The social distancing measures really started this past weekend.
From what we have seen in other countries, without drastic measures, the infection numbers double every 3 days.
Since the US isn’t testing in a widespread way we can’t tell how many are infected now, we can only look at the number of deaths- this only gives us an idea of the number of infected around 2 weeks ago.
Last night the number of dead was 85, we can expect that since there were no real social distancing measures taken 2 weeks ago the number of dead by the end of the 19th will be somewhere around 170.
IF that prediction for the the 19th holds true, then we probably have somewhere between 1000-3000 dead by the end of the 30th of March – this number will not be reduced by measures taken this weekend since it is a result of infections that happened BEFORE the social distancing really was mandated.
In around 2 weeks we will see the curve start to become less steep- perhaps doubling every 10 (or hopefully more) days instead of every 3 days…
Measures taken now WILL impact how fast it grows after that- if the exponential curve continues without change (Don’t worry-It won’t) then you would have over a million dead by April 27th. How rigorously we adhere to social distancing will determine how far under that million dead we are by April 27th. Perhaps we will keep the toll under 10,000 (if we are lucky).
Every asshole minimizing the threat, every republican urging folks to eat out at a restaurant increases the number that will die.
EXTREME social distancing is the only way to combat this at this point, since we haven’t been taking measures up to this point- we could have been testing to identify hotspots and take local actions- but Trump didn’t want the numbers to go up so he stood in the way of testing… so nationwide social distancing is all we have left.
It works- China’s numbers prove it. How well it works here will be determined by how many people believe the president when he called it a hoax… We will get a lesson in the true cost- in human lives- of the denial of science.
The thing that needs to be emphasized is that this is our new normal for a while- if the numbers of new infections goes low and everyone resumes going out and socializing, the process of infections starts over again. Until there is a vaccine the threat remains.
It may be that almost everyone gets it because a vaccine takes too long- in which case 10′s millions of Americans may get gravely ill and millions die- social distancing STILL helps- without social distancing all those millions are crowding the hospitals over the course of a couple of months- collapsing the medical system completely. With social distancing that is spread out over a year or more.