The Experts are trying to flatten the Curve
But, is it happening?
Ever since the COVID Virus became the focus of our lives, the experts are all saying that we are taking steps to flatten the curve. In other words, keep the number of cases lower so that the graph will have a lower curve.
Is it happening? Many of the press conferences by officials of both parties have been saying that they are seeing a flattening of the curve. They say the number of cases is decreasing, or at least the rate of increase is showing. But, is it?
I don’t think the curve is flattening
Hey, I am not an epidemiologist. I’m not a doctor of any kind. I can read a graph and look at statistics and get a handle on what is happening.
I follow the stats online through the COVID-19 Dashboard from Johns Hopkins University. Johns Hopkins seems that it is a reliable source. They don’t seem to be giving an opinion, only the numbers, and each person can draw their own conclusion.
Each day, one of the graphs on the Dashboard shows the number of confirmed cases, graphed day by day. The graph starts in January and is updated daily. The screenshot that I am showing below was taken today, April 13, 2020, at 4:30 PM, so it is current as of this writing.
As you can see from the graph, from January through the end of February there was daily slow growth in the number of cases of the virus. Starting around the beginning of March, the graph skyrocketed. The upward trend does not seem to have slowed at all. In other words, the curve is not flattening, at least not in terms of the number of confirmed cases.
Something that the graph does not show
I admit, one thing you can’t see from the graph is how the number of cases compared to the number of tests performed on that day. It is possible that they are ramping up the number of cases so much that it is driving the increase in the graph. In other words more and more tests given daily, with the result being a smaller and smaller percentage of positive tests. The same approximate number of confirmed cases found each day, but it might be taking more and more cases to find the same number of new cases. That is possible.
But, since we are gaining more and more cases, and seemingly at the same or a similar rate of increase daily, I would argue that the curve is not flattening.
When will quarantine end?
A lot of people are getting stir crazy, wanting to have more freedom of movement. I can’t argue. Staying in the house day after day is not fun.
We don’t know when the quarantine will end. In Indiana, where I live, the quarantine is scheduled to run for another week, until April 20. I feel sure, though, that it will be extended.
About the earliest that I have heard is that we will regain our freedom of movement on May 1, or at the beginning of May (maybe not exactly on the 1st). I have also heard people saying June, or even later. I read that in England they are considering extending quarantine until the end of the year. Since early March when quarantines first got started in the USA, I have argued that we would not reach a state of normalcy until our lives have been interrupted for 12 to 18 months. I don’t know anything, this is just my feeling.
Looking at the curve, though, I don’t see how we could possibly see the end of quarantine around May 1. It is doubtful that we will be on the downward slope by then.
What do you think? Is the curve flattening? Will we see the curve heading downward soon? How much longer can you quarantine without going crazy? Let me know in the comments! We’re all in this together.
I check the statistics every day. We have not started the downhill slope yet. We seem to currently be going up.
My observation exactly, Jack. These officials keep saying that we are moving down, but I am not seeing it.
I am not too worried about the number of confirmed cases increasing; eventually, the majority of the population will probably become infected, and then, hopefully, we will have herd immunity. What we want to do is minimize the the number of bad outcomes among those infected; decrease the death rate. One good way to do this is to strengthen the people’s immune systems by telling them to quit eating processed carbohydrates and sugars, which our government officials are not doing. By cutting out these “food” people can begin to strengthen their immune systems with about 24 hours, and substantially increased immunity within one week. We don’t need to depend solely on big government or the medical care system to save us; we can have control of our own destiny.
Hi Mike – I am not really saying that the number of confirmed cases is what concerns me… what concerns me is that all of the elected officials are saying that we are starting to see that the curve is flattening. I don’t think that is true.
A variable I have been considering is what percentage of those that took the test, with negative results, will subsequently acquire the virus?
That’s true. There are certainly false negatives to take into consideration.
All statistics can be controlled by the number of tests. Two stars that are harder to manipulate are population vs deaths. Then you have to factor in that we are not seeing many flu case. There really are a lot of questions in my opinion.
Yes, the number of tests done dictates nearly everything. I see some countries saying they are virus free, or nearly virus free, but they have done only a few tests.
Bob, I agree with you. I do not see a down turn yet. I wonder what the impact of testing has on the released #’s and why the government is not pushing for more test done and faster. For each positive found, one less carrier taken off the street. But There are places where to graphs are showing down turns, case in point Australia, Germany to name just 2. But they are at the start of the down turn. I think we are all going to have to learn to deal with Cabin Fever for some time. This is going to become the year of tears I think, for many countries.
I agree, Luke. Some places are already on the downtrend. Unfortunately, not the USA, though, from what I am able to see. Good luck to us all!
That a hard question to answer. We live just outside New Orleans and the area has been hit rather hard. No one I know has had it. One of my Amateur radio buddies his son had it. I feel we should have stay at home orders until June 1st. But I am not the one to make that decision. Yes we are going stir crazy. I am working from home in my ham shack in the back yard so it not that bad.
Have a great day.
Hi Nathan – I know several people who have or have had COVID. I feel pretty sure that I had it myself, based on what doctors say. I also know two people who have died.
I think if we were not practicing caution on this, the results would be much worse.
I have heard that New Orleans was hard hit, probably because of Mardi Gras.
I am pretty sure Mardi Gras was one of the factors. I spoke to another buddy of mine he told me five people he knows have died from it.
I wear a chemical respirator when I go out along with gloves. We are just staying home. We are playing it safe. Some times we will go for a drive or a walk.
Hi Nathan. We are also staying at home as much as possible. However, Feyma and two of our boys work in the food processing industry, which is essential to keep our country fed, so they have to work 5 or 6 days per week.