Covid-19 Fatality Projections

Reader Bruce Hall speculates:

It appears that the “second wave” has about peaked. Even the inflated measure of cases (versus April/May testing process) is declining. Hospitalizations for the “expendables” are declining although still the vast majority of deaths.

Maybe. The concept of local maxima/minima might be useful to keep in mind.

IHME projects (in the absence of universal masks requirements):

Source: IHME, August 28 projection.

39 thoughts on “Covid-19 Fatality Projections

    1. Menzie Chinn Post author

      CoRev: I was providing context to Bruce Hall’s comment, in particular a graphic depicting the extent of the decline. I think that was obvious to most sentient beings.

      1. CoRev

        Menzie, why the sarcasm? What Bruce said was: “It appears that the “second wave” has about peaked.”If you tracked the actual data and not a model which ends tracking data and starts predicting after 8/18, you would find that the daily death rate, as shown by the 7 day rolling averages, has been going down since the 1st week of August. If you were tracking the daily cases data the daily new cases rate, as shown by the 7 day rolling averages, has gone down since mid-July. These trends are readily available on any of the tracking sites, CDC, JHU, or here:

        If you are pointing to the added cases/deaths since re-opening occurred, and more recently since schools have tried to open, well DUH! If you are pointing out what MIGHT happen in the future, that’s another DUH?

        You and Bruce are saying/showing the essentially the same thing. What context have you added?

        1. Menzie Chinn Post author

          CoRev: Since the definition of a “wave” is not commonly agreed upon — after all some epidemiologists would say we are still in our first wave having never really tamped down infections — then it seems reasonable to ask if this “second wave” (if we allow that) may not have really peaked. If you were familiar with business cycle analysis, you would understand that when there are “squiggles” in the data, it is not always apparent when you have peaked.

          You might find the books and papers by Burns and Mitchell and Zarnowitz of interest, by the way, in thinking about waves.

        2. pgl

          why the sarcasm???? What’s up with your anger? Oh wait – you remind me of those Proud Boys in their pickup trucks running down BLM protesters.

          Come on CoRev – you do not own this blog. If you want to have a blog where Trump sycophants can lie 24/7 without being called out on it – start your own.

        3. pgl

          CoRev takes his 7-seven average of daily deaths for the last month. I’m looking over this for the last 90 days. This was not sky high in early July but during that month, it jumped. The 7-day average has declined by a tiny amount over the month of August. Bruce Hall decided this means the crisis is over and of course CoRev attacks anyone who suggests otherwise.

          We’ve been through this before CoRev. Your angry does not disguise your incredible stupidity. So get over yourself.

    2. pgl

      CoRev – until you figure out basic calculus, please refrain as your ignorance is just feeding Brucie’s really dumb comments.

      1. CoRev

        PGL, what kind of calculus is used in the single point analysis you did on that earlier thread to refute Bruce?

        Menzie, a semantical argument re: what is a peak? That’s your answer for the context you added?

        1. Dr. Dysmalist


          It’s not “semantics,” it’s math. Nowadays, a significant number of students learn this in high school if they have the interest and the academic background. Otherwise, it’s first semester at a 4 year college, even a junior college if, again, the student has the interest and background.

          If you don’t understand local minima and maxima, you don’t understand functions. If you don’t understand functions, you cannot comment intelligently on the shape of a function, including minima and maxima. So yes, a graph of the entire function to date, including a highly credible projection (by people who know what they’re doing) of the future path of it, is essential context.

          A caution to be wary of drawing conclusions about the path of the function, i.e., the deaths from the pandemic, from very localized changes is equally essential context. No one can hope to perform even a basic analysis of a function without understanding and applying these things.

          Furthermore, all attempts to apply ideology to the study of a function, any function, are not only ill-advised and destined to fail. They promote faulty understanding and therefore are actively harmful.

          1. CoREv

            Menzie, PGL and Dr D., if you had noticed instead of emoted, you might have realized that I did not provide any analysis. What I provided was a link from a left leaning newspaper, Otherwise, all I did was ask 2 questions: Was he disputing Bruce? and What was the context Menzie thought he was providing?

            To date no one has answered the 1st question. The reason is clear, because even Menzie’s preferred source along with the live data confirmed Bruce’s contention. The answer to the 2nd question I provided myself with my DUH responses.

            Yes, cases and deaths could change direction. Especially as the virus infects new areas. Another DUH!

          2. Menzie Chinn Post author

            CoRev: Context is that declining from a peak is not actually a decline from a peak if it soon rises to yet a higher value (i.e., if cases go up yet higher, or deaths go up yet higher). And that may happen if projections are realized.

          3. CoRev

            Menzie, was that so hard? Yes, cases and deaths may again rise until we have reached her immunity. I’m not trying to srart an argument over her immunity. It achieved at least 3 ways, virus mutates, a large portion of the populace is infected and a vaccine is developed. Most here seem to believe there is only 1 way to achieve it.

          4. Menzie Chinn Post author

            CoRev: I just repeated in a dumbed down way what I originally said. You were apparently the only person who didn’t understand my point in my original comment.

          5. pgl

            “I did not provide any analysis.” LOL. CoRev has NEVER provided analysis on anything. And note he refuses to take his link off that 30 day window. Come on CoRev – learn to use your own link and take a look at the 90 day window. You just might see Menzie’s point. Then again your eyesight reminds me of Mr. Magoo.

            As to your 1st question – no one is addressing it is a really pointless and stooopid question.

          6. baffling

            corev has nothing of value to contribute. if you ever notice, his sole purpose is to cause disruption and try to egage you in stoopid discussion. that way his sh!t rubs off on you. best to simply stay clear of the fool.

          7. CoRev

            Menzie, when you say: “And that may happen if projections are realized.” It was obvious what your chart’s projections showed, but reliance on dubious projections from an outlier model (remember the authors previous comment regarding it) just makes your context dubious.

            You have slipped into PGL’s single point analysis territory. Why not just use the readily available ensemble values for the model projections or even the readily available CDC/JHU/WaPo/etc. daily updated data, and do your own charts?

        2. pgl

          Leave it to you to ignore what I have said since the one little comment that began this back and forth. Come on CoRev – if you have to serially lie to “win” a debate then your comments aren’t even worth responding to.

  1. Dr. Dysmalist

    Yeah, I think that Hassett’s ‘cubism’ doesn’t capture this dynamic. Beyond masking or not, the future path depends entirely on how people react in the future (obviously, duh). Events and their aftermath in red states, and reactions from the red side in DC do not inspire hope.

    Oh, and just because I’m not arguing about it doesn’t mean that I accept the framing of “inflated measure of cases.” That’s disputatious to say the least. Ideology driving (lack of) analysis to produce foregone conclusion.

  2. 2slugbaits

    Bruce Hall wrongly believed that COVID-19 was no worse than the flu. Bruce Hall was certain that COVID-19 would fade away with warmer weather. Bruce Hall still believes in the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine. Bruce Hall believes Sweden’s quasi-herd immunity approach was great. Bruce Hall has been just about as wrong as anyone can get, but bless his little heart he keeps on trying. This time he might be right if (and only if) governments intervene to control outbreaks and if people wear masks and socially distance.

    1. pgl

      Bruce Hall told us daily deaths would decline in July. They rose rather significantly. Bruce Hall notes the slight reversal of that and now is predicting the crisis is over. Even though daily deaths now are still higher than they were at the end of June. Maybe Brucie boy is standing on his head reading these graphs upside down.

  3. Willie

    I am 60, making me and my wife one of Bruce Hall’s expendables. Presumably so are agricultural workers, medical professionals, and just about everyone else who doesn’t benefit from wingnut welfare like Bruce Hall seems to. Sorry, Bruce, but I do not think the people you condemn to a painful death are expendable like you do. You should head to Putin’s Russia and suck up to the Kremlin. You will have a tolerable life, rid of the rest of us, so long as you are useful. When you are not any more, you too will become expendable and sentenced to an unpleasant demise. Just as you want it.

  4. macroduck

    As school resumes, the flu season approaches. The two have been much discussed and interact with Covid in a number of ways. Today, an issue from parenting past crept back into my head what with all this school talk in the air. Strep throat shares some syptoms wih Covid, stresses immune systems and accompanies school openings. Kids, and kids’ parents, good luck out there.

    1. Moses Herzog

      If you’re poor and your kid doesn’t have a laptop/desktop and internet access you’re screwed. PERIOD, end of conversation.

    2. Moses Herzog

      @ macroduck or any parents/grandparents out there
      Children are obviously important in our society and take precedence. Getting lead time on the virus can save a life, especially when we are talking about people with weak immune systems. Vomiting and diarrhea are getting more health professionls attention as it relates to children. Your child or a friend’s child may exhibit those 2 symptoms before they get the “dry cough”. </b

      If you are a single person you can still be of value by passing on this info to friends who are parents. You will be the parents' new best friend if it helps diagnose their child sooner.

  5. pgl

    This line is telling:

    ‘Hospitalizations for the “expendables” are declining although still the vast majority of deaths.’

    Grandma is expandable per Brucie boy? OK. Then again ALL of us are expendable to Donald Trump as long as he can steal the election.

  6. pgl

    Good for Dr. Fauci:

    Dr. Anthony Fauci on Tuesday threw cold water on President Donald Trump and his allies’ attempt to distort the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) data to misleadingly shrink the COVID-19 death toll. During an interview on “Good Morning America,” Fauci clarified the CDC’s recent report that states 6 percent (approximately 9,000) of the 183,500 COVID-19 deaths were attributed to the coronavirus alone. The infectious disease expert pointed out that the figure simply means COVID-19 caused those 9,000 deaths without causing the pneumonia, cardiac arrest, or other complications that killed the other 94 percent of people who contracted the virus. That data “does not mean that someone who has hypertension or diabetes who dies of COVID didn’t die of COVID-19. They did,” Fauci said. “So the numbers you’ve been hearing, the 180,000+ deaths, are real deaths from COVID-19. Let there not be any confusion about that,” he added. “It’s not 9,000 deaths from COVID-19. It’s 180+ thousand deaths.”

    I know he is a busy man but wouldn’t it be nice if he weighed in here every time Bruce Hall makes one of his usual misleading comments.

  7. baffling

    bruce hall is an example of the maga hatters who want something for free. they wan the virus to simply disappear, but are unwilling to do the work to make that happen. so they constantly look for excuses to minimize the trump virus and its impacts. rather than fighting the idea of wearing a mask for 5 plus months, if they had simply embraced masks and social distancing from day one, we would be MUCH closer to reopening the economy in a positive manner. but their little minds and little hearts could simply not embrace these routine efforts, so the trump virus still circulates too greatly heading into september. bruce hall wants money for nothing.

    menzie, i think asking bruce hall to understand the simple idea of a local min/max is too much. he needed to learn that in calc1, and i am afraid that was not on his academic resume.

    1. pgl

      Is Bruce Hall getting his daily doses of hydroxychloroquine for free? Yes – this fool still believes it works.

      “i think asking bruce hall to understand the simple idea of a local min/max is too much”

      I would be happy if Brucie and his minnie me CoRev would just figure out what a 1st derivative was.

  8. pgl

    In honor of the NBA playoffs, suppose Houston wins the first quarter by 10 points and added to their lead in the 2nd quarter by another 15 points. Now the third quarter sees Houston adding another 13 points to their lead.

    Most OKC fans would see this 38 point deficit as rather overwhelming. But no – Bruce Hall and CoRev would be cheering on Chris Paul and his teammates thinking they have this game.

    Yes – they are that dumb. But no fear as Donald Trump thinks the NBA is a left wing mob!

  9. pgl

    Dr. Fauci sensibly noting that 180 thousand deaths is unacceptably too high. Of course Bruce Hall and CoRev would call Fauci unAmerican for not multiplying this number by 6% the way Trump and his QAnon fans would spin the data. MAGA!

  10. pgl

    Coronavirus deaths in the US reached 186,950 yesterday. But according to the Three Stooges (Trump, Bruce Hall, and CoRev) we have turned the corner! MAGA!

    In other news, Trump is asking his supporters to vote twice this fall. Of course that is a felony but who cares as Trump is the mob boss with the pardon power.

  11. pgl

    Speaking of “turning the corner”, soybean prices jumped from $9 a bushel on August 24 to $9.62 a bushel a week later:

    Of course CoRev told us that we would be above $10 a year ago. We did get to o$9.41 by the end of 2019 but that was followed by another collapse of prices.
    But rest assured – soybean prices cannot fall ever again according to CoRev’s secret econometric model.

  12. pgl

    September 3, 2020 at 7:30 am
    Menzie, was that so hard? Yes, cases and deaths may again rise until we have reached her immunity. I’m not trying to srart an argument over her immunity. It achieved at least 3 ways, virus mutates, a large portion of the populace is infected and a vaccine is developed. Most here seem to believe there is only 1 way to achieve it.”

    srart? Her immunity? Buy spell check as you really need it. But the general theme of this comment is dumb even for you. Everyone gets that if we develop an effective vaccine, this would help (of course Trump is trying to screw this up too but hey). Your 2nd “solution” has been discussed to death and the problem is that it relying on it would lead to millions of death? Is that your recommendation?

    And yes we all know viruses mutate but that often means a new virus that will not be addressed by the latest vaccine. But leave it to you to think mutations can only solved the crisis.

  13. Moses Herzog

    @ Menzie
    I have a random question for you. In another post (going back a ways) you said that the IHME now was different than it was in March. I’m not sure you ever made clear why the IHME had changed since March. I am not challenging your assertion in any way, shape, or form. Rather asking out of curiosity and wanting to know what that “change” is. You do seem to trust IHME now more than the CDC. Is this current trust you now have in IHME on “shaky grounds”?? I was looking and it appears they have no connection or reason to be obeisant to trump, correct??

    1. Moses Herzog

      Maybe you just meant the number, I must have misinterpreted what you were explaining. You probably just meant the number IHME quotes. When I read it I thought you meant the apparatus of how they do things—like how CDC has been F’ed up now. My apologies.

  14. Moses Herzog

    Nursing home with ties to donald trump has high number of COVID-19 deaths. They were sold very cheaply to Greystone from HUD, but trump’s HUD refuses to disclose the asking price.

    donald trump is now telling his White House staff (multiple corroborations of the conversations) he thinks American war veterans are “losers” and “fools”:

  15. pgl

    “You have slipped into PGL’s single point analysis territory.” Look we know CoRev is a dishonest troll but this is just pure BS. I offered one piece of data in a single comment which I never put forth an “analysis”. Of course I have over and over offered other comments with a lot more substance than CoRev has ever even imagined.

    Contrast that to the millions of really dumb comments from CoRev who of course whines to the cows come home if anything he ever said gets called out. Given 99% of CoRev’s comments are breath takingly stupid, it is amazing he does not get called out hourly. But of course CoRev will whine as he is incapable of an intelligent discussion.

    1. CoRev

      Wow! What a whiny comment after again calling him out for his single point analysis. For some reason making a conclusion is not an analysis in PGL-world. His original comment was my submission for a “howler” comment, and his denials are close 2nds.

      His ensuing cover-up/substance arguments have been to note the period prior, sometimes 30 days and sometimes 90 days, where he notes that Covid cases and daily deaths peaked while failing to admit they have both diminished since. Another DUH comment. So when he says: “Of course I have over and over offered other comments with a lot more substance than CoRev has ever even imagined.” he is only trying to save face from his howlers.

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