Trigger warning: pandemic analysis


Death rate at 2 Million cases*

I’ve avoided doing anything with case numbers because the figures are really wibbly wobbly.  But we can focus on the countries that have done the best job of testing, which is between 1%-3%.  (The US has tested… less than that.  I think this might be the first graph I let her fall by the wayside).    I then sorted off countries with less than 100 deaths (Sorry Luxembourg).  I sorted by death rate which is the picture you see here.

The average death rate in the remaining countries was 4.2%.  But we have Israel on the extreme low end and Italy/Spain on the high end.  So I decided to clear my outliers based on the observation that Spain and Italy got to a point their health care systems were clearly swamped.  And something I’ve often thought about So. Korea and also applies to Israel, is that they already lived under siege conditions (relative to international travel) before Coronavirus hit.  I’m not sure why Norway falls between them.  It probably has to do with how long the virus has been operating.

Without the outliers, the death rate is about 3.3%.  The outliers should be considered, though, to look at what is possible on either end.  California was the first state to initiate shelter in place, and despite an extremely low testing rate, only has 19 deaths per million.  New York’s tests per million is higher than any individual countries, but came about reactively, and they are in the same situation as Spain and Italy where the healthcare system is overwhelmed.

Antibody testing is finally becoming available, and the numbers can be expected to shift dramatically.  There will be a lot more modelling going forward, if antibody tests reveal many people were moderately or mildly ill.  There’s also So. Korea’s reinfection rate, about 0.12% of recovered cases.  Some people are Bullish on the amount of positives antibody testing might reveal in the western US.  I’m skeptical, based on what happened in Seattle.  It didn’t hit like something that had been out and about since October as some people conjecture.

Data from:


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