The coronavirus pandemic does not perfectly adhere to the lines of political rhetoric

The coronavirus pandemic does not perfectly adhere to the lines of political rhetoric

The charts in this article identify three days for reference: when the seven-day average of new cases first exceeded 100,000 on November 5, when the first vaccines were rolled out and President Biden’s inauguration last month.

The best news, really, is that the number of deaths each day from covid-19, the disease caused by the virus, has also fallen from its peak. A month ago, an average of 3,300 people died from the disease each day. That figure is now still high at 2,700 – but 600 fewer deaths per day are no complaints.

We expect the number of deaths per day to decrease after the number of new cases. There is an understandable connection between the first and the second: people contract the virus, get sick, and after a while, die. The number of new cases increased rapidly when the last wave began. The number of new deaths started to increase a few weeks later.

The same relationship holds for decreases. We can expect the number of deaths per day to continue to decline, although it is not clear how quickly, for reasons which we will discuss below.

Since the start of the third outbreak on September 12, the seven-day average number of deaths per day is equivalent to about 1.6% of the number of new cases 19 days ago. This percentage is itself declining; by early November, that percentage was over 1.7 percent.

There are a number of theories as to why this drop is occurring, which we’ll explore in a moment. But the fact that this is happening is remarkable in part because it …

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