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Food Preparation Tips April 8, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.

In these dark times of strapped supply chains and arbitrary lockdowns, I figured I should probably learn how to cook. I’ve been intimidated by cooking for decades, but fortunately I found this video, which makes food prep look pretty straightforward:

Pandemic Growth Factor for the US April 7, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.

lauraw put in a request* for a US-centric version of yesterday’s chart on death growth rates. So here it is:

Looks like the growth rate in the US has slowed significantly, which is consistent with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation’s prediction that the peak death rate will occur 9 days from now.

*While dangling me by the ankle out a 4th story window.

The Pandemic Growth Factor April 6, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.

The burning question we all face is: Is the pandemic situation improving or getting worse?

And here’s your answer:

This is a plot of the growth factor (basically current day deaths divided by previous day deaths) of coronavirus deaths worldwide (data taken from Worldometer). If the number is above 1, it means the death rate is accelerating; below one it’s decelerating. At a growth factor of 1, the death rate is constant (i.e., the number of deaths today is the same as yesterday). At 0, deaths are 0.

There are two plots, one is the raw data and the other is a 5-day smoothing of the raw data. The smoothing helps suppress the noise in the data.

As you can see from the smoothed data, we’ve been on a steady downward trend for 3 weeks, largely due to the leveling off of deaths in Italy and Spain.

Hopefully this means that the world is getting things under control, and that soon the death rate will begin dropping consistently.

The Death of One-Ply? April 3, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.

With the advent of three-ply toilet paper (huzzah!!), I’m hoping the coronapaper impact will kill off one-ply. ‘Cuz yeesh.

THIS IS INTERESTING: What Everyone’s Getting Wrong About the Toilet Paper Shortage: It isn’t really about hoarding. And there isn’t an easy fix.

Bottom line: There are separate consumer and office TP supply chains, and now that everyone’s working, and pooping, at home, the consumer chain is overstressed and the office one is, uh, backed up. “In short, the toilet paper industry is split into two, largely separate markets: commercial and consumer. The pandemic has shifted the lion’s share of demand to the latter. People actually do need to buy significantly more toilet paper during the pandemic — not because they’re making more trips to the bathroom, but because they’re making more of them at home.

Not Going to Say It This Time… March 30, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.

Nope, I’m not going to express any optimism whatsoever. You hear me Fates? No optimism here; just bleak, unrelenting depression.

Even though Worldometer put this chart out (cases per day in the US):


…and this one… (deaths per day in the US)

But I’ve been toyed with too many times – tempt me not, Fates!

You’ll hear no upbeat take from me!

Start Spreading the Flus March 29, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.

Well, not the flu, exactly. Plotted up COVID-19 deaths by state for states with 15 or more deaths. From this you can see how New York is dominating the statistics:

New York represents 40% of the nation’s deaths to date. New York City proper is responsible for 3/4 of New York’s deaths. So what does the trend look like for NYC? Here’s what NYC Health says (I stole this chart from their Daily Data Summary):

So basically no end in sight.

How ‘Bout That Flu? March 27, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.

Meanwhile, back in diseases-without-great-publicists land, we have the CDC’s influenza estimates:

I guess familiarity breeds contempt.

March 26 Coronavirus Update March 27, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.

COVID-19’s reign of terror continues, with just over 25K deaths reported worldwide as of this moment. Here are the cumulative casualties in the countries we’ve been tracking:


Though Italy continues to have the worst experience of any country on the planet, it does appear that their death rate has stabilized at ~700/day for the past week.

The United States’ death rate continues to increase, albeit slowly (chart was taken from Worldometer and modified):

USDeathsPerDayThru3-26At 300 deaths/day, it would take six and half months to reach the death toll of the 2017-2018 flu season. Even at Italy’s death rate, it would take three months.

The Answer is “No” March 23, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.

The answer to the title of my last post that is. At least for the United States. After a couple of days of declining deaths due to coronavirus, Sunday saw us get hammered with 117 casualties. Here’s the chart of United States deaths that crushed my optimism (copied directly from Worldometer):

New York has been the hardest hit, with nearly 36% of deaths through yesterday.

Here’s how the various countries are doing. First, the closeup of the United States:


And here are all the data:

The data for Italy and Spain are not encouraging. More terrifying than encouraging.

Is the Coronavirus Casualty Rate Starting to Slow in Select Countries? March 21, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.
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Yesterday was actually a pretty good day, coronavirus-wise. Despite the infection rate rising as testing becomes more prevalent, deaths were down in the United States and France, and the death rate leveled off in Iran. Here are the data for the three countries:

The UK also had a good day, but it is still early in the game when there are still meaningless fluctuations in the data (actually due to the short timelines, that’s kind of true of almost all countries).

Sadly, both Spain and Italy had their worse days: 627 casualties in Italy and 262 in Spain.

With 15 hours elapsed in the current day, the US has only reported 20 deaths. That suggests that we’ll have another (relatively) good day.

Coronavirus Update – March 19 March 19, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.
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So there’s no good news over the past couple of days, with all majorly infected countries save China & S. Korea showing exponential increases in deaths. The chart below is updated through March 19, and I’ve added the UK.

The UK had a slow start, but erupted over the past 5 days. Germany also had a slow start, but is rapidly accelerating.

The US, sadly, has not been spared, and is closely tracking France’s casualties.

You can see the big picture below:


Italy’s and Spain’s trajectories are absolutely terrifying. The UK may be on the same path.

Coronavirus Update – March 17 March 18, 2020

Posted by geoff in News.
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Dismal St. Patrick’s Day, what with all the bars and restaurants in Colorado closed. I was asking myself, “Couldn’t they have waited one more day to close everything so we could at least give the bars the St. Patrick’s Day revenue boost?”

Then I updated the coronavirus chart and decided that maybe they couldn’t:


Yeah, that’s the United States that’s now riding the exponential curve. Let’s hope that the closures, curfews, and changes in behavior let us avoid the tragic experience of Italy:


China, on the other hand, has reduced its death rate to fewer than 20 per day. But it’s the only country to bend the curve, and their data is always suspect, so I’m going to wait for another country to pull it off before I believe that it’s possible to curb the death rate that quickly.