Archive for April 8th, 2020

Why is New York ablaze while California is just simmering?

April 8, 2020

That’s a question that I’ve been pondering…

The WSJ ran a piece titled “The Art of Coronavirus Modeling”.

Its main point was that statistical models are “tools, not oracles” … that the drastic recent changes in the IHME Model’s forecasts is evidence that models are, by their nature, imperfect and shouldn’t be used as sole determinants of policy.

I agree with all of that, but it’s not new news.

What caught my attention was that the article offered up some clues and conjecture about a  question that has been on my mind: Why is New York ablaze with coronavirus while California is just simmering?


Here’s what the WSJ offered up on the question…


Some determinants of urban viral contagion…

April 8, 2020

In a prior post, we recapped the IHME Murray Model — the coronavirus forecasting model foundational to the Coronavirus Task Force’s thinking.

And, in a subsequent post, we concluded that — given historical precedents — data modelers would be well served including some measure of urbanization in their models.


Digging a bit deeper, I came across a study by a group called Heartland Forward.

The study report has lots of data, charts and maps.

The study proposes determinants of high rates of contagious infection … some of which are directly related to urbanization.


April 8: COVIDS-19 Tracker

April 8, 2020

Cumulative U.S. Deaths 
12,857  Worldometer
12,911   JHU

IHME Model Cumulative US Death Projection:
60,415 by Aug. 4  Rev. DOWN 21,351 on 4/7  



1,970 Daily New Deaths   Worldometer
See technical note at end of post
Big spike up in DNDs
1,031 in NY+NJ+CT

IHME Model Peak DND Projection:
2,212 on April 12  Revised DOWN 918 on 4/7

State-by-State Detail