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:

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

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