The pace of COVID spread halves again

Another week brings another set of numbers proving this pandemic is not anywhere near going exponential. This is important because pretty much all public projections are assuming some level of exponential growth in infections.

The adjusted values include all the adjustments I’ve been making to smooth out the numbers (not including China during its disproportionate decreases, or the US during its initial acceleration due to under testing, or France when they “forgot” to count their cases). Adjustments or not though, this is not what exponential growth looks like.

The situation in the EU is even better, showing that social distancing really does work, though I would have lost my bet on which country would show a decrease this week.

I would have thought Italy would be the one, but its actually the Germanic countries that are showing decreases, and Spain did show it’s first day-over-day decrease in active cases this Friday.

In the anglo-saxon world Australia is the star, with Canada far behind in second place, but maybe surprisingly US and UK not doing all that bad.

There is an important caveat here though, and that is the % of positive tests per total number of completed tests within the US and the UK.

The rate of positives is something I’m keeping a close eye on as per last weeks post and the WHO recently suggested that any country where the % comes in above 10% is simply not doing enough testing. Australia is clearly testing more than enough people to get an accurate view of their situation, Canada is doing the bare minimum with Ontario specifically is dragging the overall number down, but the US and UK are not yet out of the woods. The optimistic looking deceleration in daily case increases in those countries may yet turn out to be due to under testing. After all, the less you test, the less you find, all other things being equal.

To end this post on a positive note, I think the pandemic will wind down quicker than currently expected, but the lowered expectations may be paradoxically helping make that possible. We just have to make sure we have a solid plan in place for when active cases start decreasing, but that’s a whole other discussion.

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