Post #957: COVID trends, but I’m not really sure what to title this one.

Posted on January 17, 2021

Trees don’t grow to the sky?

What goes up must come down?

A trend is a trend until it ceases to be a trend?

Hope springs eternal?

Maybe the right adage is “If a tree falls in the forest,and no one hears it, does it still make a sound?”  Because I don’t see any mainstream reporting on what’s happening in the sequence of graphs below.  So I figured I’d post this, harking back to my guess that we were due to peak, in Post #930.

In any case, as the news ping-pongs from local crisis to local crisis, here’s a view how the U.S. situation developed over the past week.  All graphs except the last were taken from prior posts, so the stuff in red was, in fact, done on the fly, not after-the-fact.

The first two dips in the dark blue U.S. line are from the holidays, Thanksgiving and Christmas/New Year’s.  The third dip — the focus of this post — that’s its own thing.  And that’s happening, simultaneously, in the vast majority of states.

My point being in the second graph below.  If you abstract from those holiday-caused dips in reported cases, the graph at that point appeared to be be convex downwards.  Or, in English, top-of-the-hill-looking.

Whatever is causing that — the weather, better masking behavior, the seasonality of coronavirus, solar flares, space aliens, or even the onset of h*** i******* — or a combination of those — or something else entirely — I guess I really don’t care.  I just wish it well and hope it continues.

Below:  U.S. (dark blue line) and six regions, new cases / 100,000 / day, seven day moving average.  Data ending 1/9/2021 (top) to 1/16/2021 (bottom).  Underlying data from the NY Times Github COIVD data repository.


Below, this is what I mean by simultaneously, in the vast majority of states.  There are a few contrarians (Virginia among them, unfortunately), but your eye does not lie.  As of today, even CA and NY show short-term dips.  Beyond that, most states are seeing reductions in daily new cases, just as it appears on the right side of the graph below.  All at the same time.

We still have the more-contagious B.1.1.7 “UK” variant of the virus to deal with, as that soon will be everywhere (Post #956).  But that’s next month’s problem.  And it’ll be a lot easier to get through if overall incidence of cases falls in the meantime.