It’s really easy in a situation like this to lose track of what’s been said, done, and predicted within the last few weeks. We are inundated with new information and models every day, and no one pauses to learn from the (recent) past. So let’s do that right now. Review the graph below and meet me on the other side for a few points to consider.
- IHME originally predicted astronomical hospitalizations (see the blue bar), but when that didn’t transpire, they began adjusting them down and now you can see that rather than near exponential growth in the need for hospital beds, they actually expect a slow fade in the coming weeks. Please recall, those HUGE original hospital expectations drove the lockdowns. The spread is going to happen eventually no matter what, the lockdown was merely intended to allow just enough time to prepare our facilities. And now we know that we didn’t need that time. I’m sure the 16 million Americans (and counting) who lost their jobs will be pleased to know that.
- IHME also projected deaths initially (the dashed black line) at a fairly rapid rise, peaking about today. While the shape of that curve may end up being about right, you can see that it has been high (sometimes significantly so) every single day of the last two weeks. They did briefly switch to the red dashed line projections, but that was so silly they quickly abandoned it for the current blue dashed line. What’s not shown is that their total deaths for the country changed from 94k to 82k to 62k.
- A week ago, the Surgeon General said the upcoming week was going to be terrible and “our Pearl Harbor moment”. While the loss of life is certainly tragic, the reality of last week was clearly not what we were told to expect, as both beds and deaths were almost flat for the week and now seem poised to begin a slow descent (today’s and tomorrow’s numbers will tell us a lot).
We’re losing a million jobs a day and entrenching ourselves into a depression we may have never seen before. When will our leaders wake up to the fact that a greater danger than the Wuhan Virus is upon us and take steps to avoid it?