Cases up, deaths down … huh?

Let’s start with the data …

The 7-day average of Covid cases is up 30% in past week



The 7-day average of deaths is down 10% in past week.


How can this be?


Bottom line: nobody really seems to know, but many hypotheses are floating around.

First, why a spike in cases?

  • A 2nd spike was inevitable (Note: Fauci has been on & off this view a couple of times … he’s currently back on it)
  • Re-openings are being done prematurely and too rapidly
  • More testing is being done, so more positive diagnoses are to be expected
  • In general, people are developing lockdown fatigue and getting sloppy re: social distancing and avoiding hot spot venues (e.g. bars)
  • Specifically, blame it on the protests / riots … or Trump rallies … depending on your ideology

Again, these are hypotheses being bandied about … nothing more.


And, what about deaths? Why aren’t they spiking, too?

Some hypotheses:

  • There’ a time lag between diagnoses and deaths … diagnoses are a leading indicator, deaths are a lagging indicator
  • Testing has increased, especially among asymptomatics … they may test positive but rarely die.
  • Many of the most vulnerable have already dies … e.g. the more than 50,000 who have died in nursing homes.


The most positive spin: An increase in non-fatal asymptomatic cases is building herd immunity … which is a good thing

The most negative spin: The rise in cases is, in fact, an early indication of a 2nd wave, so fasten your seatbelts

Stay tuned.

One Response to “Cases up, deaths down … huh?”

  1. Deepak MI Gupta Says:

    Prof Homa, thank you, if you can overlay the DND graph over reported cases graph, we might get some idea of the lag and can validate the hypothesis in future. I believe there is clearly a lag in deaths from confirmed cases of around 7-8 weeks

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