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

May 27th US Covid Data

Our benefactor writes

Lots of headlines that we have reached 100,000 cases. Not if you don’t include Guam, Virgin Islands, and American Samoa. Our announcement will be tomorrow. It’s an awful milestone. I expected the mortality rate to start dropping dramatically, given the increases in testing, but that’s not yet happening.

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May 28th US Covid Stats


  1. Hugh

    My own view is that we are at 100,000 in this first wave. This wave will likely have a second crest or prolonged plateau. I expect there to be another 30,000 to 50,000 deaths associated with this first wave. A second wave at the end of summer could cause 80,000-100,000 more deaths, but is contingent on how schools and universities operate and on when a vaccine becomes available.

  2. Stirling S Newberry

    We want to die – 300,000 signatures on a drive to unseat the Democratic Gov. of Detroit is a good example. The ‘phats are beating the more donks will live and they don’t want that. Call it the Uncivil War.

  3. Joan

    Has anyone heard of solid evidence as to whether or not covid-19 capitalizes on antibodies to reinfect (like one of the SARS and HIV) or whether antibodies are effective, or does this vary with virus load exposure, etc.? I think Ian mentioned a monkey trial a while back where one in six infected monkeys developed immunity, so Ian surmised there may be limited but not complete immunity. Any update on that yet or are we still waiting?

  4. gnokgnoh

    Unlike the 1918 pandemic, I don’t think you are going to see a large spike in late summer or the fall. The larger cities are too careful for that. My daughter is headed to Pitt for the fall, and they may be totally virtual. If they allow classes, it will be under strict rules. Philadelphia schools are considering a 4/10 model, one week in class, two weeks virtual, with the fifth day each week for cleaning for the next third of students. We call it human contact tracing. If after two weeks you don’t have coronavirus, you can go back to school. If you do get it, your group gets heavily tested. It’s brilliant and somewhat morbid and sad.

    Other examples: NYC has seen its lowest death counts in months (79 in one day earlier this week), and they are going to be very careful for a long time. MD courts have already declared no jury trials until October 1 (not confirmed, anecdotal from a MD administrator). Most people get the danger and the risks and are fully masked. Restaurants in Philly are opening in early June but with limited occupancy and social distancing rules. Stores in most states will require social distancing and masks through the fall.

    My prediction is a slow increase of cases and then deaths grinding through the summer and fall. No big spikes. The precautions noted above are because most institutions and people in the U.S. are not stupid and are trying to do the right thing in spite of the federal government. The media focus on the idiots, because it makes better drama.

  5. S Brennan

    I expect the mortality rate to start dropping because, in the northern hemisphere, increased sun exposure leads to normal levels of vitamin D3 which was, until Covid-19 came along, considered essential to the immune system.

    Crazy, yeah sure, it happens every year.

  6. Benjamin


    “A second wave at the end of summer could cause 80,000-100,000 more deaths, but is contingent on how schools and universities operate and on when a vaccine becomes available.”

    A vaccine is at absolute minimum at least a year away, and more likely 18 months (and even that is probably a ludicrously optimistic timetable).

    A vaccine is a complete non-factor as far as any second (or third) wave is concerned.

  7. anon

    My prediction is that we will see a spike in deaths this summer and fall, but it will be in red states where they opened up too quickly and are taking a relaxed approach to testing, social distancing, and mask wearing. Cities that were initially hit hard by the virus, like NYC, Detroit, and Philadelphia, will see a decline because their local and state governments are taking the pandemic more seriously and have greater resources.

  8. GlassHammer

    Next let’s chart the projected deaths from the lack of medical services due to the overtaxed medical system caused by the virus. Add some extra deaths due to the drastic impoverishment of working class families. Sprinkle in a few deaths caused by the harm done to the lungs of recovered COVID19 patients. And finish it with projecting the loss of life when this virus and the winter season variety come together for the holidays.

    Yeah its morbid, terribly terribly morbid.

  9. S Brennan

    “Cities that were initially hit hard by the virus…have greater resources.”

    Absolutely true Anon and as I’ve watched urbanites head out to the countryside for a fancy free holiday week-end I expect to see rural death rates climb. Last week we saw record crowds from an urban area 2.5 hours away, almost none of the city tourists could be bothered to wear a face covering while shopping.

    So Anon, your wishful thinking, rooted in hatred, may bear fruit.

  10. Zachary Smith

    I was out yesterday for a car repair, and stopped at a shopping center in another county. The mask usage there is way down, and even many of those who have one were often covering only their mouths. Worse, I saw several people using their masks chin warmers. Looking up the numbers, in that county 8% of the people who were infected ended up dying. News reports have the percentage of infected people who show no symptoms as somewhere between 1/3 and 1/2, so the folks wandering around with no masks whatever put others around them at grave risk. Not that they appear to care. At Naked Capitalism the blogger tells of the carelessness in another deep red state. Her experience was at a freaking hospital!

    This casualness about mask discipline in a hospital is jarring. I can’t tell how much of this behavior is about this hospital versus the South generally. I did tell this story to a colleague who knows a California teaching hospital well, and he was shocked.

    Birmingham is already getting overflow coronavirus cases from Montgomery, which is just about out of ICU beds. So it looks like a hot and sickly summer is around the corner.

  11. Stirling S Newberry

    Tomorrow’s grim stat: Brazil passes Spain.

  12. Stirling S Newberry

    The real numbers are going to be hidden for some time, often because of deliberate prevaricate mortality rates. Florida comes to mind.

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