Key developments for Thursday, October 15, 2020

The world has over 39.1 million cases.  The world has added 2.4 million cases since last Thursday. Case growth continues to accelerate. There have been over 1.1 million deaths. The US has almost 8.2 million cases, and the rate of case growth is increasing from week to week. Over 222,000 Americans have died—over 840 in the last 24 hours. The US has gained over 62,000 new cases since yesterday. The US is jockeying with India for the lead in daily case growth. Qatar, Bahrain, Andorra, Aruba, French Guiana, Israel, Vatican City, Panama, Kuwait, and Peru lead the world in cases per million.

US and EU case growth:

Here’s another snapshot of the case growth over preceding two-week time periods in April, July, and October:

Paris and many other cities in France are reverting to stricter social distancing measures after cases rise in Europe:

The apathetic “big burn” approaches to herd immunity undertaken by nations like Sweden and the US were disastrous—not only did the approaches fail to achieve herd immunity in either location, they each resulted in some of the highest mortality rates in the world. Sweden’s approach was deliberate. The US government simply failed to enact a cohesive plan and left states to fend for themselves. Countries with systematic, proactive approaches fared far better.

Aiming for herd immunity through infection versus vaccination is not a strategy–it is a failure to act to save lives. This is not simply a personal opinion. It is closer to an expert consensus:

The governor of Tennessee and his wife are in quarantine after being exposed to COVID-positive staff member. Governor Lee is notorious for refusing to wear a mask and refusing to mandate mask wearing.

The World Bank has approved double-digit billions of dollars to vaccine programs in developing countries. This is financing, of course. The World Bank’s press release doesn’t speak to the actual cost to those countries to use the financing. Although it sounds nice, many developing counties are left in crippling debt crises after contracting with multilateral development banks.

Record hospitalizations in Iowa:

Cases are also exploding in New Mexico, and stricter social distancing measures are now being rolled out:

 There’s even more evidence that blood type may play a role in COVID susceptibility. People with type O blood appear to have less risk of bad outcomes compared to those with types A and AB blood.

The EU is set to overtake the US in a few unfortunate categories:


  • 7 Comments

    • plasma

      I think it’s misleading to write that the “rate of case growth continues to accelerate”. That’s a statement about the third derivative of the number of cases: case growth is the first derivative, rate of case growth is the second, and case growth accelerating means that the third derivative is positive. It’s a statement about the change of the rate of case growth.

      I went through the trouble of graphing the change of the rate of case growth for the last one month of OWiD data. The graph looks like this: https://imgur.com/a/0E86N7W

      You can clearly see that case growth is not accelerating. 

      I also graphed the change in case growth for the sam period: https://imgur.com/a/89J7bN2

      You can see that case growth was accelerating for some time, but hasn’t for about a week now.

      Finally, case growth itself can be seen in the OWiD data explorer (note this graph is cumulative new cases per week rather than per day): https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus-data-explorer?zoomToSelection=true&time=2020-08-15..latest&country=~OWID_WRL&region=World&casesMetric=true&interval=weekly&perCapita=true&smoothing=0&pickerMetric=location&pickerSort=asc

      This really is rising, so the most we can say is that cases are accelerating. But case growth or the rate of case growth doesn’t have a clear recent trend.

      Thanks for these news roundups!

      0 |
      • Stephanie ArnoldContributor plasma

        I tend to tally case growth for the preceding week. There has been acceleration. Sometimes it holds steady for a long while, growing linearly, sometimes it picks up on a curve. It’s picking up right now. Case growth by millions for preceding weeks (a few weeks are omitted as I didn’t tally them that day):

        2.4 (now)
        2.3
        2.3
        2
        1.9
        1.8
        1.8
        1.8
        1.8
        1.8
        1.8
        1.7
        1.5 (July)

        5 |
      • plasma plasma

        Sure, but that’s not an acceleration in the rate of case growth, that’s an acceleration in case growth. The rate of case growth is pretty consistently 0 or 0.1 from week to week (except for the week that went from 2 to 2.3).

        An acceleration in the rate of case growth would be like an acceleration in the rate of speed, meaning that more speed is gained per unit time than before.

        0 |
    • Hardened

      Wow, that’s disappointing to see Europe regressing.  I wonder what the main reasons are for that?

      3 |
      • Stephanie ArnoldContributor Hardened

        We’re seeing a similar rise in the States. Anecdotally, I think it’s fatigue. People want some normalcy and are becoming complacent. 

        4 |
    • woodrow

      Here in Georgia we are in a trough.  I would blame it on mismanaged stats, except my son works at the major charity hospital in Atlanta and they show a trough on internal stats, as well.  Cooler weather in Georgia means we are spending more time outside, so that may account for our trough.  Our peak was in July, when hideous temps drove everyone inside. 

      3 |
      • Stephanie ArnoldContributor woodrow

        Same in my metro area. Hospitalizations and deaths have decreased dramatically in the Los Angeles metro area. I don’t feel that hopeful, though, because I know the trend can reverse. 

        3 |