Saturday, March 14, 2020

Covid 19 and the curve

I made a graph:

This was done by hand, but, it shows what I consider some important "pivot points" in the 'curve' of infections of coronavirus.

I hope this will help people understand why certain things are being done. With the graph in mind, I'm going to write this post in the form of Questions and Answers.

Q: Why close schools and sport events and other meetings?

A: To keep the explosion as flat as possible, which, in turn, reduces the mountain climb, and thus, greatly reduces the total number of cases. Even a single day saved during the ramp up can reduce total cases by 40%. In China's case, a 40% drop would mean 32,000 of the 80,000 never get sick.

Q: Why does Pivot Point 1 matter?

A: It tells us a good time to start social distancing. Considering the exponential growth, a 40% reduction of two days could have saved china an additional 19,000 on top of the 32,000 they already saved from above.

Q: Why does Pivot Point 2 matter?

A: It tells us the current methods are working. Pivot Point 2 will not be reached until either the current methods work, or, such a massive number in the population are infected that there are simply not enough uninfected humans left to keep things going. Reaching Pivot Point 2 means this will eventually be contained so long as current measures are kept in place.

Q: Why does Pivot Point 3 matter?

A: That is the "peak" of the "curve" that people want to "flatten". Note how it falls roughly in the middle of the outbreak. When you see that 'flatten the curve' diagram, Pivot Point 3 is right at the tippy top of both curves.

Q: Why does Pivot Point 4 matter?

A: In a way it does not, but it does indicate a virus effectively under control. Once you reach this stage you might look at loosening some restrictions, but keep your eye out that you don't end up with a new outbreak.

Q: Where are all the countries on the graph?

A: Hard to say, but from what I can gather, it is as follows:

Plateau: China

Slow Down: South Korea, Sweden*, Denmark, Japan

Mountain Climb: Italy, Iran*, Switzerland, Netherlands,

Explosion: Spain*, Germany*, France*, Norway*,

Ramp Up: Ontario, potentially Quebec, as well as the United States, United Kingdom,

Long Tail: most canadian provinces

These are the 15 most infected countries by number. You can roughly gauge whee your country is by looking at your national stats and comparing them to the above.

* = Numbers are so close, they could actually be one stage up or down pending how things go over the next few days.

Q: What can I do to help?

A: What you are doing now, likely. Don't hoard, wash your hands, share any supplies you do have with those in need, and be considerate. Also go out less. a lot less.

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