**That’s the metric, not cases. that we should stay focused on.**

=============

From the get-go I concluded that “confirmed cases” was a problematic metric *(due to false positives, varying testing methods and confirmation criteria, and an uncertain mix of people being tested and their outcomes)* …. and that our laser focus should be on “daily new deaths” which, while subject to some definitional variance, is a binary, countable number.

See MUST READ: How will we know when we’ve turned a COVID-19 corner?

Somewhat contrary to my own advice, a couple of weeks ago, I started including the Case Fatality Rate (CFR%) in my morning COVID stats post.

Why is that “somewhat contrary to my own advice”?

Dividing a reasonably reliable number (deaths) by a potentially flakey number (cases) usually results in a potentially flakey “synthetic number” that might be misleading.

There was a glaring upward trend in the CSR%.

Noting the upward trend in the CFR%, a couple of readers asked “Why? What’s going on?”

In a prior post, I took a stab at the answer:

Thesimple arithmetic answerto the question: The CFR% is going up because daily deaths have plateaued (i.e. stabilized at their peak level) … while confirmed cases have fallen sharply.

=============

While that’s true, it didn’t really answer “why?”, so I started looking at the component number that was exhibiting the greatest variance: confirmed cases.

Why did cases explode, spike and then start declining so steeply?

Were these movements real or just loud statistical noise?