Coronavirus Growth in Western Countries: April 17 Update

Here’s the coronavirus growth rate through April 17. The regular daily charts are still here (just scroll down), but I want to show something different today. The charts below show the daily death toll in the usual nine countries that I track (smoothed using a 6-day rolling average). So what do they tell us?

Italy is still stalling. France kinda sorta seemed like they might be peaking, but now they’ve stalled for a few days too. Spain is stalling. Canada is growing slowly, but still growing with no peak in sight. Germany is noisy, but also doesn’t seem to have peaked. Sweden is difficult to analyze because of their weekend bumps, but they don’t seem to be near a peak either. Switzerland looks good. The UK might—maybe—be at their peak, but it’s too early to tell. Italy didn’t start to stall until a week after their peak.

And of course let’s not forget the United States:

Are we peaking? Maybe. I tentatively think we are, but the evidence is pretty equivocal.

Bottom line: We’re in a pretty dicey position. At least two countries that had definitely peaked are now stalled. Other countries that may be peaking based on case counts are hard to call based on deaths. Does that mean the case counts are inaccurate or that the death rates just need another week to catch up? Ask me in another week. In addition, we have news of new outbreaks in Singapore and China, and continued growth in Japan. South Korea has reported that some people who already had the coronavirus infection might be getting it again. In the United States, we need to worry about the possibility of new outbreaks from states that never locked down or are ending their lockdowns too early.

At this point, I have no projections. There’s only so much you can do with the data at hand, and it points in different directions depending on what you do with it. We’re just going to have to wait and see.


How to read the charts: Let’s use France as an example. For them, Day 0 was March 5, when they surpassed one death per 10 million by recording their sixth death. They are currently at Day 43; total deaths are at 3,117x their initial level; and they have recorded a total of 279.1 deaths per million so far. As the chart shows, this is above where Italy was on their Day 43.

The raw data from Johns Hopkins is here.

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