Coronavirus Growth in Western Countries: March 24 Update

Here’s the coronavirus growth rate through Tuesday. There are no big changes since yesterday aside from a sudden flattening of the growth curve in Switzerland. We’ll see if that holds for the rest of the week. Here’s the curve for Italy that I posted yesterday, updated by a day:

This has a significantly lower peak than yesterday. It still suggests an endpoint in early May, but the total death toll now pencils out to about 22,000, or 0.036 percent of Italy’s total population. Here’s another version of the curve that uses cumulative deaths and therefore has much less noise. It shows the same thing:

If this holds up, it shows just how effective strict control measures can be. The hard part is going to be keeping them in place all the way through the end of April even as the death rate plummets. People are going to get very itchy about staying at home all the time when it seems like the news is so positive, but it has to be done all the way down to zero.

Here’s how to read the charts: Let’s use France as an example. For them, Day 0 was March 5, when they surpassed one death per 10 million by recording their sixth death. They are currently at Day 19; total deaths are at 184x their initial level; and they have recorded a total of 16.4 deaths per million so far. As the chart shows, this is slightly below where Italy was on their Day 19.

The raw data from Johns Hopkins is here.

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