In writing about the economy, I make use of long and short leading indicators to forecast coincident indicators. In writing about COVID, the template isn’t much different: cases lead hospitalizations by about 2 weeks, which in turn lead deaths by about 2 weeks. Put another way, cases lead deaths by about 4 weeks.
Four weeks ago I wrote:
“we have to start worrying about COVID again, because the delta variant has now taken hold in up to 8 States with rising new cases. All of those States have fewer vaccinations per capita than the national average, and most of them much below the average. By the end of July, I anticipate that it will be clear there is a new ‘wave’ of cases in the relatively unvaccinated States.”
In the past 4 weeks, cases have nearly quintupled from about 11,300 to 55,000. Hospitalizations have risen about 2.5x. And here is what deaths nationwide look like, vs. cases:
Deaths have been trending slightly higher and just made a 1 month high.
And here are deaths in the bellwether States that were first hit with Delta, plus a few others:
Deaths in some of those States have started to go parabolic.
In the last 4 weeks, the US has gone from about 47% fully vaccinated to just under 50% fully vaccinated – i.e., not much of a change.
Here is what is going to happen in the next month. Deaths are going to follow cases. Cases have nearly quintupled.
Deaths are going to nearly quintuple – I.e., to a level of about 1,000/month.