Post #934: COVID-19 trends through 12/31/2020

Posted on January 1, 2021

This is just a final set of state-level trend graphs through the last day of 2020.  At this point, you can see a clear Christmas artifact in the data reporting.  It’s a pretty good match, for depth and duration, to the reporting artifact that appeared just after Thanksgiving.

If I had to pick one word that has been over-used in reporting on COVID-19, it would be surge.  Seems like everything is a surge these days.  That notwithstanding, it’s too soon to start looking for any “post-Christmas surge” in cases.

As of the end of the year, it still looks like California has peaked, and that South in general is seeing a mix of slowly rising and slowly falling rates.

These charts below are all based on the NY Times Github COVID data repository, and reflect data reported as of 12/31/2020.

1:  U.S. pandemic history in one chart.  A = First wave, NY area.  B = Second (summer) wave, south (FL, AZ, TX, MS, LA …). C = Third (winter) wave, Midwest and Mountain states (ND, SD, IA, WY …).

2:  Reporting artifacts.  Below is a plot of six U.S. regions, and a thick black line for the U.S.A. as a whole.  The first box is drawn around the Thanksgiving data reporting artifact.  The second box is the Christmas artifact.  Both have a sharp drop on the holiday, followed by a slow rebound, and both appear simultaneously across many otherwise-unrelated states.

3:  Pandemic, 4th quarter 2020.

4:  Six regions in detail.

Midwest and Mountain:  Apparently past peak.

Northeast, South Atlantic, South Central:  Nothing is clear.

Pacific:  Hoping that California has, in fact, peaked.