We’re #1 for Covid-19 (Mar 26)

The USA became #1 for cases of Covid-19 today. We lapped both Italy and China in a single day. Globally, there are over a half million cases. It’s doubling about every 4 days, so expect a million next Monday.

Here’s a timeline for Ithaca. It probably is a good predictor for how the pandemic will unfold in other communities. I’ll keep it updated.

Mar 1: 0 cases. WHO warns about pandemic.
Mar 2-6: 0 cases.
Mar 7: 0 cases. NY declares state of emergency (76 cases in NYS).
Mar 8-9: 0 cases.
Mar 10: 0 cases.  Cornell bans events with 50+ people.
Mar 11: 0 cases.  Cornell plans switch to online classes on Mar 28.
Mar 12: 0 cases (15 tested).
Mar 13: 0 cases. Cornell ends classes, sends students home. County state of emergency.
Mar 14: 1 case.
Mar 15: 1 case (46 tested).
Mar 16: 2 cases. All NY restaurants, gyms, malls closed (960 cases NYS).
Mar 17: 3 cases (107 tested).
Mar 18: 6 cases (146 tested).
Mar 19: 6 cases (279 tested).
Mar 20: 11 cases. Non-essential NY businesses closed (7102 cases NYS).
Mar 21: 12 cases (449 tested).
Mar 22: 15 cases (451 tested).
Mar 23: 16 cases (592 tested).
Mar 24: 18 cases (666 tested).
Mar 25: 23 cases (731 tested).
Mar 26: 32 cases (1009 tested).
Mar 27: 48 cases (1191 tested, community spread).
Mar 28: 56 cases (1191 tested, 2 hospitalized).
Mar 29: 70 cases (1197 tested, 2 hospitalized).
Mar 30: 73 cases (1419 tested, 1 hospitalized, 1 recovered).
Mar 31: 76 cases (1419 tested, 1 hospitalized, 28 recovered).
Apr 1:    80 cases (1480 tested, 1 hospitalized, 33 recovered).
Apr 2:    87 cases (1553 tested, 2 hospitalized, 46 recovered).
Apr 3:    93 cases (1620 tested, 2 hospitalized, 51 recovered).
Apr 4:    95 cases (1626 tested, 2 hospitalized, 54 recovered).
Apr 5:    98 cases (1637 tested, 1 hospitalized, 57 recovered).
Apr 6:  102 cases (1988 tested, 3 hospitalized, 66 recovered).
Apr 7:  103 cases (2133 tested, 3 hospitalized, 69 recovered).
Apr 8:  105 cases (2246 tested, 5 hospitalized, 73 recovered).
Apr 9:  107 cases (2274 tested, 5 hospitalized, 76 recovered).
Apr 10: 112 cases (2290 tested, 4 hospitalized, 82 recovered).
Apr 11:  113 cases (2403 tested, 5 hospitalized, 82 recovered).
Apr 12:  113 cases (2408 tested, 4 hospitalized, 83 recovered).
Apr 13:  113 cases (2419 tested, 4 hospitalized, 84 recovered).
Apr 14:  116 cases (2506 tested, 4 hospitalized, 87 recovered).
Apr 15:  118 cases (2546 tested, 4 hospitalized, 90 recovered).
Apr 16:  119 cases (2606 tested, 5 hospitalized, 93 recovered).
Apr 17:  121 cases (2783 tested, 7 hospitalized, 94 recovered).
Apr 18:  121 cases (2808 tested, 7 hospitalized, 94 recovered).
Apr 19:  123 cases (2820 tested, 6 hospitalized, 94 recovered).
Apr 20:  123 cases (2897 tested, 6 hospitalized, 94 recovered).
Apr 21:  123 cases (2947 tested, 6 hospitalized, 94 recovered).
Apr 22:  124 cases (2996 tested, 5 hospitalized, 94 recovered).
Apr 23:  129 cases (3056 tested, 5 hospitalized, 94 recovered).
Apr 24:  129 cases (3095 tested, 6 hospitalized, 94 recovered).
Apr 25:  130 cases (3104 tested, 6 hospitalized, 94 recovered).
Apr 26:  130 cases (3104 tested, 6 hospitalized, 95 recovered).
Apr 27:  130 cases (3212 tested, 6 hospitalized, 97 recovered).
Apr 28:  130 cases (3299 tested, 5 hospitalized, 97 recovered).
Apr 29:  132 cases (3391 tested, 5 hospitalized, 99 recovered).
Apr 30:  132 cases (3578 tested, 5 hospitalized, 100 recovered).

The hospital only has 8 ICU beds, so things may get dire quickly.  We’ll see.  (NOTE Apr 14: not overwhelmed so far, with enough spare capacity to treat a few Covid-19 patients from NYC).

I’ve been watching Coronavirus since it first hit the news in December, and started to prepare in February. And yet, despite the long advance warning, I probably still should have acted faster. Most likely, today’s 32 cases were first shedding virus around Mar 14. At that time I was still shopping, going to the gym, eating in restaurants. Slightly cautious, but more would have been better.

I have a hand-wavy theory that the human brain is hard-wired to calculate jumps between trees, from when we were small arboreal primates. The distance you fall from gravity is squared over time. The series goes 1-4-9-16-25-36-49-64-81-100. The same math also applies to throwing things. Also cars, and most other stuff we deal with in real life.

Epidemics and explosions are exponential. The series goes 1-2-4-8-16-32-64-128-256-512-1028.  It starts out slower than the gravity curve. Humans often are fooled by that, and think it’s no big deal. Then it catches up. Suddenly it’s 10x bigger. Another 10 jumps and it’s a million, when we were expecting 400. Another 10 jumps is a billion.

Dennis Kolva
Programming Director
TurtleSoft.com

Author: Dennis Kolva

Programming Director for Turtle Creek Software. Design & planning of accounting and estimating software.