The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

April 10th US Covid Data

Our benefactor writes:

We seem to be settled in for a while. The exponential curve is flattening, but until the headlines stop announcing more cases and deaths every day, the pressure to stay at home will remain. We’re one day past what was predicted to be the peak. Tomorrow, I will change the bar chart to a stacked graph.

Update: The US federal government has reversed itself on stopping paying for testing.

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It’s Biden’s World


Open Thread


  1. Aqua Lung

    Late in the day the road brought him into a swamp. And that was all. Before him stretched a spectral waste out of which reared only the naked trees in attitudes of agony and dimly hominoid like figures in a landscape of the damned. A faintly smoking garden of the dead that tended away to the earth’s curve. He tried his foot in the mire before him and it rose in a vulvate welt claggy and sucking. He stepped back. A stale wind blew from the desolation and the marsh reeds and black ferns among which he stood clashed softly like things chained. He wondered why a road should come to such a place. ~ from Cormack McCarthy’s Outer Dark

  2. Stirling S Newberry

    100,000 deaths – few than the fear-mongers hoped for, but still ghastly.

  3. gnokgnoh

    @Stirling, the conservative predictions of 100k-200k deaths is based on continuing to practice social distancing and ramping up testing. It’s also based on a long term projection before a vaccine is found that anticipates trying to restart the economy and a new round of infections.

    By the end of April, we may be at 60k+ deaths, if the doubling rate continues to slow down. If enough governors listen to the federal government and open up for business on May 1, we may easily reach 200k deaths. I’m not an epidemiologist, just reading what they’re saying.

  4. gnokgnoh

    “predictions are based,” not “is based”.

  5. Joan

    So half a million cases by tomorrow, gosh.

    And the federal government is stopping paying for testing today, right? That’s surely going to affect things. It would be easy to declare a false peak because people can’t afford to be tested, so the confirmed cases went down.

  6. Stirling S Newberry

    “@Stirling, the conservative predictions of 100k-200k deaths is based on continuing to practice social distancing and ramping up testing.”

    No, they are back of the envelope projects base on what the people-in-charge what said, which is a dubious way of making predictions about things that are not human-derived. I’m am using statistics on the reported death total and then making corrections based on other means, to get an estimate of the real casualty figures. It has been revealed the higher-ups are doing the same thing – only with much larger computers.

    There will be other outbreaks of COVID-19, this is just for this one. The interesting number is how much the number are being low balled and from where.

  7. Stirling S Newberry

    OK, so we have the official statistics. That what I posted. But even the newsreaders know the official stats are wrong. But how wrong are they? Well if you think of then as 1 “run” on a Monte-Carlo, one that you can’t see but is being reported by an unreliable intermediary (actually several) you can then do somethings to get more accurate numbers.

  8. Mark Pontin

    John wrote: “It would be easy to declare a false peak because people can’t afford to be tested, so the confirmed cases went down.’

    Quite. That does seem to be the idea.

  9. Stirling S Newberry

    >John wrote: “It would be easy to declare a false peak because people can’t afford to be tested, so the confirmed cases went down.’

    This is the case in a variety of state, the is one reason that people who are following look at the number infections/number test because with that you can adjust. It is why various locations with 50% dead are being found. This is messy work, because many managers do not want there misdeeds found.

  10. “the CDC Is Actually a Vaccine Company.” — Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

    on youtube

  11. Zachary Smith

    Mike Huckabee Just Sued the County Because It Closed His Beach
    Apparently his 10,000-square-foot mansion with a pool isn’t enough space for a quarantine.

    Just a bit of diverting and amusing trivia. I see this as an attempt to nail down his grab of a public beach.

  12. Ian Welsh

    “In the first five days of April, 1,125 people were pronounced dead in their homes or on the street in New York City, more than eight times the deaths recorded during the same period in 2019, according to the Fire Department.”

  13. ozajh

    That\’s a pretty frightening looking Mortality Rate series, given that it\’s based on Confirmed Cases including Recoveries.

  14. Joan

    Ian’s comment of 1125 dead in NYC is exactly what I’m thinking is going on. People are trying to wait out the symptoms since they can’t afford medical care, but then they go into respiratory distress and lose the ability to get help. Plus they’re missing out on the better option of getting medicine for it as soon as they show symptoms, but that option largely isn’t available.

  15. Stirling S Newberry

    On of the patterns: poor people are less counted.

  16. Ché Pasa

    As long as the illness and death are primarily among the untermenschen, it’s all good, right? When the nursing homes and prisons are cleared out, won’t everyone be better off? Why sure they will. The losses among the working class are high, yes, but not enough to affect the comfort and convenience of their betters. Oh by no means. Yes, there might be some temporary supply problems, but they’re easily managed from the bunkers on Long Island and in Idaho; money talks, right? Money always talks.

    This is clearly an opportunity to teach the lower orders a lesson they’ll long remember: be grateful for the largesse of your lords and masters. For it is easier than ever to pull the plug on you if you aren’t. That goes for doctors and nurses, too.

  17. Aqua Lung

    “In the first five days of April, 1,125 people were pronounced dead in their homes or on the street in New York City, more than eight times the deaths recorded during the same period in 2019, according to the Fire Department.”

    Thank you for highlighting this quote, Ian. So, we get what I was referring to in commentary to an earlier post. A comparison of deaths to prior years. We now have a working multiple. Five. Now, if we could only determine total number of deaths for these areas, not just the dead in homes, from prior years and apply the multiple of five, we can get a much more accurate death count rather than relying on death numbers that have only been tested and confirmed as deaths from COVID-19.

    If we were to do that, I suspect the death total in America right now, as I type, is more like 100,000 and not the 18,000+ being reported. But Stirling, an expert in all things obviously, has assured us 100,000 will be the maximum American deaths when it’s all said and done as if he can assure us this will ever be all said and done. There is a possibility COVID-19 may be with us forever much like the flu or the common cold but ever more so deadly with any treatments and or vaccines being at best 20% to 25% effective in the best years.

  18. @ian

    Though this is newsworthy, as it stands, it’s yet another example of crappy news coverage, in the US. Why? Because it doesn’t address the most obvious question, which is, “what was happening before April 1 in terms of this statistic of dead of homeless and those found in homes?” In fact, since the article is dated from 14 hours ago, as I write this on 4/11, and we’re only talking about a 5 day period, one has to wonder, also, why the heck the author didn’t tell us what happened April 6 – April 10!

    The multiple of 5 might be more or less constant in the preceding 5 day periods. OR, it may have been even higher, and decreasing – in effect a leading indicator.

    OR, of course, it may be a lagging indicator, and that number has been steadily increasing.

    The author seems a tad incurious, ya know?

    Now, let’s assume that that 5x factor is more or less constant, so it’s neither leading nor lagging, but rather indicating a systematic undercounting of people dying in their homes, and homeless, from covid-19. (More realistically, some as yet unknown percentage, but let’s ignore the details.) Well, the plot may thicken, because, from (Swiss Propaganda Research) “Facts about Covid-19”, one of the April 7 entries is:
    “The official US Covid19 projections so far have overestimated hospitalisations by a factor of 8, ICU beds needed by a factor of 6.4, and ventilators needed by a factor of 40.5.”

    If you’re dying in your home, or homelessly, from covid-19, then you obviously should have been hospitalized (ignoring sudden death cases, say from heart attack; reports are now crediting covid-19 with heart problems, also), so maybe, in the case of NYC, they are not really beating their previous projections.

    In a best case scenario, the 5x is a statistical blip, and it was about 1.3 x (to make up a less alarming figure) both before and after April 1 – April 5.

    In which case, a worse scenario regarding motivation of this report; and that is that the author knew this, but wanted to create an alarming headline, for whatever dubious or nefarious reason.

  19. Mojave Wolf

    @aqualung — I believe you might be misunderstanding Stirling.

    For what little it’s worth, I have a relative who’s a statistician and has done a lot of work in the projections (particularly the earlier ones, not sure about the latest batch but probably) and the work was done in good faith. That’s one reason they give a huge range. And the people doing this work realize they are not oracles even if the people reporting the numbers do not, and would give you all sorts of caveats about variables that could radically change things in one direction or another.

    Also wish to compliment you on the beautiful Cormac McCarthy quote. Very apt. And now has me wanting to read that book.


  20. bruce wilder

    Stirling wrote: There will be other outbreaks of COVID-19, this is just for this one.

    That is the new reality, isn’t it? The pandemic has made COVID-19 endemic globally. Certainly in the U.S.

    We do not know yet even whether having had the disease actually confers lasting immunity.

    We do not know how the virus might adapt as it evolves in its now vast population of hosts.

    “Relaxing the shutdown ‘too soon’ ” is a narrative, not an analysis. SARS and MERS were contained, but that is not even a possibility with COVID-19 apparently. (I welcome correction from experts.) We will relax the lockdown, because we have to and it may not matter ‘how soon’ because some where else the virus has found a reservoir, probably in many places, globally.

  21. Stirling S Newberry

    “Herd immunity” will assert itself with 2-4 years – we catch the virus quite easily. However, 2-4 years an entire generation will be locked into habits. The “I want to be free of vaccines” crowd with not be looked at kindly. With also means the vaccines have to be off-limits for gouging. If the vac-free are going to be calmed, then everyone else needs to be sure that vaccines are safe.

    I don’t need to explain what number of casualties this is going to create.

  22. Zachary Smith

    Here is an animated graph of Coronavirus deaths I found at another site.

  23. Zachary Smith

    Headline: “How Organized Crime is Spreading COVID 19 and Raking in Cash”

    AuthorDuff claims the individual in charge of the Crime Wave is named Jared Kushner. Gordon Duff has record of publishing crap. Stuff like making a hero out of Holocaust-Denying David Irving. But one instance of being a cornflake doesn’t necessarily translate into being a nutcase about everything.

    Fact is, somebody in the Federal Government has been stealing medical supplies. Also, Jared Kushner is On Record as saying the stockpiles are “our stockpiles”, not belonging to the states.

    The link article describes how Kushner’s efforts are about grabbing money and power – at the expense of dying people throughout the nation. It deserves careful examination – even if the final couple of paragraphs wander into loony tunes territory.

  24. Aqua Lung

    New York is a notoriously corrupt city and state. It is not in their best interests to overstate the statistics and is in fact in their best interests to understate them. New York City is still, just barely and hanging by a thread, the financial capital of the world. It is the center of world finance and, as such, it’s extremely important for business to return to normal with people milling about and consuming en masse while slobbering all over one another. Every day that goes by that is not business as usual makes the rallying stick market that much more of an egregious depravity indicator. So, in all likelihood, the statistics are being purposely understated and I would say grossly so. Every incentive is there to do that and those who have vested interests in the statistics being understated, the elite if you will, effectively control the governance in New York City and New York State and pretty much everywhere if you think about it. Assume substantial understatement because it’s a safe assumption.

    Mojave, Cormac is an excellent author. Dark. Dark as dark can be, really. I like dark, especially during dark times. Darker than dark. The last section of Outer Dark was so dark, I couldn’t get to sleep for an hour after reading it and I use books to help me get to sleep. Not this book. Not most of McCarthy’s books. They’re pertinent to our time or perhaps pertinent to every time come to think of it. Outer Dark as the anti Little House on the Prairie.

  25. Mojave Wolf

    @aqua — that is the impression I had, which is why I haven’t quite brought myself to read any McCarthy thus far. George RR Martin’s A Song of Fire and Ice & the works of Jim Thompson (credit to the film versions of After Dark, My Sweet and The Grifters) are about as bad as I wish to handle (or, as one of my friends said after A Feast for Crows, which I quite liked, “if I want something that bleak, I have real life.”.

    Tho even real life has its moments of goodness, beauty and redemption, and plenty of happy moments and even happy endings amidst all the awful.

    Will switch over to the open thread for further thoughts.

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