US COVID in Global Context

Hello all, in this update – I’ll provide the US numbers – but also show these in terms of global rank, and shine the spotlight on the global epicenters. Lets start with the US:

MetricUS #Rank
Average daily cases per million27427
Average daily fatalities per million2.631
Since inception total fatalities per million71611
Total Cases since inception9.5m1
Total Deaths since inception233k1
Total recoveries since inception7.1m1
US is the biggest – but no where near #1 on per capita measures

Although the US has some of the biggest numbers – when expressed per capita – it’s no where near the top of the list on key measures.

Global Hot Spots – New Cases Per Capita

[Note – all per capita numbers are expressed as cases per million per day]

The global hot spot is firmly centered in Europe. I was very surprised to see Switzerland so high on the daily cases. Czechia is #1 – at over 1000 new cases every day per million of population. That’s almost 4x higher than the US.

Note – I’m not suggesting the US or any country has a cause for complacency here. But I am saying – Europe has got it really bad. Lets turn our attention on their solutions to this problem. We may be there in a month or two.

Global Hot Spots – Fatalities

Fatalities lag cases – so here’s the result on current fatalities per capita. Not surprisingly very similar to the above table.

The concern for many of the countries on the top of this league table is hospital capacity. Once capacity has been breached – expect a significant uptick in fatalities. While I don’t know the hospital capacity of these countries – I’m be very surprised if there are not close to capacity. France (population 65 million) has surged to a very high fatality rate recently – and has implemented curfews.

Since inception – Beligum & Peru lead the world in total number of fatalities per capita – both with well over 0.1% of their respective populations.

Italy shows a worrying spike in fatality rate – the % of those tested positive with COVID who unfortunately do not survive. That’s currently about 13%. Take a look at the exponential growth in Italy during October. From virtually no daily deaths – to over 5 per million (of population) per day. The high fatality rate points to insufficient testing.

In search of a good example: Try Japan

Japan is setting a good example. Its also a large country at 128 million people. Japan has about 6 new cases per million per day (that’s less than 1% of those in France). Fatalities negligible.

Summary:

Tempted, as some may be, to think the US is the worst in the world, the global data shows that many countries are much more badly impacted with COVID.

This presents an opportunity to act now. Left unchecked there is no reason why the European numbers could not become our reality.

While achieving the same levels as Japan may not be achievable in the short term – the Japanese (and many other countries in the Asia region) model the way in what’s possible.

I can’t help but think that the Asia experience of MERS and other respiratory diseases has lead to a greater cultural recognition of the importance of mask wearing as a preventative measure. Perhaps this will be the reason for the rest of the world to adopt this practice.

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