This week is going to be our “Pearl Harbor moment,” says the surgeon general, and he’s not alone. But I don’t see where that’s coming from. Here’s a look at the day-to-day growth rate of COVID-19 deaths:
The good news, obviously, is that the growth rate appears to be going down. The bad news is that as long as it’s above zero the number of deaths is increasing every day. This means that although next week will be bad, the week after that will be even worse:
This is the roughest kind of projection, but it suggests that we’ll have 20,000 new deaths next week and 30,000 the week after that. The rate of new deaths should then start to slowly decelerate.
Of course, this all depends on countermeasures being kept in place and holdout states not releasing a big new pool of infections into the country. For what it’s worth, here’s a messy look at some state data (the dashed black line is for the entire country):
New York is showing signs of flattening, and so is New Jersey. Louisiana appears to be accelerating. Other states seem to be growing at a fairly steady rate.