UPDATE ON Projections On the Number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cases Within the United States – Part 3 of a Series

I made an update from my initial projects since we have ‘blown way past’ the original projection. Specifically I updated the March 15, 2020 cases with the number of reported in the US, and changed to doubling of cases from every 7 days to every three days. I also added a column to show the number of open hospital beds in the US, which is estimated at 25% of the total number hospital beds in the USA. At the moment it looks like around April 20, 2020 all available hospital beds will be full.

Here are the results:

DAY CASES HOSPITAL (15%) PASS AWAY (2%) USA HOSPITAL Beds
3/15/2020 3,244 487 65 924,000
3/19/2020 6,488 973 130 924,000
3/23/2020 12,976 1,946 260 924,000
3/27/2020 25,952 3,893 519 924,000
3/31/2020 51,904 7,786 1,038 924,000
4/4/2020 103,808 15,571 2,076 924,000
4/8/2020 207,616 31,142 4,152 924,000
4/12/2020 415,232 62,285 8,305 924,000
4/16/2020 830,464 124,570 16,609 924,000
4/20/2020 1,660,928 249,139 33,219 924,000
4/24/2020 3,321,856 498,278 66,437 924,000
4/28/2020 6,643,712 996,557 132,874 924,000
5/2/2020 13,287,424 1,993,114 265,748 924,000
5/6/2020 26,574,848 3,986,227 531,497 924,000
5/10/2020 53,149,696 7,972,454 1,062,994 924,000
5/14/2020 106,299,392 15,944,909 2,125,988 924,000

 Eventually, this virus thing will pass and everyone will be ok.

Good Luck and Take Care,

Louis J. Desy Jr. – Monday, March 16, 2020 07:45am EDT

LouisDesyjr@gmail.com

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Projections On the Number of Coronavirus (COVID-19) Cases Within the United States – Part 2 of a Series

As everyone knows, the coronavirus outbreak started in the Wuhan, China area late 2019 and resulted in a regional lockdown on January 23, 2020; just before the Chinese New Year. Since then the virus has spread to a number of other countries and other areas have been put on lock down. There are questions as to how serious people can expect this to be, how many cases there are presently, and how many cases can be expected in the future. Many of these variables are unknown since there are limited test kits for the virus, plus the test kits that are available require multiple tests because there are ‘false positives’; meaning someone can have the virus but test negative. It is only after multiple tests coming out negative or a 14 day quarantine that one can be sure they do not have the virus. (Note: there are some reports that people may need a quarantine of as long as 27 days because not all people with the virus show any symptoms.)

Some of my best estimates (or least worse) show COVID-19 doubles the number of cases every 7 days, 15% of the cases need hospital care and 2% of the cases pass away.

Assuming that there were only 35 cases in the United States on March 1, 2020, then a doubling of cases would result in:

WK # WEEK CASES HOSPITAL (15%) PASS AWAY (2%)
1 3/1/2020 35 5 1
2 3/8/2020 70 11 1
3 3/15/2020 140 21 3
4 3/22/2020 280 42 6
5 3/29/2020 560 84 11
6 4/5/2020 1,120 168 22
7 4/12/2020 2,240 336 45
8 4/19/2020 4,480 672 90
9 4/26/2020 8,960 1,344 179
10 5/3/2020 17,920 2,688 358
11 5/10/2020 35,840 5,376 717
12 5/17/2020 71,680 10,752 1,434
13 5/24/2020 143,360 21,504 2,867
14 5/31/2020 286,720 43,008 5,734
15 6/7/2020 573,440 86,016 11,469
16 6/14/2020 1,146,880 172,032 22,938
17 6/21/2020 2,293,760 344,064 45,875
18 6/28/2020 4,587,520 688,128 91,750
19 7/5/2020 9,175,040 1,376,256 183,501
20 7/12/2020 18,350,080 2,752,512 367,002
21 7/19/2020 36,700,160 5,505,024 734,003
22 7/26/2020 73,400,320 11,010,048 1,468,006
23 8/2/2020 146,800,640 22,020,096 2,936,013
24 8/9/2020 293,601,280 44,040,192 5,872,026
25 8/16/2020 587,202,560 88,080,384 11,744,051

 Hopefully, something happens to stop this from happening or my estimates are ‘way off’ due to lack of proper estimates BUT if this is correct, then the ‘big problem’ will happen around July 4, 2020. At that point the number of cases will exceed the number of hospital beds in the United States (estimated 924,000) so anyone needing any medical care would have problems getting it. For other countries that do not have a medical system as good as the United States the effect will be worse and reach a crisis point before then.

Originally I had hope for a ‘world wide’ lockdown weeks ago, in order to make sure the virus did not spread and anyone with it could be isolated and treated. Now it looks like there may be many unknown cases in the United States and everyone is going to end up with the virus at some point. One small hope I still have is that my numbers are completely wrong or the virus undergoes a mutation that renders it harmless, but so far there is not indication of either.

One problem with projecting the number of cases or rate of fatalities is that almost all of the numbers or samples have many unknowns. No one can tell how many cases there are because of limited test kits, the test kits give false negatives so multiple tests need to be done, testing only seems to be being done in South Korea at the moment mostly due to there being a limited number of test kits.

One thing that would help is if everyone and companies all stockpile at least a two week supply of what would be needed for a lock down. For people it would be good if such a supply could be built up to two months of being able to live at home without having to go shopping. I expect no matter what happens utilities could continue to work since even the worst effected places, like Wuhan, have had no interruption of utilities. companies should build up a stock of three to six months of parts and supplies in cases there are disruption to their supply chain or vendors. In any case, the worst that happens is that people have extra food they can eat over time and companies have extra parts they can use over the course of the next year; at best these extra supplies would allow people and companies to be ok if there are lockdowns. Having people and companies ‘stock up’ now would also allow the supply chains to ramp up and fill this demand before there are any lock downs, if any are ever needed. Having a pile of supplies on hand ensures that if there are lock downs, people and companies would view such an event as ‘no big deal’ since they already have a stockpile for their needs. NOT having any kind of stockpile ensures that people and companies would start to panic as they wonder what are they going to do. For anyone that is making a stockpile or considering one, I would suggest and recommend, if you can afford it, to add a little extra to it for things that other people may need. My thinking is that way if there are problems, you would have ‘a little extra’ that you could hand out to people around you and help them out a little and also make sure there is no panic with anyone. as an example, I myself have put some baby food in my stockpile, even though I have no need of it myself. I only got about a weeks worth for a baby, but my thinking is that if there was a problem, and I ran into someone that was all out, I could give them a few jars to get them through a few days until we could find something else for said baby.

I did notice that many things people recommend for stockpiles are things that I almost never use or can’t even think why do I need this. As some examples:

White Vinegar – Except for Easter Egg coloring, I never use this but this seems to be on all of the lists for recommended supplies. It is only $1.50 for a small bottle so I got one but expect sometime next year it will go to a food bank.

Matches and Lighter – unless the electricity goes out I can’t see these being used.

Canned Fruit – I almost never eat this so I will have to watch this and rotate it starting next year with new stuff.

In general, I found my diet to be somewhat ‘bland’ and the same things all the time with most requiring cooking or refrigeration; which make them not good foods for a stockpile since ideally we want things that do not need cooking and will last without refrigeration.

Eventually, this virus thing will pass and everyone will be ok.

Good Luck and Take Care,

Louis J. Desy Jr. – Monday, March 09, 2020 10:45pm EDT

LouisDesyjr@gmail.com

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Coronavirus (COVID-19) – Thoughts and Reflections on – Estimating the Number of Cases – Part 1 of a series

Admittedly, there are multiple problems with all of the numbers being reported.

1: The China cases appear in the early stages to have been underreported, partly at first because no one knew what they were seeing, pre Dec 31, 2019. Then the eight doctors in Wuhan (I call them the Wuhan 8) put out a post on social media there was a problem. One of those 8 died a few weeks after the lock downs started in Wuhan (Jan 23, 2020 or so). Since then there have been all kinds of indication that things are really bad in China. In recent weeks, there have been multiple indications that things are still a problem such as:

CHINA AREA:

A: Economic indicators still show output like the Chinese New Year’s Holiday is still going on but the party is telling everyone that production has returned to normal.

B: Various videos showing body bags every few doors on main streets.

C: Villages blocking roads so no one can enter them. (The family I live with had the grandparents talking about traveling to Fuzhou to attend a funeral but can’t go because the area closed itself off a few days later.

D: Tencent, a Chinese media company, accidently posted on the internet the number of cases being around 157K with a little over 25,000 deaths. The post was only up for a few minutes before it was changed. The thinking is that someone accidently posted the real numbers, thinking those numbers were the party approved numbers.

E: Someone noted that for several days the number of reported deaths was almost exactly 2.1%, like plus or minus one from what 2.1% of the total number of cases would be. The thinking is that someone was being ordered as to what to report for number of cases and told to make the reported deaths as 2.1%.

F: Satellite photos seems to show large amounts of organic material in Wuhan center, even though all factories have been closed for weeks. It is believed this is from crematoriums running around the clock to dispose of the dead.

G: A report that out of the 15 crematoriums in Wuhan that three broke down from ‘overuse’. It is the first time I ever heard of any crematorium breaking from too much use.

OUTSIDE CHINA AREA:

1: Until recently the United States only had a limited number of test kits. The CDC released a set of testing procedures, which I downloaded and read, but basically unless a person traveled to the infected area or had known contact with someone in the infected area, they did not test. COVID-19 is contagious even though a person may not show any symptoms for a few days. The R0 ( R naught, how many people will an infected person pass the illness to) appears to be somewhere between 2.4 and 4. As a comparison, the typical flu has a R0 of 1.2; every five people with the flu will pass it is 6 people.

2: A few of the people that have tested positive for COVID-19 had no known contact with someone who traveled to an infected area or themselves had traveled to an infected area. This also has happened in Germany. Basically, we are now getting to the point where some people who get COVID-19 we do not have any idea who they got it from, so we can’t test people to find out.

3: There are problems with the test kits. There was an earlier batch that didn’t work but that was fixed this week, but the current tests for COVID-19 still have a problem that a lot of the time they will return a ‘false negative’; meaning a person who is infected may test negative for the virus. To get around this problem a person that has or may have the virus has to be tested multiple times to make sure they are not infected.

4: Even if the reported numbers and deaths out of the China area are accurate, which indications are they are not,  there is still a disaster in a number of weeks. even starting from a low number, the results increase dramatically. Originally, most of the reports seemed to think the number of cases would double every 6 or 7 days. more recent reports seem to indicate that the number of cases may be doubling in 2.4 days.

For the estimate I did last week for the United States I used the reported number of 35 cases and a doubling every seven days, with 15% expected needing hospitalization. Using those assumptions I came up with that around week 25 all of the hospital beds in the US would be filled with COVID-19 patients.

The measure if I am right or not is to see if the number of cases double every seven days; so today we have 84 cases.

If my estimates are right, then next week at this time the number of cases should be over 160, then 320, 640, etc.

If the rate of increase in the number of cases starts to ‘flatten out’; i.e. no more doubling, then I am wrong and would need to redo my estimates.

At the moment, with no reliable test kit, no treatment, no vaccine and not even being able to tell who has been exposed to the virus, I expect the doubling of cases to go on.

It is also troubling that places like Africa have reported just about no cases, even though Wuhan had direct flights every day carrying about 1,500 people to Ethiopia. The fear is that with all of the cases elsewhere, there must be a number of cases in Africa and are spreading to other areas, but no one knows because they have no test kits.

Hopefully, something will change and things will not turn out as bad as the projections show they might.

Good Luck and Take Care,

Louis J. Desy Jr. – March 01, 2020

Louisdesyjr@gmail.com

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