Not Your Demographic

Assertions so counter intuitive and nonsensical - they must be true!

Cogent insights by Benjamin Scherrey

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Rate of growth continues to level off at pretty much the same level as yesterday at 36.91% for 31,767 total cases whereas rates of death has risen to 44.85% for 394 total deaths in USA. This is the kind of behavior we would expect to see if America has peaked in terms of rate of growth of incidents.

To confirm a peak we'd want to see rates of growth for new cases to stay level then drop and rates of growth for deaths to continue to slowly rise for 7-10 days then drop - hopefully faster than rates of growth of cases so long as our health care systems are not overwhelmed. This would result in about half a million total cases and nearly 3000 deaths by April 1. Let's cross our fingers and toes and hope this is going to be the peak where American numbers all start going down.

Rate of growth for testing has fallen off a bit because the number of tests performed each day seems to have leveled off at ~50,000 tests per day. While that's good - it's not nearly enough. Thus far we have a total of 225,374 tests accounted for and, as the government has announced that 250k have actually been performed, it give us strong confidence that our data source is quite reliable. Fortunately, new on-site tests are expected to be arriving in huge numbers soon that will have an under 45-minute turnaround time rather than the 24-72 hours it currently takes with limited capacity. Consistently, however, tests of symptomatic individuals (that's who our limited tests are being focused on now) are showing a 10% infection rate. This means that 90% of people showing symptoms do NOT have Wuhan-virus.

Additionally, yesterday, our data source has started reporting the number of "Hospitalized Cases". The first recording was 1,974 and today's was 2,544. Not all states are up-to-date on this so we'll start paying closer attention in the next few days to see if this manages to give us insights as to how much the Wuhan-virus is stressing our health care system in terms of capacity.

Again - anyone can follow along by watching the raw data coming out of who I think has done the best job on the planet in providing consistent raw data that is well sourced for analysis.

Finally - I want to make a dire prediction for the country I'm residing in presently. The Thai government has just taken action that, I believe, has condemned thousands of Thais to death that otherwise need not have been impacted. By forcing shut almost all businesses in the major cities, especially Bangkok, thousands of Thais residing in Bangkok - many of whom are likely carriers of the Wuhan-virus and don't know it - are now returning to their rural homes and communities to ride out the quarantine. They have to because they have no money now in which to live or eat - it's literally a matter of survival.

Unfortunately this is EXACTLY the kind of 2nd order effect that I've been warning about. This will expose a lot of people in rural Thailand, where there is ZERO testing capacity and almost no ICUs or respirators, to the virus. These people will be in homes with questionable hygiene and in close quarters with their elderly and at-risk relatives who have zero immunity to this virus. Many many will get sick and die. Rural health care will be quickly overwhelmed and then the 3rd order effects will kick in causing people with otherwise treatable illnesses to succumb to them because there is no capacity remaining in the health care system to treat them. This is about as worse case a scenario as I can imagine. It will manifest itself in the next 2-3 weeks.

It would have been far far better to just allow people to continue working in the major cities and keep Bangkok isolated from the rest of Thailand as much as possible. I'm disgusted and saddened that the policies of the current government have set this action in motion. There are already pictures of incredibly overcrowded bus terminals and train terminals - perfect incubators for spreading the virus at close contact - filled with people flocking from Bangkok to an unsuspecting and ill-prepared rural Thailand. This is not going to go well and we can expect to see situations worse than Italy in the rural communities. PLEASE IF YOU ARE IN BANGKOK DO NOT GO TO RURAL TOWNS AND INTERMIX WITH FAMILY OR FRIENDS!

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