Fasten your seat belt – Very high case counts in Europe may set the precendence for the US.

Take a look at the charts below – which highlight since inception the top 3 months for absolute number of covid cases in each of the countries shown. Notably an off the charts rise in cases in some countries – due to Omicron. Likely also due to a much better testing regime. But the data clearly show that we are in an unprecedented surge – and also note – we are not yet at the end of the month (so December data is incomplete).

Here we go:

Where Omicron was first detected – South Africa

Current data in the US isn’t hitting one of the top 3 months of all time yet.

But the European data shows what the US can expect. The number of cases identified in France in December to date is 3x that of November – and higher than any other month in its history!

For Germany the last 2 months have been the highest – by a long margin. Also note the substantially increasing fatalities curve. Fatalities in December are 17 times higher than the low point post vaccination (August 2021).

Let’s take a quick look at the league tables. 6 European countries all have new cases per million per day over 1000

Spain shows a very high month in December – over 5x that of November

Denmark has the same pattern – along with a significant spike in fatalities

Ireland has the huge spike in cases, and a gradually and persistent rise in fatalities

UK appears to have a huge spike in cases but fatalities are relatively the same for the past 4 months. Notice how the UK fatality rate came down very quickly in early 2021 – following a very rapid vaccine rollout (opting to defer issuing the 2nd shot until many people had received the first shot).

But now the importance of getting boosted is getting reflected in the UK data. November fatalities in the UK are 15 times higher than the lowest level of fatalities post vaccination rollout.

While it may be too early to conclude – fatalities in this wave are a lot lower than the previous peaks in Dec 2020 / Jan 2021 – mostly resulting from the availability of vaccinations. But having said that a number of countries are experiencing fatality rates more than 10x the post vaccination lows. That’s going to put stress on the hospital systems of those countries.

How do we model this data for the US?

If the fatality curve of the European countries like Germany and the UK predicts the future for the US – then 10x the post vaccination low in deaths (July 2021) would be about 90,000 deaths per month. That is clearly going to be a stressful level for the hospital system.

Is that too unrealistic to contemplate? Well – lets look at NY.

December cases are already a record high – and almost 3x higher than in November. And current monthly fatalities are rising – and are 9x higher than the post vaccination low of 171.

While NY has a jump start on many states re Omicron – the wave is clearly spreading – from Maine to Colorado and Washington:

Buckle up – this is going to be challenging couple of months ahead.

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