Encouraging coronavirus numbers from the U.S.

Recent numbers regarding the Wuhan coronavirus in the U.S. are somewhat encouraging. The reported number of daily deaths from the virus has averaged around 1,000 the past three days. In early May, daily deaths were averaging about twice that number.

Two of the past three days were weekend days. Sometimes the number of reported deaths declines on weekends, so we’ll need to see what happens during the rest of this week. In fact, today’s total death (Tuesday’s) is already around 1,500. However, I can’t find three consecutive days of death totals as low as the past three since late March-early April.

The number of new reported cases is also down somewhat from the beginning of May — from an average of around 28,000 to an average of around 22,000 cases. This, despite an increase in the number of tests administered.

Even with the improved numbers, we’re still probably headed for a total of at least 100,000 deaths from the virus in the U.S. by this time next week. By the end of May, we might be at around 110,000 deaths. Even with continued improvement in June, which we should expect, there’s a good chance the total will be at least 125,000 by the end of that month.

Of the current total of around 93,000 deaths, New York and New Jersey account for around 39,000. Of the remaining 54,000 or so deaths, it’s likely that at least half occurred in nursing homes.

I don’t mean to minimize the significance of deaths in New York, New Jersey, and nursing homes. However, noting those numbers provides some perspective on the scope of the pandemic and should provide some guidance on what’s required (and what is not) to combat it going forward.

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