There has been a lot in the news about the recent coronavirus case increase in the US, but it’s also happening in many places across Europe. The coronavirus ‘experience’ globally has been different depending on where you live.
There’s a couple of things that I want to note before I get into discussing numbers:
- At the beginning of the pandemic, there was a significant shortage of testing kits. This makes perfect sense because first, how would you stockpile testing kits for a virus that you barely knew existed and getting reliable tests and getting them mass-produced took time.
- Many people anticipated a surge in the fall cases as people went back indoors after a summer spent outdoors.
We just hit a record number of cases yesterday (11/12) in the US, with 163,405 new cases reported. As the chart below illustrates, this is significantly above the previous peaks [in the cycles] of 75,687 on July 16th and 33,099 cases on April 4th. These peaks amount to infection rates of .01%/day (April), .02%/day in July, and .05%/day yesterday. As you can see, the recent cycle, which has not yet peaked, is significantly greater than the previous cyclical peaks.
The next chart is what many people focus on, which is total deaths. This focus is not really morbid but tells a story about how dangerous this virus is to the infected people. One key thing to note is that with the earlier data, the death peaks happened 11 days after the case peak in April and 11 days after the case peak in July. Since we haven’t hit a case peak for the current cycle, the recent peak is actually 2 days before the current case peak. [Confusing, I know, but the key thing is that the death peak seems to be about a week or 2 after the case peak. The death peaks have actually been declining; the April peak was 2,752 deaths reported on 4/15, the July peak was 1,696 deaths reported on 7/27, and the current peak is 1,465 deaths on 11/10.
It’s likely that the total deaths will be increasing in this current uptick — though nobody wants this to happen. Purely looking at death rates (deaths/cases), the death rates have been steadily dropping. The peak death rate was 7.8% based on the April peak numbers, 2.2% based on the July peak numbers, and less than 1% based on the current numbers. Remember that I pointed out that testing at the beginning of the pandemic was limited. Hence, the actual cases were likely significantly higher, so the death rates are likely much lower.
Coronavirus in Europe
One of the stories that rippled through the US back in the spring when the original lockdowns were happening in the US was that this virus was ravaging Italy. How is Europe faring now? It would be safe to say that Europe is getting hit rather hard again since the UK and France have begun mass shutdowns in their countries. Many countries across Europe have surged in cases that are making the Spring look like nothing. Here how some of the larger countries are doing:
France the Hardest Hit
France has been hit particularly hard with a coronavirus case increase in this recent wave of the virus. Their spring peak hit 7,578 cases back on March 3, an infection rate of about .01%/day. Their current spike is up at 86,852 cases on 11/7, which is an infection rate of .13%/day.
Germany Coronavirus Cases Have Increased
In Germany, their spring coronavirus peak was 6,294 cases, which was an infection rate of .01%/day. The latest surge has doubled their spring rate with 23,399 cases, an infection rate of .02%/day. This current coronavirus case increase does not appear to have peaked, so we may not have hit the fall peak.
UK Coronavirus Cases Have Increased 5x
The UK has been hit very hard with the recent spike in cases. Back in the spring, their peak case count was 6,201 on May 1st. The current fall wave had the latest peak yesterday, with 33,470 cases reported. Their infection rate climbed from .01%/day in the spring to .05%/day now.
Italy is Getting Hit Harder Than The Spring
With all of the talk in the spring about how hard Italy was getting hit by the virus, the current rate is even greater than it was in the spring. The spring peak was on March 21st with 6,557 cases; the latest peak was on November 7th, with 39,809 cases reported. The infection rates in Italy were .01%/day back in the spring and are now up to .07%/day today.
Other Areas of the World
The US and Europe have similar waves, with infections rapidly climbing into the fall after peaking in the spring. However, the US had another cyclical increase in the early summer as some US areas began to open up their economies and allow people to return to some previously shut-down activities.
India and Brazil have had very different infection cycles, with only one peak occurring in their winter for Brazil and India occurring in September. The peak infection case count in Brazil was on July 29, with 69,074 cases reported (an infection rate of 0.3%/day), and India had their peak count on September 17, with 97,894 cases reported (an infection rate of under .01%/day).
We are definitely not finished with this virus as we likely have not gotten to peak infection and death rates from this current wave, but we will try to report back with numbers that have no bias and just reported as they are.