My Fave Chart, May 27

Short update today. You’ll love this one:

So, you can see that we now have a month long clearly discernible downwards trend in deaths that has persisted well past the 11–19 days that phased re-opening was expected (by some) to result in a “second wave”.

Put another way: States started their phased re-opens around 5/1. According to the data from this particular virus, that should have led to an increase in cases around 5/5 to 5/7 (and it did, to a small extent, in some places) followed by an increase in deaths 11–14 days later (and it did, to a small extent, in some places.)

Underline SMALL. Because those point increases, which were trumpeted (no pun intended) by the chattering class as harbingers of doom-yet-to-come, have not altered the slope of the downwards trend set in the period prior to 5/5; in fact, that trend has accelerated. And if you’re into models, that trend line gets us pretty close to zero deaths by the end of June.

Now, I would caution people from coming to broad conclusions from this data; there are many variables involved. NYC was driving the numbers from mid to late April; doctors are getting better at treating this; now that high risk groups are clearly defined, those in those groups are protecting themselves better; the sun is out, meaning we are outside more where the risk of transmission is low; yada yada yada. There is nothing in that chart that can lead one to conclude anything like “lockdowns weren’t necessary”, for example.

And, hey, we can reverse that trend if we’re not careful. Crowded indoor environments and using mass transit systems ought to do it, if your goal is to be the 2020 version of Typhoid Mary. We still should be avoiding crowded indoor environments, minimizing shopping trips when possible, maintaining social distance from others, and masking indoors; that part’s not over yet.

But, the pattern is a good one.

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