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From: Josh Ellis <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date sent: Tue, 17 Mar 2020 14:14:16 -0600
Subject: Fwd: US COVID Projections
I put this spreadsheet together based upon our nation's data so far and extrapolating it into the future:
US COVID Projections
The only variable is the reduction in growth rate per day, starting today, which is highlighted in YELLOW. If we do nothing to mitigate the spread of the virus this value is zero = no reduction in growth rate from one day to the next.
(This short video from the CDC explains how the estimates and equations work if you're interested. My spreadsheet is simplified because it doesn't account for people who have already been affected/recovered and are therefore immune, but in a super fast ramp-up this is largely irrelevant until it's too late.)
It would appear from the 3 day averages of our growth multiplier that our control measures are working, it's dropped from 1.53 (so 53% more cases each day than the previous) down to 22% now. This is awesome! But it's really hard to rely on that without significantly more testing--we're still rolling with a ~20% positive test rate which is 5-10x higher than most nations with proper testing programs in place so we're missing a lot of cases which means our 22% figure right now is likely artificially low due to under sampling.
If we allow it to spread at the last 3-day average growth rate of 22% per day without any mitigation measures it will have saturated the entire US population by May 11th. This is a 0% daily reduction in the growth rate factor.
Continuing to Lock Down:
If we continue to ratchet down aggressively and manage to decrease the growth factor by 1% per day, we stop the acceleration of growth in the virus by April 7th and we're looking at 80k total cases in the US with 1,600 deaths. This would be astounding success. This could put the whole thing done by late May.
Note that to those people who think this is nothing more than the flu, or who think the world is over-reacting to this virus, a successful outcome like that described above will be to them absolute proof that we didn't need to take all these mitigation measures. ::::SMASHES HEAD ON DESK::::::
Hospital Saturation Point:
If we only reduce the growth by 0.5% per day we hit 750k cases and 15k deaths. Here we come close to breaking even with the number of ICU beds in this country which is roughly 50k. Saturating our hospital resources should set the maximum acceptable transmission rate for the virus in our country because once we exceed our hospital capacity the death rate will likely double or more based upon data from other countries. At this reduction rate the whole thing could be done by late June.
If only a chunk of our population engages in best practices (i.e., STAY HOME) while the rest continues to fly around and hang out with others and generally not take this seriously and as a result we only decrease the growth rate by 0.25% per day we're looking at 67 MILLION cases with 1.3 MILLION deaths. Note that our hospitals would be utterly overwhelmed in this situation and the death rate would almost certainly be 2.6+ million as a result. This could put the whole thing done by late September.
The Cases/Million Population is worth paying attention to, that's a real apples-to-apples across countries with varying populations. Italy locked down at 100 cases/million, Spain at 140, France and Germany learned and started locking down in the 60-80 range. So somewhere in there governments really freak out and take drastic measures. We'll be at 50 cases/million in a week so I suspect that things should get very interesting toward next weekend when we finally arrive in that range.
I'll keep updating this spreadsheet to reflect the most current data day-to-day.
If no one worries we have a lot to worry about, if everyone worries we don't have a lot to worry about.
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