Predicting the virus one month ahead

A commenter asks where I think we will be one month from now. I think we will be in the dark, or at least I will be.

Recall that I prefer to track death rates. What I finally settled on as an indicator was the 7-day average death rate, using this data. This average held at around 1500 through the dark days of April and the first third of May, and then it finally began to trend lower after that, down to less than 600 in the third week in June. Then on one day, June 25, there were 2500 deaths, sending the seven-day average to over 800.

It is not that 2500 people died of the virus on the 25th. But that was the day that New Jersey included over 2000 previously unreported deaths from April and May. I am afraid that we have not seen the last of this “death harvesting.” I came across an article the other day, which I forgot to bookmark, that said that analysts are suspicious about the high rate of deaths reportedly caused by Alzheimer’s this year. So perhaps 10,000 more deaths will be re-stated as Covid deaths.

The data I wish I had is data on serious cases. I would define a serious case as a case that deprives the victim of normal activities for more than 30 days. Death obviously counts. Quibble with my definition all you want, but my point is that in order to calibrate my fear of the virus, I would like to know the prevalence of serious cases.

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