The endgame falls into roughly 3 scenarios. First, the IHME assumption of a 3-4x understatement means half the country has been exposed to the virus and transmission is not only getting harder for the virus at the same time immunizations are underway. Second, the CDC estimate of 8x undercounting is more accurate, meaning we are clearly due for a dive as herd immunity is rapidly realized. As a final scenario – the pessimistic one – is that actual cases reflect the reporting numbers. In that final case, the immunizations will pull us out of the pandemic and not likely before the shots are given to well over half the population.
All scenarios assume that the 1,000,000 2nd vaccinations per day is already in progress.
These forecasts are based solely on reported JHU-CSSE data as of the date of the model, using the latest growth rates and derivatives -- starting with an 7-day averaging of new cases -- to project into the future. No epidemiological, political, or behavioral assumptions or models are incorporated, other than that the current observations as represented in the data are valid into the future with the exception that acceleration/decelerations in daily rates are capped at 2%. Thus, the forecasts do not attempt to account for possible changes in human behavior such as tightening or relaxing discipline, improved testing, or more accurate reporting. Those changes might be inferred in deviations of the actuals over time from the models.
For counties with low numbers of new cases (generally, below 5 per day), the projections are highly suspect as small changes in cases have an oversized impact on the growth rates. As well, counties with suddenly higher numbers of new cases will have accelerations over-estimated.
The method is as follows:
For additional details see the Methodology tab.
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