

This modeling on something we don't fully understand reminds me of the entire global warming/climate change arguments. Except that we already know more about how this virus works (and will know even more soon) than we can ever understand about how our entire climate and environment works. And by environment, I include the sun and extra-planetary effects on our climate.

We know more that is exact about this virus already. Yet we continue to base our decisions on modeling that is known to be inexact at best. And as you can see, when you change the input, the model can change quite a bit.

We will get the virus under control at some point, sooner rather than later. The climate? That will continue to be, at best, good guesses.

Oso Negro said...

@Jersey Fled - people’s bullshit detectors certainly have not advanced any since then

Browndog said...

You can thank the global warmists that I do not believe any sciency modeling, especially the ones pushed by the media.

David Begley said...

Temujin:

I’ve been saying the same thing. The “science” people are going to be epically wrong on predicting how this virus plays out in the next 30-60 days and we are supposed to believe their predictions about the climate of the entire Earth in 80 years? Americans are that’s stupid, are they?

Darrell said...

If all the Democrats "disappeared," we could always say it was The Rapture. Saints no longer in our midst.

Fernandistein said...

The NYeT missed the opportunity to have interactive sliders showing how much Democracy was destroyed by various amounts of Russian collusion.

David Begley said...

This hit piece will be all over MSNBC today.

Fernandistein said...

New Evidence Suggests Israelites Got Through Times Of Famine By Sharing Memes

Unforunately they had to make-do without any interactive sliders.

JAORE said...

"These numbers offer a false precision..."

No shit.

Charles said...

I am also worried about an economy if total hold for that long. Right now we are at a pause but if we do this for months how many will have any income to buy anything including food? Economic collapse will have effects for decades.

How many people will eventually starve or be destitute for many many years if we DO NOT get back to work.

I think that would be worse than the disease.

stevew said...

I don't trust any of these models, they don't accurately predict what has been observed to date, and I wonder about the motivations of the modelers. This latter concern derives from the source of this article. Rest assured the people that already believe the virus is a human disaster that justifies a complete reordering of our civilization and economy will use this to confirm their doomsday projections and actions.

Jersey Fled said...

Slightly off-topic question for our medical friends here.

As I understand it, in order to get the disease your immune system needs to be attacked by a "massive attack" that overwhelms your immune system. This is a paraphrase from something I read a few days ago somewhere.

Is it possible that some of us, maybe most of us, have had a minor brush with the virus that our immune system easily fought off? And that we have developed a certain amount of immunity?

Is that why the flu generally peters out in the Summer and doesn't kill everybody, like some here think will inevitably happen?

stlcdr said...

Having used several models, they are generally worthless unless you tell it what is going to happen, using empirical data.

Matt Sablan said...

So, what if we open by then and there aren't that many infections?

Are these models more, or less, reliable than the last major political model I remember, which was the effect of the Stimulus, where the economy was worse after the stimulus than they had modeled assuming a do nothing approach.

Does the model tell us what variables are unknown? What assumptions are being made?

Browndog said...

We're ten days behind Italy. Why go through a bunch of burdensome math with unsolvable variables when you can just look up the Italian numbers?

Or did history start anew, and nobody said we're 10-14 days behind Italy?

David Begley said...

Joe Scarborough just said Donald Trump will kill Americans. “Trump is being reckless and irresponsible.” “Mr. President you are lying.” “This is science.”

Yammering about testing. Azar lied. More lies by the President. Yada, yada.

I Have Misplaced My Pants said...

Millions dead! Millions! The sky is falling!

Earnest Prole said...

A month ago Trump predicted the number of Americans with the virus would be down to "close to zero" within "a couple of days." Now the New York Times predicts it will be 100 million by late October. So I'm guessing the actual number will be somewhere in between.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

I can believe the 100 million infected number, but not likely in that time frame. And likely half are asymptomatic, so would never know unless they got tested at random.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

So how well does their model, with the parameters used to get the 100 million infections, match the numbers we've seen over the past month?

Matt Sablan said...

"Or did history start anew, and nobody said we're 10-14 days behind Italy?"

-- I thought we were 10-14 days behind Italy in early March.

Gusty Winds said...

I work at a 50 person company. Just after Christmas a flu ripped through the plant and we had like 10 people out for at least a week. They were SICK. One guy for two weeks, because his wife got sick too. That's 20% of our work force.

I didn't get it. But I'm starting to believe the virus has been here longer than we think meaning:

1) The Chinese knew about it earlier than Nov-Dec 2019
2) The amount of real cases my never be known, and the herd effect is already in place...
3) The mortality rate could be way lower that the 3% that seems to be an accepted baseline.

Matt Sablan said...


3) The mortality rate could be way lower that the 3% that seems to be an accepted baseline.

-- See, that's why these models bother me. They accept: "There's a lot more infected than we know!" But they don't generally adjust the mortality rate for that, just assuming that the unknown infected have the same rate as those who have died/recovered after being hospitalized or diagnosed.

Maybe that's a good assumption; maybe it isn't. My gut says it isn't.

exhelodrvr1 said...

Watch out, Gusty!! You're about to be labeled as a denialist!!

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Is this the same model that says Wisconsin will go from the current 8 deaths to as many as 1500 deaths in the next two weeks? At least it won't take long to determine the accuracy of that model.

Jersey Fled said...

My B.S. detector flashes red every time I hear that "10 days behind Italy" trope.

I spent a few minutes looking for day-by-day data on the progression of the virus and couldn't find any. I do recall seeing a graph showing the US tracking far closer to Japan and South Korea than to Italy.

Next time someone uses the 10 day trope, I challenge them to provide data to back it up.

BTW, if we are 10 days behind Italy we should expect new cases in the US to start declining in about 6 days.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

“Dr. Larry Brilliant, .........warned that if Trump sends everyone back to work by Easter

Hate to break it to Dr. (not-so) Brilliant, but....there are a LOT of people working all the time, even now, braving the virus lock downs.

Not, of course, people who count like Dr Brilliant. You know, just the ordinary schlubs who are taking away his garbage, delivering food to his door, stocking the grocery stores, bringing food and supplies to everyone else.

There are also a lot of ordinary schlubs whose lives are being destroyed by having no income for an unforeseen time. HINT: This isn't a stay-cation for them.

If Dr. Brilliant had to worry about whether he could buy milk or pay the rent, I bet he would think differently.

BTW: If he can buy milk he should be thanking a farmer, a trucker, a stocker, a clerk, and the people who manufacture the carton the milk comes in....to name just a few.

JAORE said...

"We're ten days behind Italy. Why go through a bunch of burdensome math with unsolvable variables when you can just look up the Italian numbers?"

Sure. Just because Italy has different standards of hygiene (been there, done that), a substantially older population, "universal health care" leading to treatment abandonment for the elderly, higher percentage of smokers, denser population centers and more. It's just the same!

Chris N said...

So if the model isn’t predictive, then it isn’t really there yet, nor useful. You really shouldn’t use it.

Getting away from COVID-19

The NY Times needs authority based on possessing/distributing knowledge that is (S)cientific and actionable in a competitive marketplace during a crisis. Meanwhile (my model) says the institution is more and more consumed by political ideologues, people wanting their ideas to be in charge of politics and hoping for political outcomes as part of political movements i.e. politically Left, radical, generally utopian movements.

My prediction is that this move Leftwards is a mid to long term loss for all (political economy especially). Actual scientists can’t bear such weight of meaning/hopes/demands for long and there are very few scientists long-term on the editorial board at the Times who aren’t there for the politics, group membership, authority and prestige.

The crisis is a little different, because of the urgency.

Another prediction: Most high liberal idealists haven’t quite come to grips with what letting the crazies lead from the fringes means mid and long term either. You’ll have to take a stand somewhere, sooner or later, for something you actually believe in (family, economic freedom, speech, religion, party, political independence, a work of art, doing actual Science etc.)

MadisonMan said...

How has this model performed to date?

I sense the Innumeracy and Science Ignorance of Times writers raising its ugly head.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Since Trump wants to start on the path to normalcy, the media will have no choice but to oppose him. If he was smart, he would demand a total lockdown for the next 6 weeks with no exceptions.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

David Begley Americans are that’s stupid, are they?

Well....some of them are licking toilet seats and eating fish tank disinfectant.

And....There are Democrat voters thinking about electing Biden.

Static Ping said...

All models are wrong. Some models are useful.

The New York Times no longer practices journalism. They are the propaganda arm of the Left.

Make your own conclusions.

tim maguire said...

At this point, it seems most likely that the death rate for the coronavirus is roughly the same as for flu (it is currently artificially inflated by the fact that only the most serious cases are being identified). Further, statistical analyses suggest millions of people have already had it without knowing and large portions of the population are immune.

BUT...it's also true that there is too much emphasis on the death rate. The virus is devastating to many people who don't die. For all the talk about kids not dying and therefore not worrying about it, many thousands of young people are on ventilators and will have lung damage, possibly for life.

AND...the killer app of the virus remains it's ability to spread before symptoms appear. Not often discussed is that we have always practiced social distancing from people with the flu--we give a wide berth to people coughing and wheezing, especially in the winter, and encourage them to stay home until they are fully recovered. But with the coronavirus, we don't have the luxury of identifying people by their symptoms. We have to treat everyone as infected until we find some other way to separate the sick from the well.

JPS said...

Static Ping posted that great old saw while I was composing this.

Gusty Winds,

"The mortality rate could be way lower that the 3% that seems to be an accepted baseline."

I think it's lower, but not way lower. (For the record I am not an infectious disease expert, just a guy who tries to make sense of things in another context, and concedes he's a rank amateur in this one.)

Look at South Korea. They tested very aggressively from the outset. Their raw case fatality rate was running around 1 in 200 for weeks. Then it started rising, and leveling off as it got toward 1%, about the level you'd predict if you thought the Diamond Princess was a pretty good model for what would happen if we went about business as usual. As of now it's 1.4%.

Then there's Germany. They had an anomalously low CFR for awhile, like one in a thousand or less. It's still much lower than most - but it's rising lately, past 0.5% and trending gradually upward.

Come now to the U.S. Our denominator is growing, as testing finally ramps up. I can look at the doubling of cases every three days and say that's just because we're identifying many more - but deaths are more than keeping up. We were fluctuating around 1 death per 75 cases, just now it's at one in 66. Doesn't mean it'll keep rising, but to me this suggests it's not "really" 1 in a thousand or less.

As a planning factor then, in the absence of more solid information, I'd say the fatality rate really is something around or slightly over 1%, and that a significant fraction of survivors are going to have long-term damage.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

Using these numbers as a basis, over 1 billion Americans would have to contract the virus to get the 11,000,000 deaths that Althouse bandied about the other day.

So we've got that going for us.

Oso Negro said...

Blogger Browndog said...
We're ten days behind Italy. Why go through a bunch of burdensome math with unsolvable variables when you can just look up the Italian numbers?

Or did history start anew, and nobody said we're 10-14 days behind Italy?


You must have missed the information that the Italians were essentially attributing all deaths to the virus, without actual data. Therefore, lying Chinese caused the Wuhan Flu, but lazy or lying Italians accelerated the panic.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Our denominator is growing, as testing finally ramps up.

Well, of course. If your test sample is NYC or other dense urban area. Your data will be skewed. Now test the ENTIRE State of Idaho (for example) and use that data to do social engineering.

Relying on statistics, without knowing more about the sample size-composition-selective bias....is telling us nothing. Or actually telling us what we are supposed to think and how we should act, according to "the experts".

MikeR said...

I doubt that a model that assumes that nothing important changes is worthwhile. People are changing things.

exhelodrvr1 said...

" over 1 billion Americans would have to contract the virus"

open borders ...

David Begley said...

On another blog I was called a corona virus truther because I am a skeptic. I pushed back. I then got permanently banned. Kicked out. No dissent allowed.

JPS said...

Oso Negro,

"You must have missed the information that the Italians were essentially attributing all deaths to the virus, without actual data."

That is not true. That is the telephone-game version of what's going on here.

Dust Bunny Queen: I get all that. Still, deaths are keeping up with the growth in diagnosed cases. Doesn't mean Idaho needs to institute the same measures as NYC. Now tell your icon to stop touching her face, or I will come over all morally superior on you.

Sebastian said...

Projections are projections. Data are data. We'll see what happens, as Trump says.

But in the UK one of the expert panic promoters is having second thoughts:

""The virus death toll could end up being “substantially lower” than 20,000 with most of the fatalities in people who would have died later this year anyway, a government adviser has said.

Neil Ferguson, the Imperial College scientist whose research precipitated tougher government measures last week, told MPs: “It [the deaths of those who would have died anyway] might be as much as half or two thirds of the deaths we see, because these are people at the end of their lives or who have underlying conditions.”"

Many people still working around here. Trash just got picked up: the essential service.

Shouting Thomas said...

Psalm 130

Out of the depths have I called to you, O Lord;
Lord, hear my voice;
let your ears consider well the voice of my supplication.


The Gospel for this Sunday is the story of Lazarus. A week from Sunday is Palm Sunday.

bagoh20 said...

That's 100 million with immunity. The rest will be needing a vaccine. The virus is here now, and eventually only exposure makes us safe.

Browndog said...

The only known factors are:

-Total population (sort of)

-Number of hospitalizations

-Number of deaths/recovery post hospitalizations.

You can theorize and prognosticate using these data points, but that's about it.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Playing around with their model, it seems the biggest factor is the effect of summer. Summer reduces the seasonal flu spread by 90%. They are defaulting the effect of summer on COVID-19 to only 50%. If you slide that to about 75%, you get deaths under 100,000, even with lifting the shutdowns early. Not trivial, but not out of line with a bad flu season.

narciso said...

and nyc's health commissioner, an sjw weasel, still doesn't recommend quarantine, like I say you can't fix stupid,

Mike (MJB Wolf) said...

I’ll go out on a limb here and declare that 996,700 dead is about FIFTY TIMES the expected upper limit of 20,000 dead, most of which will be people with two or three high risk factors like compromised immunity. Using ONE MILLION DEAD as your example in a news article is scaremongering malfeasance. So journ-o-listism as usual.

rehajm said...

I won't reiterate the flaws with the logic but if that hockey stick extrapolation was true it doesn't say much about the resiliency of the human race. How could we have advanced this far?

Sebastian said...

tim: "many thousands of young people are on ventilators and will have lung damage"

tim, serious question, no snark: do you have a good source for that? what is the count for serious damage in people under 40? under 20? in the U.S. vs. globally?

My understanding is that in Italy they made up a very small proportion of cases. On the Diamond princess it appears no one under 70 got really sick. Of all the athletes tested, and I suspect they may be the most-intensely-tested subgroup, I believe none has shown any serious symptoms. worldwide.

Of course, those are just data points. If the danger is now greater here, that is worth knowing.

rehajm said...

...on the flip side if it is scare mongering to collapse the global economy to win an election, so far it isn't working. It appears to be making Trump stronger.

Earnest Prole said...

I do recall seeing a graph showing the US tracking far closer to Japan and South Korea than to Italy.

Sadly, no. The best visual representation of velocity by country is in the Financial Times. Scroll down to see “Country by country: how coronavirus case trajectories compare.”

Ignorance is Bliss said...


Jersey Fled said...

BTW, if we are 10 days behind Italy we should expect new cases in the US to start declining in about 6 days.

We shouldn't expect the same results, because we haven't implemented as drastic a lockdown. We should expect to drop off the current exponential increase due to the measures we have already taken. If we had take those measures all at once, fixed in place, we would expect a new exponential curve, with a new base. Since we have been rolling out different measures at different times, we will likely not settle on an exponential curve, but instead slowly decrease the rate at which we are increasing.

Jersey Fled said...

Ok. Some data on the "10 days behind Italy" myth.

On March 17th Italy had recorded 2503 deaths. Corrected for population, this would be equivalent to 13,776 deaths in the U.S.

As of this morning, there have been 1054 deaths in the U.S.

But that's only 9 days. Sorry, that's the best data I can find right now.

So unless U.S. deaths total 12,722 tomorrow, we are NOT 10 days behind Italy.

Anyone want to take that bet?

JPS said...

Mike (MJB Wolf),

"Using ONE MILLION DEAD as your example in a news article is scaremongering malfeasance. So journ-o-listism as usual."

Yes. Also I love the framing: Trump wants to "reopen America" after just two weeks! Now see what Experts say will happen!

OK, loyal readers: Who do you side with? Trump? (Boo! Hiss!) Or Experts?

The other objection I'd raise is the assumption that if one person infected on average 2.5 people while having no idea they were sick, and while being in no way careful, that will be the rate as soon as we "reopen America." That's absurd. I'd like to know what happens if we lock down for two weeks, then cautiously go back about our business - being as careful as you can get as many people to be.

Obviously some people will slip up. Obviously there will be stories of the egregiously stupid or malicious. But society-wide, the infection rate has to be lower than it was before we had any idea anything unusual was coming.

h said...

I have yet to see an explanation that squares this kind of prognostication with the experience of the Crown Princess cruise ship. There were something like 3700 people on the ship. The passengers interacted for two weeks in the context of a cruise ship sharing eating facilities and pingpong paddles and playing cards, etc. , without taking extraordinary measures to isolate themselves (because it was so early people weren't sure what it was, I guess, and also because half of the infected people were asympomatic), or to quarantine possibly infected people. Ultimately every single person was tested and something like 650 out of the 3700 were infected. I suppose, the explanation might be that if the 3700 had remained on the ship for a longer period, that the virus would have spread to more people. But it seems to me like everyone had ample opportunity to contact the virus repeatedly, and it's unclear why two more weeks, or two more months on the ship would have caused a much wider spread.

Static Ping said...

To get useful models would require much wider testing than we have now. We don't know how long the virus has been here, we don't know how many people have gotten infected with no symptoms or mild symptoms, we don't know the immunity rate, we don't know how many people have already recovered. Without that information, models are going to be guesses out to three decimal places.

It would have been helpful if the CDC could have made a working test, and it would have been nice if the FDA hadn't decided to go full bureaucratic and block all testing other than the CDC. The deep state exists. Sometimes it is evil and sometimes it is grossly incompetent.

narciso said...

https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/03/spielberg-funded-pac-now-its-exploiting-daniel-greenfield/

Jersey Fled said...

We shouldn't expect the same results, because we haven't implemented as drastic a lockdown. We should expect to drop off the current exponential increase due to the measures we have already taken. If we had take those measures all at once, fixed in place, we would expect a new exponential curve, with a new base. Since we have been rolling out different measures at different times, we will likely not settle on an exponential curve, but instead slowly decrease the rate at which we are increasing.

In other words, we are not 10 days behind Italy.

ga6 said...

When I see NYT quoting their favorite "experts" the term "agitprop" flashes before my eyes..

Phil said...

These are the same assholes who loudly criticized Trump for shutting down travel to China, then to Europe. They're the same assholes who insisted on holding Chinese New Year celebrations. They have no credibility on this topic.

MayBee said...

So people who are really fighting the idea of starting to open back up.....what is your timeline? What do you need to see?
How long are you willing to shelter In place?

MayBee said...

We were ten days behind Italy until ten days went by.

Earnest Prole said...

We shouldn't expect the same results, because we haven't implemented as drastic a lockdown.

Viewing the United States as a single entity is a mistake both scientifically and politically. America may not be the geographic equivalent of fifty separate countries, but certainly more than twenty, all with varying approaches and timing fighting the virus. For proof have a look at the velocity differences between New York, California, and Washington at the Financial Times link.

Darrell said...

I've been watching YouTube vids from Japan for awhile now. The Japanese have been given advisories, not welded into their homes. The street markets were way down a couple of weeks ago, but I have seen that slacking off recently. Last weekend it all went to hell with Japanese coming out for the cherry blossoms, which just started to bloom. I saw many, many groups of friends/family walking together, not practicing the 6-foot rule. Hand holding and eating without washing, too. People grabbing the front of masks to adjust them and not washing hands afterward.

Lloyd W. Robertson said...

Italy has levelled off in new cases and deaths for four days. 7,503 deaths, 124 deaths per million pop. By far the highest rate among "big" places--in tiny places, five deaths is huge.
If the U.S. got 124 deaths per million pop., this would be 124 x 300 = 37,200 deaths. Just over a thousand deaths so far. Hundreds of thousands, close to a million, just come across as complete and utter bullshit. More than 95% of active cases are mild, and this number should go up as testing reveals more mild cases of which nothing would otherwise be heard.

tim maguire said...

MayBee said...
So people who are really fighting the idea of starting to open back up.....what is your timeline? What do you need to see?
How long are you willing to shelter In place?


Exactly. The only purpose of this self-quarantining is slow down new infections for the 2-week incubation period (or 3 or 4, to be safe) to help us separate the sick from the well. It only makes sense if there is a plan to do something else when it's over. (What do we do with that information once we have it?)

It should be over as soon as possible. We should be interrupting our lives to the absolute minimum extent possible to still achieve our goals. People who complain about plans to lift the quarantines are automatons not giving this any actual thought.

Sebastian said...

"Since we have been rolling out different measures at different times"

Both the strength and the weakness of the American way.

But we have yet to take the one measure that would make a difference, is feasible, and would cost less than the current devastation of the economy: a national, rigorously enforced quarantine of risk groups.

Not that things are better overseas: anecdotal reports suggesting that seniors still cluelessly congregate.

mockturtle said...

Statistical models don't mean shit.

Wilbur said...

I haven't followed many of the comment threads about the virus for a couple of weeks.

I read through this one and it seems a lot of people aren't buying the Meadhouse line that you should totally isolate yourselves indoors for a few months - except for morning runs and picture taking, of course - or you are worse than Typhoid Mary.

Maybe they're right. We'll see.

Leland said...

Seems like a bad model. They may be epidemiologists but they suck at statistical modelling.

narciso said...

you forgot who created these models, they want to effect the policies of the green nude eel as much as possible, and it's the same crew behind the defunct buttigeg and harris campaigns, Jason was less resilient,

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Ernest Prole Viewing the United States as a single entity is a mistake both scientifically and politically.

Exactly. Viewing the entire State of New York as being the same as NYC. Or the ENTIRE State of California as needing the same lockdown rules as SF or LA is wrong.

While we are social distancing (somewhat) because it is probably just safer and because it really isn't much of a change in our life style anyway. Staying home. Limiting our contact with crowds (which is usually about 5 to 10 people MAX) not going to restaurants (they are closed probably permanently), sanitizing our hands, groceries, door knobs etc........

Does it LOOK like I need to social distance? View from my back deck

I'm not under the illusion that I am 100% safe or immune. But really. We are not NYC either.

exhelodrvr1 said...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m3dZl3yfGpc

ConradBibby said...

A couple of not-well-informed observations:

1. Seems to me comparing one entire country to another makes no sense because the geographical boundaries are arbitrary. Italy's numbers look really bad, but what if the Italy we know also happened to include the territory now inhabited by Austria, Hungary, and Poland? The virus would be wreaking the same damaged, but "Italy's" numbers wouldn't look nearly as bad compared to the U.S. For this reason, it makes more intuitive sense to look at infection/mortality rates within a given radius of an outbreak.

2. I'm wondering if the projections for deaths from covid-19 take into account the 50,000 or so that will die of the ordinary flu. IOW, people mentally figure that the flu kills 50,000 Americans, but since (if?) covid-19 is a lot worse, it should kill, IDK, 100,000. But presumably a lot of those estimated 100,000 will have already died of the flu, won't they? IOW, because of the flu, isn't covid going to have inherent difficulty in finding enough "elderly, most-vulnerable" people to kill to live up to its lethal reputation?

3. Related to the latter point above (I think), is there any evidence that all of the social distancing measures we're taking is depressing infection rates and ultimate mortality for the ordinary flu? Just curious about that -- I don't recall any discussing this.

rhhardin said...

It would be more entertaining if it composed the resulting NYT headline for each case.

Jersey Fled said...

Statistical models don't mean shit.

You mean, like the ones that had Hillary beating Trump?

MayBee said...

Another question: After seeing what Pelosi tried to push through on the first Corona virus relief package, do you think it is more in the Democrats' interest to see people come out and participate, or stay home and be frightened?

Two-eyed Jack said...

The NYT seems to choose it's reality to contradict Trump. We will vote in November, however, at which time we will know what happened, both here and abroad. The harm to the economy and to the population will be either more or less than we see elsewhere. For which combinations would Trump lose? Three of the four, or only one of the four?

Matt Sablan said...

"Statistical models don't mean shit. "

-- A well constructed model does though. Is this one well constructed? If we run the model backwards, does it accurately reflect the data we know?

jnseward said...

The #fatalityRate of #coronavirus is unknowable because we will never know the number of infected. All we will ever know is the number who died. Deaths per capita is the only meaningful statistic. How many of the infected have no symptoms? Nobody knows. How many of the infected have mild symptoms and never go to the doctor? Nobody knows.

Otto said...

I have been plotting the case and death data using best fit polynomial regression techniques trend lines and yes the projections are grim. But that is only a projection of a trend line. The death rate is 1.51 % as of yesterday but and that has been roughly the rate for the past 5 days. But these are only simple projections of a limited sample of data - 1 month. Now The NYT uses sensationalism when they say it is roaring out of control. Plotting the derivative of the daily death and cases rate (acceleration) you see no "roaring" effect. In fact there were a few days when the acceleration was negative.
Use common sense and track the numbers daily yourself and don't depend on the NYT.

Oso Negro said...

@ JPS - Let's reason from first principles:

1) All governments lie for their own convenience
2) Governments kill the most people of all, whether with guns, bombs, or stupid policies
3) "Experts" prove to be routinely full of shit
4) Whatever Trump does, he will be declared "wrong" by the press. He has either under or over-reacted. The press will let us know when the dust settles.

Those are my principles. What are yours?

So, I figure a government that can give "$25,000,000 to the Kennedy Center while giving individuals damaged by hysteria $1,200 isn't all that worried.

Further, lacking normal human compassion, I prefer killing off incremental numbers of the elderly, the infirm, and everyone else to plunging the country and the world into an economic depression. It could even include me, my 90 year old father, or my 85 year old mother. So, let's stop pissing ourselves and get the fuck back to work.

D.D. Driver said...

"Then it started rising, and leveling off as it got toward 1%, about the level you'd predict if you thought the Diamond Princess was a pretty good model for what would happen if we went about business as usual. As of now it's 1.4%."

But the Diamond Princess is not a representative sample of America. Cruise ship are stereotypically packed with the elderly. The Diamond Princess CFR is almost certainly inflated on that basis.

jnseward said...

Here in Rutherford County Tennessee, population roughly 350,000, there are eight confirmed cases of coronavirus. There are no deaths. What is the fatality rate? Zero. What is the infection rate? Nobody knows.

mockturtle said...

Matt, I was referring specifically to this pandemic. At present there are too many variables involved in the collection of data for a model to be predictive. But statisticians gotta model. It's what they do.

stevew said...

A true story: in the month of February I traveled to NYC and northern NJ weekly, spent an average of two days there. Given the numbers we're seeing I expect that I was exposed to the virus. On March 12 I spent several hours in a conference room with a person that became ill with coronavirus symptoms three days later. This person was tested and confirmed infected with the virus. Today is 14 days since my contact, no symptoms for me and so I will not be tested. I have been isolated and distant from everyone except my wife. One other person from the meeting on the 12th has some very mild symptoms, more like cold symptoms. There were a total of eight of us in the meeting.

Dave Begley said...

My fellow Omahan, Warren Buffett, has always made money for his partners. He's been quiet so far. He has $120 billion in cash. You can buy one share of BRK.B today for about $180.

Mark O said...

Raise your hand if you would like to cross-examine this witness on the reliability of this chart.

Spiros said...

The Chinese are reporting zero new cases of Covid 19. Let's believe them. So have they achieved herd immunity? Has the Covid 19 outbreak terminated because the probability of transmission from a new case approaches zero? That is, newly infected people cannot make sufficient contact with susceptible individuals to spread the disease in China (because there aren't enough susceptible individuals around anymore).

Looks like we're in the best case scenario. A significantly large part of the Chinese population acquired active immunity from previous infection. Enough Chinese got sick and recovered that they're now past the herd immunity threshold. This could be as little as 30% of the population or even 85% (depends on the value of R0). And it all happened in a few weeks.

But there can be other reasons for the decline of transmission of Covid 19 in China.
First, seasonal changes (humidity and temperature) affected Covid 19 viability outside the host. (The media has been raging that this cannot be true, but that's mostly Trump Derangement Syndrome). Second, social distancing influenced the opportunity for effective contact between infected individuals and susceptibles. (Do you really believe this?) And, third, the progressive replacement of susceptibles with immunes which generates the “herd immunity” effect. (All the at risk people are dead.) We don't know. But shouldn't we send some of our best and brightest over there to take a look?

Sebastian said...

"a lot of people aren't buying the Meadhouse line that you should totally isolate yourselves indoors for a few month"

But I am buying their line: the Meadhouses of America should totally isolate themselves fora few months, with outside help as needed. Old people yes, most younger people no.

Althouse and Meade are doing the right thing, as far as I can tell. Though didn't they have some contractors around recently? At a great distance, I am sure.

Louie the Looper said...

To be fair then, every actual death lower than the 1 million predicted by the model must be attributable to the heroic, life-saving efforts by Trump and his team. Hundreds of thousands of Americans will owe their lives to Trump, and he will go down in history as the great “Life Giver.” Come October, Dr Brilliant and the NYT will hail Trump as the true “Dr Brilliant.”

Nah.

Matt Sablan said...

Oh. Yeah. This specific model I find suspect, but I find everything suspect.

Oso Negro said...

@ Spiros, discontinuing testing and reporting could explain the Chinese results also

Darrell said...

The Green New Deal
Mandated Corporate Board Diversity
Airline Carbon Emissions Requirements
Millions to Refurbish the Kennedy Center
A Multi-Billion-Dollar Slush Fund for Planned Parenthood

Is this for SARS-CoV-2 or thee Karl Marx Flu?

chuck said...

The New York Times needs a better model of Trump. I'd love that, we could all slide the buttons back and forth and see how opinions change.

Morkoth4682 said...

Bogus Virus Models

Earnest Prole said...

The United States is currently sacrificing trillions upon trillions of dollars in economic growth to protect and prolong the lives of a bunch of old, mostly white, mostly Republican men. Naturally the old white Republican men bitterly resent the gesture.

No good deed goes unpunished.

Lurker21 said...

You could already have had the coronavirus and not know it. You could already have high blood pressure or diabetes or cancer and not know it yet. You could have mistaken the coronavirus for an ordinary flu (or vice versa). You could have had a variant strain of the virus that gives you immunity to the deadly variety. Still, 101 million seems very high.

Rance Fasoldt said...

I remember the prediction that it would take 8 years for the country to recover from Y2K. Oh, those were bleak, painful years, wandering in the desert, looking for wood to burn.

rcocean said...

This is absurd! What flu has ever reached 100 million within a year. IS there any evidence the Wuhan virus is easier to spread then the 2009 Ebola? And the people most likely to catch the virus, young kids and people under 40, are least likely to get sick or die.

rcocean said...

If the USA is going to lose millions, then what about Europe? Are they going to lose millions? where are the projections? The UK would be losing 500 thousand. That's not the current forecast.

Hysteria. Just more fake news from the NYT -that has an agenda. Its Katrina all over again.

Calypso Facto said...

Earnest Prole said..."The United States is currently sacrificing trillions upon trillions of dollars in economic growth to protect and prolong the lives of a bunch of old, mostly white, mostly Republican men. Naturally the old white Republican men bitterly resent the gesture."


“There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.” Robert A. Heinlein

MountainMan said...

My wife and I - we are both 69 - are doing the Althouse/Meade thing. We are pretty much staying in our home north of Atlanta and not venturing out, except to go to the grocery (me) or pick up a meal at a drive-thru (also me). We moved from our condo we had here for the past 4 years and recently bought a nice house nearby, going to sell our home in TN and move here full-time for better health care and to be closer to family for the rest of our lives. We are not unhappy being isolated like this. The man who owned this wonderful house before us left us a nicely equipped fitness room, a nice office, a great kitchen, and a very nicely equipped home theater. Couldn’t believe how luck we were to get this. We have been cooking, binge watching Starz series (Outlander, White Queen, White Princess), working on genealogy, sitting out on the patio, ordering home delivery. If we had to do this a few more months it wouldn’t be bad. I know everyone is not as fortunate as we are but I think if we protected the older folks and the vulnerable - isolating in homes, nursing homes, assisted living, eliminating visitors to hospitals, etc. - and left the rest of society to manage as they would any other flu epidemic - thinking of H1N1 in 2009-10, which had no panic and no shutdowns - we’d all be OK. Of course, I could be wrong, but I am not happy about wrecking the economy and so many people losing their jobs. I am afraid we will not recover from this in my remaining lifetime.

Peter said...

Two Stanford Medical school professors have questioned the data on death rates. May be orders of magnitude lower than above.
https://thebattleoftours.blogspot.com/2020/03/stanford-medical-school-professors.html

Caligula said...

BUT if efforts are successful in containing this disease, and if a vaccine is not forthcoming, doesn't that all but guarantee a second outbreak as only a very few would have acquired immunity?

eric said...

No where near that many people will die. It'll be later to 25,000 in the near term. Maybe 50,000 for the year.

Put in perspective, normally about 125,000 people die each year of respiratory disease. Like asthma, emphysema and bronchitis.

Sebastian said...

"Put in perspective, normally about 125,000 people die each year of respiratory disease."

Right. Then add flu.

Question not addressed by "experts" so far, as best I can tell, is what they estimate the likely excess death toll to be. Lots of uncertainties and assumptions involved, of course, but we have to base decisions partly on some such estimate.

How many more deaths will Wuhan + flu + ordinary respiratory disease claim this year compared to flu + ordinary disease on average in previous years? More specifically, taking into account the different age distributions for different syndromes, how many more quality-adjusted life years will be lost?

mockturtle said...

I find it disturbing the the media are prospectively condemning hydroxychoroquine treatment as 'ineffective'. Two reasons, I suspect:
1. Trump showed optimism about this therapy. He needs to be wrong.
2. Media heavily dependent on pharmaceutical company sponsors. A drug that is already available, already approved and inexpensive to manufacture is the last thing Big Pharma wants to embrace.

Francisco D said...

Statistical models don't mean shit.

Well, they are an attempt to explain numbers that are highly unreliable.

As any social scientist will tell you, "Models are made to be broken".

Birkel said...

As I understand it we are half way to 11 million total deaths from WuFlu.
Anybody who disagrees hates people, according to certain somebodies.

Matt said...

This is great news! Just think how much we'll reduce carbon emissions with 1/3 less people and a shell of an economy!

Why would leftists be upset with this? It reduces population and is great for the environment. Everything they've always wanted.

Michael said...

Anyone who has been in the finance business knows how hilarious these “models” are. A first year intern can build an Excel model that can give you any desired outcome you want. It is a toy.

Marc said...

These numbers offer a false precision but it's a nice parlor game for shut-ins.

I strongly urge everyone to click through and read that fake and partisan hit piece. Headline essentially says, “Trump could kill 1 million Americans if we open by Easter.”

I preferred playing at those quizzes that have shown up on Fb or Twitter or at the Daily Mail etc where one is presented with a group of symbols (emoticons, perhaps) and then meant to guess what movie or television series it represents.

The Godfather said...

The hystericals seem to assume that on Easter morning Trump will rescind all the shelter-in-place, social-distancing, shut-down, etc. measures that have been adopted to slow the spread of the Chinese Virus. But he won't because he can't. Those measures have been adopted by the appropriate authorities in each State based on their perceptions of local conditions. Even if Trump were as aggressive with Executive Orders as his predecessor, he couldn't rescind those State-by-State measures. But what he can do, with the Presidential bully pulpit is to encourage people in each State to call on their Governors and other officials to make such modifications in those measures as are prudent given the conditions in that State to begin moving toward more normal levels of economic activity. You won't see immediate liberalization in New York, or Louisiana, etc., but in other States, where the conditions aren't as bad, it would make sense to allow some people to go back to work, some restaurants to re-open, etc.

rehajm said...

...that is risky so long as a virus is raging and we are unprotected...

'raging' and 'unprotected' are really nebulous verbiage. Maybe not quite weasel words. Stoat words?

Kyjo said...

What does it mean to be 10 days behind Italy?

We have 75,155 total confirmed cases and 1,082 total deaths today (according to Worldometers.info). Italy yesterday had 74,386 total confirmed cases, with 7,503 total deaths. In terms of confirmed cases we simply aren’t following Italy’s trajectory; it took 10 days longer from the first confirmed case on 1/21 for us to get to this number, but our curve now is much steeper (of course that’s in part because our testing throughput ramped up dramatically over the past few days). Italy has 80,539 confirmed cases now, and it seems likely we’ll surpass that tomorrow. But we won’t surpass Italy’s total deaths tomorrow unless our death rate curve goes vertical overnight.

Italy’s first death occurred on 2/21; 10 days later on 3/2 Italy had 52 deaths, and on 3/12 they had 1,016 deaths. Our first death occurred on 2/29; 10 days later on 3/10 we had 31 deaths, and on 3/20 we had 229 deaths.

Today we have 1,082 deaths, and that number will likely move up before the day’s end. Italy reported 1,016 deaths on 3/12 and 1,266 deaths on 3/13, so if we’re 10 days behind them on a similar curve we’ll be looking at 5,500-6,000 total deaths by 4/5. Adjust higher because we aren’t in total national lockdown; how much does the number increase, do we think? Italy was in lockdown for 12 days before their curve started to level off on 3/22. Did the lockdown flatten curve? If so, by how much compared to less restrictive measures? Was the south of Italy ever in danger of being close to the same dire situation as the north?

Per capita, we’d need to get up to around 32,000 deaths by 4/5 to match Italy’s situation on 3/23. But that’s per capita.

gadfly said...

Puritan Medical Products Co, located in Guilford, Maine (population 1,521) , is quite likely the maker of the swab used to collect a sample from inside your nose if you’re tested for COVID-19.

Puritan is one of two companies that make essentially all of the swabs used for coronavirus testing. The other, Copan Diagnostics Inc., is in Italy, an epicenter of the deadly virus.

“We are ramping up to produce and wrap a million swabs a week that we need to put into the supply chain across the U.S.,” says Timothy Templet, executive vice president for Puritan's global sales. But it is obvious that the test kit bottleneck begins with one small supplier with sales of about $45 million per year. The manufacturing process supposedly can prepare 2 million swabs in 6 - 20 hour days but dependence on manual labor in an age of robot automation results in delays that occur between Puritan's plants in Guilford and the remote lab that purifies the swabs.

Until we find a better way test for the virus, we can never come close to testing all citizens.

minnesota farm guy said...

I won't waste the time looking at it, but it does seem a bit ironic that the NYT which is both history and honesty impaired should be considered capable of teaching us statistics!

wildswan said...

Believe in something. Even if it means sacrificing everything. OK, so, New York City, lock yourself down till October as requested by the NYT Accu-sick chart. Lockdown Pelosi, lockdown Biden - although he ... never mind. Ban cars and gasoline motors and single use plastic bags. Seize the day / Show the way./ Go away.

John Lynch said...

On default settings, the interactive display is totally misleading. We don't know the impact of warm weather. Set the weather slider on low and the spike happens in July, even with a 60-day shutdown.

You don't flatten the curve unless you stay shut down.

John Lynch said...

I maxed out the lockdown period, and you STILL get a spike when it's over. They make it look like a win by having the warm weather slider. Totally misleading.

The truth is that we can have the spike now, or later. Later is better if we use the time to work on new therapies and a vaccine. Otherwise, the lockdown just adds more misery. I've been laid off from my job and am looking at working for Domino's to pay bills. That's OK, but only if there's some reason for it beyond panic.

chuck said...

Later is better if we use the time to work on new therapies and a vaccine

It also helps to not blow out the system with overload, which I think is about to happen in NY City unless something changes.

Here in Utah there are now 6 cases in my county, population ~125,000, so it isn't much of a problem yet, but it could be if the case load explodes, there are only about 200 hospital beds. The state totals look to be growing linearly at about 50/day for the last several days and 1 fatality so far. We will see how things go, fingers crossed.

chuck said...

I find it disturbing the the media are prospectively condemning hydroxychoroquine treatment as 'ineffective'.

I'm encouraging people to call it the Trump pill because, if it works, Trump will get the credit :)

R.F.Hirsch said...

Numbers with this degree of precision are worthless. No scientist would put out numbers like "... 27.1 million at the peak on June 17). More than 996,700 people would die under these conditions and 99.8 million … "

Every scientist knows that you must make clear the uncertainty in your conclusions. These reporters are pretending to be informed, but show they are not.

n.n said...

These reporters are pretending to be informed, but show they are not.

NYT assumes/asserts too much. This is [catastrophic] [anthropogenic] climate cooling... warming... change all over again, and again, and again. Meanwhile, if they really wanted to save nearly one million human lives annually, in American alone, without the speculation, and progressive collateral damage...

wbfjrr2 said...

New info out today. The U.K. guy who started the panic, with his model predicting 2.5 million US deaths, 500k UK deaths is now saying he was wrong and projects 20k UK deaths. So he was off by 96%. Dr Birx explicitly called him out on this in the daily press conference yesterday. It’s on video, easy to find atrealclearpolitics and elsewhere.

Fauci co authored an article published today in the New England Journal of Medicine saying given that the asymptotic and mild cases are way understated in the denominator for case fatality rate, it’s likely Covid19 is going to turn out to be like an ordinary to severe flu, with comparable CFRs. Powerline.com has the link.

Yet Althouse links to a totally bogus garbage in garbage out analysis in the NYT. Looking for confirmation of her gloomy outlook. Wanting us to feel the same. Playing her part.

n.n said...

a bit ironic that the NYT which is both history and honesty impaired

The 1619 Project. The NYT close association style guide.

n.n said...

is going to turn out to be like an ordinary to severe flu

Maybe. It's too early to say, but what we do know is that the assumptions/assertions for the models are forcing a prediction that is running "hot". Also, the reporting lacks diversity (i.e. color, including race, sex, gender), when we know that viruses are notorious bigots.