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Coronavirus Diary: Wednesday March 25

I saw an interesting post / article / written rant(?) by someone yesterday about the math behind the spread. Essentially, what they were stating was that if the state was testing 100 people a day and 10 people were positive then you could extrapolate that 10% of the total population would should be infected. The person then pushed the theory to an individual county level, assuming that 10% of each community would become infected. I personally find this math to be very flawed. Too many variables will drive certain populations down in terms of exposure to a carrier. Basically, it assumes that the suburbs will track the same as cities and rural communities will mirror that as well. The math isn’t perfect enough for that assumption to be made and it will cause an over inflation of estimates and panic.

Politicians are using this flawed method in their speeches too. I was listening to the governor of New York on the news and he was distressed that his state was still seeing an increase in cases – well of course you are seeing an over all increase in cases. You have not reached the 14 mark from the initial call for social distancing so all initial contacts that occurred are now turning into cases, you also have a huge population center that is not distributed – the majority of that population center lives in a city and a very crowded city at that AND they ignored social distancing calls when they were first issued.

If we want to use another country as a model we can try China. Assuming that all of their numbers are correct and not manipulated, there was not an even percentage based distribution of cases across their country. There were several hot spots and then spotty communal contact spread beyond the hot spots. Some regions had almost no cases at all. That is what we are seeing in the United States, we have hot spots and we have cooler spots and there are some counties that are not effected. So using the same exponential growth rate to compare states is flawed. You need to take too many variables into account to build a proper curve by community. I have been building my math around the country as a whole and comparing to other whole counties in terms of their growth curves. So far the patterns line up when you align them based on initial start of the growth period (not the first cases but when the cases started to multiple).

What does all of this blather mean?

It means that Texas is not going to look like New York, Rhode Island is not going to look like California, and Kansas is not going to look like Washington. But the United States will look like China… the numbers won’t be the same but the curve will be pretty close in terms of timing.

One difference will be behavior of the population. In the United States we have populations that ignored social distancing requests – Corona-Breakers, I’m looking at you… along with those making the foolish decision to hang out in restaurant parking lots to have mini parties – that will cause mini-hot spots that will force our numbers higher. My guess / hypothesis is that we should expect to see 10k+ new cases every day maybe even a days with almost 20k new cases, totals will go over 200K total cases before the curve starts to level out. A week or so after the curve levels we should be able to return a form of normality. I won’t guess at a timeline but the model is moving in the right direction – meaning we have had 3 days of decrease in the growth rate and we are back within the 1.25/1.24 range of growth (down from 1.48/1.44).

Enough math…

Even though it was cold and gray I went for a 2 mile walk, running is just not in the picture yet.

My son taught his sister a 60 second routine from his show choir performance. It was fun listening to them playing and laughing together. They will be videoing it tomorrow.

My daughter is filling up her sketch book with new drawings. She is preparing a poster entry for a contest. One of the video games that she likes, Bendy and the Ink Machine, is getting a sequel/prequal and the developer is having a contest. People submit posters for cartoon episodes staring the stars of the game and the winners get their posters in the game… and I would assume their name included in the credits. She is super excited about it.

I am zonking out early tonight. My wife is watching youtube episodes of “Irish People Try….”

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