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COVID-19 projections and information

Latest COVID-19 report--More details


Growth-factor/Increase to 10x/1,000x Table
GitHub source code for basic V.1 simulations


Ratings: E for Everyone; G for Government decision-makers; T for Technical.

G: Mar 29: Use Sears stores for MASH space

Why Read This Now

Thurs, Apr 2, 2020: People are freaking out about COVID, and there is much uncertainty.

But they are freaking out about the wrong things. As a result, tens of millions may die, including your loved ones.

This article will show you what's probably going to happen in the near future. You will learn the one huge, deadly mistake that all the "experts" are making, and what's going to kill the most people; the only three numbers you need to track and know, and how to use them to think for yourself; what you need to start doing right now, as basic insurance, in order for your region to have a fair chance at surviving; and what our forecasted projections are, on a day-by-day basis, plus the important things to look for in a graph.

Worst projections compare COVID's impact to an H-bomb's direct hit, with over 40 Million deaths in the next few months. That's more than the cities of NYC, LA, Chicago, and DC combined. Tracking a moving H-bomb is an almost impossible challenge, and anyone who says they are sure what's going to happen is either very, very smart, trying to blow smoke up your nose for some undiscovered reason, or is so clueless they don't know they're clueless. Here's our simulation's best projections, and why we think they're worth paying attention to.

The One Huge Deadly Mistake Most Are Making

Here we see a screenshot of the default state of a simulator, taken from no less than the New York Times's Mar 25, 2020 Opinion article "Trump Wants to 'Reopen America'. Here's What Happens if We Do" [fair use claimed for emergency educational purposes]. This is a typical example of what most simulators, experts, and leaders are proclaiming, currently, at the end of March, 2020. Their simulator notes, "Using the [default] settings you chose, the model suggests that 126.5 million people could contract coronavirus across the United States between January and late October, with 37.8 million [basically 40M] at the peak on June 5th. More than 1.3 million people would die under these conditions, and 125 million people would recover."

This is typical of the memes being promulgated: Maybe at worst 1.3M Americans would die. After all, the death rate is only around 1%. And that's for backwards, inferior countries that are not America. America is so great, we're the exceptional nation, above all others. So our death rate is probably going to be much less than that, "a fraction of 1%".

The cresting rate in the simulation is unrealistically low, but even using their infection 40M and severe hospitalization 10M numbers-- What's wrong with this picture? Hands?

Again, 10 million people severely in need of a hospital all on the same week in the middle of June. Here's a hint: America only has 1,000,000 staffed hospital beds at best. 1,006,000 if you count the 4,000 surge being crash-built in New York, and the 2,000 hospital beds on board the Navy's floating hospital ships.

Oh. Oh, oh.

A doctor assures me, whether the folks needing hospitals are severe or critical, if you have someone who must get hospital care or they'll die, and they don't get hospital care, then they're going to die. Pretty basic. Reasonable estimates from other countries are 20% of the infected are either severe (15%), or critical, requiring a ventilator (5%). So even using their numbers, at that one week in June when 10M people show up at the hospital and only 1M are let in, an easy 9 million people die. All at once. In the next two weeks, after their June 5th.

But this keeps on happening, because, with an exponential explosion, if you've got 10M folks becoming severely ill in one week, then you're going to have more millions becoming severely ill in each of the following weeks. Oops.

* * * The leading cause of death is not going to be unavoidable virus infections. The leading cause of death is going to be avoidable lack of hospital capacity, caused by a nation that chose to spend close to a trillion dollars a year on socialized military funding, rather than on building up science and hospital surge capacity. * * *

* * * Avoidable deaths from lack of ventilator capacity will be a major component, and are projected to likely account for 3M-12M deaths in this category alone. In the next handful of weeks. Since the USA only has around 200,000 ventilators on a good day, but 1/4 of the hospitalized patients are projected to require a ventilator-- and successful usage requires a continuous 6 weeks of healing-- after the first 200,000 patients or so, the 1/4 of the people who require a ventilator are pretty well sentenced to death. * * * [July '20 update: Ventilators are now known to be much less important in curing critical patients, and so this corner of the conclusions is no longer valid. The limitations on hospital beds still hold, if we get a second or third peak that goes exponential.]

How many people are actually going to die? It is impossible to project this accurately from an R0-based simulation, they're too coarse-grain. That's why we're using an A.I.-based "state machine" simulation with bucket-brigade delays, for a much more accurate picture of what's going to happen. Of course, this is still dependent on assumptions for the Growth factor and other parameters. See aggregate results below.

So if anyone tells you "only a million or so will die", or "only a couple hundred thousand will die", ask them if they've modeled hospital and ventilator capacities? And what happens when the beds are full? It's important for you to think for yourself .

Bonus Section: Why is Italy's Death Rate Around 10%?

Thurs, Apr 2, 2020: The death rate predictably starts approaching 20% once total hospital capacity saturates. Italy is only halfway there so far. Whether we see these kinds of numbers in America or not, depends on how seriously people start to take self isolation.

Think For Yourself

Wed, Mar 25, 2020: What you need to know in order for your region to survive:

Bonus Section: Why are small towns hosed too? Broccoli!

Fri, Apr 3, 2020:

A virus spreads in a self-similar, "fractal" fashion. It means that small infections are just exactly the same as large infections, except delayed slightly in time.

Fractal stuff is hard to comprehend until you look at a piece of cauliflower or broccoli. A small piece looks exactly the same as a big piece, except farther away, or perhaps younger. It's all the same, whether it's big, or small.

If someone handed you a small piece of broccoli, you couldn't tell if it were broken off from a big piece of broccoli, or whether it were broken off from a plant that was younger, and still small, but was going to grow, itself, into a nice, big piece of broccoli in a couple of weeks. It's all the same.

Similarly, if you look at a virus infection, you couldn't tell if it were broken off from an old run from a small neighborhood inside a big city, or just the young, first seeds of a new infection inside a virgin large city.

Big or small, it's all the same curve. Whether going from 5 to 50 in three weeks, or from 500 to 5,000, or from 500K to 5M in three weeks, it's all the same. It's all 10x in days. This makes it very easy to understand, once you see this.

In fact, if you put the graph displayed in the projections on Linear, and then start playing with the scale, you'll notice something really strange--the exponential explosion curve looks pretty much exactly the same, no matter what scale--it just shifts sideways, forwards or backwards in time.

So a lot of towns are patting themselves on the back because they "only" have 5 infections. Ha ha, they say, We are safe. (This might be true if you had ubiquitous testing, and were able to identify and then severely quarantine all the people who are currently sick. Then you would still be in Phase 1, Containment (Whack-A-Mole). We're already in Phase 2, Crashing (Train Wreck In Slow Motion).) They are not safe. They just get an extra six weeks until 500 before they get to join the party too. Use it wisely. Brace For Impact while you still can.

β€œIt's tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” ― Yogi Berra