Honestly not so great. It’s simply astonishing that the President is fighting for the total power to open up the states when we’re in this shape.
Take a look at the charts for the US below; they should be familiar if you’ve been following my King county charts.
The data says that we’ve successfully stepped off of the horrific exponential curve that we were on, primarily driven by New York and New Jersey. It turns out they’ve been fairly successful, and that’s driving this success. But nothing in the national data says we’ve turned the corner and our new infections are down to zero.
To quantify that, let’s introduce a single number – the 3 day CAGR. This gives us an idea of the growth in new cases averaged over three days. That number for the United States is around 8% per day – bad, but not awful.
If we remove New York and New Jersey from the CAGR, we end up in a worse spot – 9% CAGR. If we also pull out WA and CA, it gets even worse, 10%.
As we’ve seen, small differences in growth rate add up to huge differences in eventual numbers. If we simply assume that states’ current growth rates will continue (they won’t, but stay with me here), we start to see the problem. Today our “non NY, NJ, CA, and WA” case load is 225k. In 7 days, it grows to 437k.
It gets even more interesting looked at on a state by state basis. The table below breaks them out and does this 3-day CAGR calculation and 7 day projection for each of the 50 states. The results are listed in descending order of problems.
Note that a number of the very worst-growing states are exactly the kind of rural areas whose Republican governors are arguing for following Trump to open up. SD, NE, VA, KY all have CAGRs over 14%! I know they don’t *feel* like they’re in trouble today, but the relentless exponential math will overtake them and in a few weeks their *very* limited medical systems will be straining or overwhelmed. The idea that in 2 weeks when SD would be projected to have 40k cases, NE 9k, KY 12k Trump will declare victory and open up seems ridiculous. They will finally be entering long-delayed lockdown and begging him not to pressure them and instead to send ventilators and respiratory doctors to their rural hospitals.
|State||3 day growth||CAGR||7 day Projection|
|District Of Columbia||432||9%||3,680|
|total no new york or jersey||70,667||9%||604,944|
|total no new york jersey wa or CA||51,628||10%||436,651|
The pity, of course, is that if we’d all locked down together, as one nation, these rural states which have a huge natural advantage over cities would be ahead of the big coastal states. Instead they’ll be laggards and the coastal states will have to worry about infected people from red states re-lighting their fires.