Velocity of COVID-19 spread

This is a measure of how fast the COVID-19 virus is spreading in different countries:

from the Financial Times by Steve Bernard, and


The steeper the slope, the faster the virus is spreading.  When the slope levels off, as for Hong Kong, Singapore, Japan and S. Korea, that is good news.  Note the probable causes for containment of the virus such as aggressive quarantine and mass testing.  Also, note that absence of data (people not getting tested) can make it appear that the virus is contained when it really isn’t (Japan?).

One of the steepest slopes, right on par with Italy and Spain, is the US!  S. Korea was able to change their COVID-19 progression by mass testing and strict quarantine.  So all hope is not yet lost for the US.  But we may be in for stormy seas.

In a large country like the US, local measures (such as strict quarantines) can be effective locally and the outcome of the epidemic can vary considerably from one town to another.  A classical example comes from the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. Philadelphia delayed crowd control measures.  They did not cancel the Liberty Loan Parade, a patriotic wartime effort.  But St. Louis, canceled its parade. In the end, the death toll in St. Louis did not rise above 700, but was greater than 12,000 in Philadelphia.  It’s an example of what not to do during a pandemic, according to CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine.

Please take public health measures seriously!  Lest we end up like Wuhan: video on the earliest phases of the COVID-19 outbreak in Wuhan, China


About D. Posnett MD

Emeritus Prof. of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medical College
This entry was posted in Coronavirus, Health Care, Trump, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Velocity of COVID-19 spread

  1. Marc Rauch says:

    Interesting and helpful!


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