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Coronavirus dashboard for March 28: testing falls further behind

Coronavirus dashboard for March 28: testing falls further behind- by New Deal democrat

Here is the update through yesterday (March 27)

In order to succeed in containing the pandemic, I believe that the US needs 2 weeks of China (nearly complete lockdown) followed by at least a month of South Korea (very aggressive and widespread testing).

At minimum, that means at least 50% of the US population under lockdown and a ratio of 15:1 in tests to results showing infection. The recent exponential growth of about 35% per day must be stopped. Those three most important metrics are starred (***) below.

As of now, just over 50% of the population is under total or business lockdown, and the rate of increase in new infections decelerated significantly – but is still growing at near 25%/day. The amount of testing continues to increase, but still is falling far short of what is necessary for a successful regimen.

Number and rate of increase of Reported Infections (from Johns Hopkins via arcgis.com)

• Number: up +18,825 to 104,837 (vs. +16,815 on March 27)
• ***Rate of increase: day/day: 22% (vs. 34.6% baseline and vs. 24% on March 27)

I am using Jim Bianco’s excellent exponential projection of 34.5% growth from March 10 as my baseline. It appears that “social distancing” strategies as well as State-mandated partial and total lockdowns may have begun to put a dent in the exponential rate of increase, as the average rate of increase for the past 4 days has been 22.5%.

Note: Ben Engebreth, whose Department of Numbers used to track house prices back in the housing bubble days, has started tracking coronvirus infection and testing numbers, with graphs. You can find it here.

Number and rate of increase of testing (from COVID Tracking Project)
• Number: 107,329, up +9,523 vs. 97,816 on March 26 day/day
• Rate: increase of 10% vs. number of tests previous day
Comparison of rates of increase in documented infections vs. testing
• Infections +22% vs. Tests +10% day/day

Result: The rate of testing is failing to improve and is far, far below what is needed, which is probably now at least 200,000/day. Note this number is also increasing exponentially as we try to chase the number of exponentially increasing infections.

Ratio of tests to positives for infection (from COVID Tracking Project)

• Number: 107,329 new tests vs. 18,712 new diagnosed infections
• ***Ratio: 5.7:1

In South Korea, where aggressive testing has led to a near-total disappearance of new cases, the inflection point where the number of new daily cases plateaued was reached when the ratio of tests to new cases found reached 15:1. Any ratio less than that suggests that not enough testing is being done. Yesterday’s ratio of 5.7:1 is poor – and has been worsening for the past week, I.e., we are falling further and further behind in testing.

Number of States (+DC and Puerto Rico) in total lockdown, business lockdown, and partial restrictions

• Total lockdown (personal + business): 25 (AK, CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, ID, IL, IN, LA, MN, NC, NH, NM, MI, MT, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PR, VT, WA, WI, WV)
• Business lockdown: 7 (DC, KY, MA, MD, ME*, NV, PA*)
• Partial restrictions on business (restaurants and bars): 14 (AL, FL*, GA*, IA, MO*, MS, ND, RI, SC*, TN*, TX*, UT*, VA, WY)
• School closure only: 5 (AZ**, AR, KS, OK**, SD)
• No mandatory restrictions: 1 (NE*)

*some local areas are under lockdown

**some local areas with partial restrictions

With the exception of Arizona, all of the remaining States with no restrictions or only school closures are rural. The only news today is that North Carolina (a big State) and Alaska both went to Statewide lockdowns.

Number and percent of US population in total lockdown, business lockdown, and partial restrictions

• ***Total lockdown: 153.2 million, 46.2%
• ***Business lockdown: 39.2 million, 11.8%
• Partial restrictions on business (bars, restaurants): 104.4 million, 31.5%
• School closure only: 15.7 million, 4.7%
• No mandatory restrictions: 1.9 million, 0.6%

Earlier this week, there was a decisive move towards more restrictive measures across the board. This has all but ground to a halt across the southern “red” States. Continued exponential growth in those cases will teach a brutal lesson.

Over half of the total US population, including metro areas in some non-lockdown States, is under total lockdown. That is the percentage, AT MINIMUM, I think we need to have a chance of following China’s successful strategy for beating back the pandemic.

The deceleration of the rate of increase in new cases may be the first signs that “social distancing” is bearing some limited fruit. But a deceleration in the exponential rate of increase still means the US as a whole is failing.

Further, the rate of testing, while having increased tremendously, still remains abysmally too low compared with the spread of the virus. In other words, we are still chasing the virus, and we are falling further behind.

There is NO HOPE that the federal government under Trump will take necessary steps. Therefore those States which have gone to lockdowns need to cooperate regionally in quarantining incoming visitors at airports, train stations and at highway checkpoints.

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Coronavirus dashboard for March 27: (unsurprisingly) voluntary distancing appears to be failing

Coronavirus dashboard for March 27: (unsurprisingly) voluntary distancing appears to be failing

Here is the update through yesterday (March 26)

In order to succeed in containing the pandemic, I believe that the US needs 2 weeks of China (nearly complete lockdown) followed by at least a month of South Korea (very aggressive and widespread testing).

At minimum, that means at least 50% of the US population under lockdown and a ratio of 15:1 in tests to results showing infection. The recent exponential growth of about 35% per day must be stopped. Those three most important metrics are starred (***) below.

As of now, just over 50% of the population is under total or business lockdown, and the rate of increase in new infections decelerated significantly – but is still growing at near 25%/day. The amount of testing continues to increase, but still is falling far short of what is necessary for a successful regimen.

Number and rate of increase of Reported Infections (from Johns Hopkins via arcgis.com)

• Number: up +16,815 to 86,012 (vs. +16,815 on March 26)

• ***Rate of increase: day/day: 24% (vs. 34.6% baseline and vs. 25% on March 26)

I am using Jim Bianco’s excellent exponential projection of 34.5% growth from March 10 as my baseline. It appears that “social distancing” strategies as well as State-mandated partial and total lockdowns may have begun to put a dent in this, as yesterday’s +25% and Tuesday’s+19% have been 2 of the 3 lowest rates of increase in the past two+ weeks. At the same time, it remains an exponential growth rate.

Note: Ben Engebreth, whose Department of Numbers used to track house prices back in the housing bubble days, has started tracking coronvirus infection and testing numbers, with graphs. You can find it here.

Number and rate of increase of testing (from COVID Tracking Project)

• Number: 97,816, up +23,734 vs. 74,082 on March 25 day/day

• Rate: increase of 32% vs. number of tests previous day

Comparison of rates of increase in documented infections vs. testing

• Infections +24% vs. Tests +32% day/day

Result: The rate of testing is improving but remains far, far below what is needed, which is probably now at least 150,000/day.

Ratio of tests to positives for infection (from COVID Tracking Project)

• Number: 97,816 new tests vs. 16,807 new diagnosed infections

• ***Ratio: 5.8:1

In South Korea, where aggressive testing has led to a near-total disappearance of new cases, the inflection point where the number of new daily cases plateaued was reached when the ratio of tests to new cases found reached 15:1. Any ratio less than that suggests that not enough testing is being done. Yesterday’s ratio of 5.8:1 is poor. We remain way behind in the number of tests we are administering.

Number of States (+DC and Puerto Rico) in total lockdown, business lockdown, and partial restrictions

• Total lockdown (personal + business): 23 (CA, CO, CT, DE, HI, ID, IL, IN, LA, MN, NH, NM, MI, MT, NJ, NY, OH, OR, PR, VT, WA, WI, WV)
• Business lockdown: 7 (DC, KY, MA, MD, ME*, NV, PA*)
• Partial restrictions on business (restaurants and bars): 15 (AL, FL*, GA*, IA, MO, MS, NC*, ND, RI, SC*, TN*, TX*, UT*, VA, WY)
• School closure only: 6 (AK, AZ**, AR, KS, OK**, SD)
• No mandatory restrictions: 1 (NE*)

*some local areas are under lockdowns

**some local areas with partial restrictions

With the exception of Arizona, all of the remaining States with no restrictions or only school closures are rural.

Number and percent of US population in total lockdown, business lockdown, and partial restrictions

• ***Total lockdown: 141.1 million, 42.5%
• ***Business lockdown: 39.2 million, 11.8%
• Partial restrictions on business (bars, restaurants): 114.9 million, 34.6%
• School closure only: 16.4 million, 4.9%
• No mandatory restrictions: 1.9 million, 0.6%

Earlier this week, there was a decisive move towards more restrictive measures across the board. This has all but ground to a halt across the southern “red” States. Continued exponential growth in those cases will teach a brutal lesson.

As of yesterday, including metro areas in some States, over half of the total US population is under total lockdown. That is the percentage, AT MINIMUM, I think we need to have a chance of following China’s successful strategy for beating back the pandemic. The deceleration of the rate of increase in new cases may be the first signs that “social distancing” is bearing some fruit – but it is only lowering the exponential rate of growth to about 25% so far – far short of what is necessary. The rate of testing, while improving, remains abysmally too low compared with the spread of the virus.

There is NO HOPE that the federal government under Trump will take necessary steps. Therefore, those States which have gone to lockdowns need to cooperate regionally in quarantining incoming visitors at airports, train stations and at highway checkpoints.

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Notes on the economy and coronavirus issues

Notes on the economy and coronavirus issues

As is obvious, I have stopped reporting on almost all incoming economic data, as anything older than last week is out of date. But once the last important February data is reported tomorrow, I will take one last fond look back at our pre- Coronavirus Recession economy. How close to recession was it?

I also want to write a few more detailed posts on several points. But for now, let me leave a quick note about some important issues going forward.

1. The federal government under Donald Trump is NEVER going to do what is necessary to bring this pandemic under control. Success is only going to be achieved by cooperative action by the States.

2. As I forecast, the increasing urgency of the pandemic has put the States under enormous public pressure to take more effective action. Most, especially the “blue” States and some Eastern, Midwestern, and a few Mountain West “red” States have done so. But Southern “red” States in particular continue to resist, and probably will continue to do so until it is too late – although ultimately they too will respond to pressures from their publics.

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Coronavirus dashboard for March 26: southern “red” States resist effective measures

Coronavirus dashboard for March 26: southern “red” States resist effective measures

Here is the update through yesterday (March 25)

In order to succeed in containing the pandemic, I believe that the US needs at least 2 weeks of China (nearly complete lockdown) followed by at least a month of South Korea (very aggressive and widespread testing).

At minimum, that means at least 50% of the US population under lockdown and a ratio of 15:1 in tests to results showing infection. The recent exponential growth of about 35% per day must be stopped. Those three most important metrics are starred (***) below.

Yesterday we crossed two out of three of those thresholds – just over 50% of the population is under lockdown or near lockdown, and the rate of increase in new infections decelerated substantially. The amount of testing continues to fall are short of what is necessary.

Number and rate of increase of Reported Infections (from Johns Hopkins via arcgis.com)

  • Number: up +13,972 to 69,197 (vs. +11,705 on March 25)
  • ***Rate of increase: day/day: 25% (vs. 34.6% baseline and vs. 19% on March 24)
I am using Jim Bianco’s excellent exponential projection of 34.5% growth from March 10 as my baseline. It appears that “social distancing” strategies as well as State-mandated partial and total lockdowns may have begun to put a dent in this, as yesterday’s +25% and Tuesday’s+19% have been 2 of the 3 lowest rates of increase in the past two+ weeks.

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This is what exponential growth looks like: 2,500,000 infected in the next 15 days, 50,000 deaths

This is what exponential growth looks like: 2,500,000 infected in the next 15 days, 50,000 deaths

I had originally planned on limiting this post to the next 10 days. But then the Buffoon-in-Chief tweeted this:

So let’s look at the number of diagnosed infections and deaths in the US by the time Trump gets around to deciding what to do. Bottom line: about 2.5 million *diagnosed* infections, and about 50,000 deaths baked in the cake at a 2% mortality rate, if the current exponential rate of spreading continues.

Let me start by revisiting Jim Bianco’s March 10 graph one last time. At the time he put up the graph, there were 959 diagnosed coronavirus cases in the US:

That’s the information he had to work with. He deduced an exponential growth rate of 34.6% per day. Using that, he projected that over the next 10 days ending March 21, there would be 24,275 diagnosed cases:

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Coronavirus dashboard for March 22

Coronavirus dashboard for March 22

This is a new daily or nearly daily update I hope to post, including the most important metrics to show how controlled – or out of control – the cononavirus pandemic is. Hopefully the numbers will move ever closer to the tipping point where the epidemic is under control.In order to bring this pandemic under control, and prevent both health and economic catastrophes, in my opinion the US needs 2 weeks of China (total lockdown, preventing community spread) followed by 1 month of South Korea (extremely aggressive testing). The metric to be watched for testing is a ratio of 15 tests administered for every infection found (the ratio at which South Korea turned the corner).

Here is the update through yesterday (March 21)

Number and rate of increase of Reported Infections (from Johns Hopkins via arcgis.com)

  • Number: up +7,123 to 26,747 (vs. +5,374 on March 21)
  • Rate of increase: day/day: 36% (vs. 34.6% baseline exponential average per Jim Bianco) (and vs. 38% on March 21)

Jim Bianco’s excellent exponential projection from March 10, of a daily 34.5% growth in reported infections for the next 10 days has been almost exactly correct. I am using this as a baseline against which we can tell how well “social distancing” strategies are working as well as State-mandated partial and total lockdowns.

In the last five days, the rate of exponential growth has actually risen from about 28% to 40% and even 50%, probably due to increased testing being able to uncover more infections.

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The best US solution to the coronavirus pandemic: SHUT.IT.DOWN — two weeks of China + one month of South Korea

The best US solution to the coronavirus pandemic: SHUT.IT.DOWN — two weeks of China + one month of South Korea

For the last few weeks, I have been screaming at the top of my lungs about “exponential growth.”   That’s because so few people realized the impact such growth could have in a pandemic, over the course of just a few months, even weeks.I first began thinking about this as soon as I read a Tweet by Trevor Bedford a month ago about how coronavirus had probably been circulating, undetected, in Washington for three to six weeks. I immediately thought, with a jolt, about what that meant in terms of exponential growth.

Looking back over my private correspondence, I see where I first voiced the likely impact back on February 27. Here’s what I wrote then:
——-
“The CDC only has 250 working test kits. They have *none* to spare to check for community spread. Thus the virus will spread for several weeks undetected until tests are administered among the first very sick. By then it will be too late.

“Meanwhile the Administration has clamped a gag order on the government scientists. To my knowledge, it has taken no action to obtain the thousands of test kits that are needed from other countries.

“In short, malpractice by the Buffoon in chief could easily lead to tens of thousands of unnecessary deaths.”
——-
And so I started shouting from the rooftops about exponential spread. Nothing since then has caused me to change my mind.

By now, at least among those who are able to listen and comprehend, exponential growth has been accepted as the immediate course of the pandemic. Steps have been taken, of greater or lesser effect, in a number of countries to stop it.

Today I want to switch gears. Because I am congenitally predisposed to thinking about what we are able to control – how to come up with a solution to when we cannot avoid being rolled over by a bulldozer.

So, here’s what I think we need to do to stop the exponential spread of this disease:

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The Coronavirus Recession has begun

The Coronavirus Recession has begun

This morning we got two reports that confirm the beginning of the Coronavirus Recession: initial jobless claims and the Philadelphia Fed manufacturing index.

Initial claims rose to 281,000 one week ago. They are now 15% higher than their low last April, as well as almost 15% higher preliminarily on a monthly basis than last March, and the 4 week moving average is just shy of 5% higher than one year ago.  This meets two of my three “recession warning” triggers for this metric.

The Philadelphia Fed’s new orders subindex came in at -15.5, a big decline from last month’s +33.6, that clearly represented manufacturers’ trying to lock in new supplies. Together with the Empire State’s big decline to -9.3 earlier this week, the average of the new orders subindexes for the five regional Feds is -4.

Other high frequency indicators have also tightened or turned neutral this week: credit conditions from the Chicago Fed, the spread between Treasuries and corporate bonds, the Harpex shipping index, the US$, and of course the stock market, which has continued to crash.

I’ll have the full report up this Saturday, but the bottom line is that with this morning’s reports, it is clear in the data that the Coronavirus Recession has begun.

Two final notes:

1.  When I checked a short time ago, reported cases of coronavirus in the US had jumped 45% in a single day to 9415. This is only -6% below Jim Bianco’s exponential forecast from one week ago. Yes, much of this increase can be put down to increased testing, but the point is, that increased testing keeps finding an increased number of infections. This pace of increase is likely to continue for at least one more week.

2.  On the other hand, I will not leave you with DOOOM. I am working on a piece detailing what data to look for to know when we are turning the corner on this crisis.

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The Coronavirus Recession (probably) begins

The Coronavirus Recession (probably) begins

Looks like today is going to be an interesting one at the Wall Street casino. As I write this, futures are down -10%. Does this mean Trump has to take back his autographed copies of the surge in the indexes Friday afternoon?

I’ve expected this, since the reality that Trump was, as usual, lying in his Friday afternoon announcements didn’t occur until after 4 p.m. when the markets were already closed. Yesterday’s announcement by the Fed of an emergency rate cut to zero was also appropriately recognized as a sign of panic. And until people feel safe again getting out into public to do their business, it won’t matter.

In the meantime, I’ve been waiting on hard data to document a downturn in producer and/or consumer behavior due to the coronavirus. Up until now we’ve only had intermodal railroad shipments (showing the impact of China’s shutdown) and, last week, Open Table’s reservations collapse.

Last month I noted the spike higher in new orders in the regional Fed manufacturing reports, and have suggested that it might represent manufacturer’s locking in supplies in advance of a shortage. This morning’s Empire State Manufacturing Survey appears to have confirmed that idea in spades.

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