Italy is a 12 Day Preview of US Coronavirus Future

The window to where the US will be with coronavirus in 12 days is where Italy is now. The US has five to six times the population of Italy. The US has far more cases than the 18,500 that are the official count. The lack of US testing means there are an iceberg of cases below the lack of testing surface.

The US could have fewer deaths than Italy. This will not be because of better containment. It will because Italy has the second oldest population in the world. It will be because more Italians live in multi-generation households.

We need to see Italy’s daily new cases trend back down to about 3000 per day instead of nearly 6000 per day. Getting down to 3000 or 2000 cases per day or half of whatever the peak becomes would be promising that they were bending the curve on the disease.

The US has less than 200 coronavirus deaths while Italy has over 4000.

There are some countries that are even worse than Italy. The islands of Iceland and San Marino are worse in terms of cases per 100,000 people.

The serious or critical case number is what will overwhelm the medical system. If the US numbers get to 20,000 and they are still doubling every 15 days, then it would likely overrun the medical capacity in two more doublings. One state or regional capacity could be overrun at a lower number.

The doubling without the shelter in place is about 4-7 days.

There is the hope that this first wave burns itself out in 3 months in each country or that warm weather in April or May helps to reduce the spread.

It was the second wave of the Spanish flu which caused the most deaths.

We need to have drugs (anti-malarial, anti-viral, anti-inflammatory) that can alleviate the worst COVID-19 difficulty in breathing symptoms. This would greatly reduce ventilator and ICU shortages.

We would hope for useful vaccinations for the later part of this wave or at least for the next wave.

The extreme shelter in place is not economically sustainable. We will have to transition to targeted sheltering of the old and the most at risk. They will need better food delivery and better living conditions while still being safe.

We will need upgraded hygiene that does not disrupt economic activity. We will need automated temperature checks multiple times per day. (Entry, break, lunch, break and end of day) so that people can work but still have fast response upon detection of a case.

Here is a chart of possible waves of COVID infections.

SOURCES – John Hopkins,,, Analysis by Brian Wang
Written By Brian Wang, Brian is working with a coronavirus mitigation startup.

39 thoughts on “Italy is a 12 Day Preview of US Coronavirus Future”

  1. If anybody want to go china, there is mandatory 14 day quarantine.
    All of their new reported infections are from quarantined outsiders.

  2. Close analysis indicates that weather plays a big role in the spread. Heat, humidity, ultraviolet light. Cold kills.

  3. Italy’s cause of death reports are fraudulent. They attribute cause of death to the virus from Hubei whether the person actually died of the virus or not. All that is needed is a confirmation of infection. Even if hit by a car or shot by a Mafia bullet. Only 15% of reported deaths by the Asian bat virus actually died of the coronavirus.

  4. Is it possible to do corrections on these figures to allow for age distributions in the different countries. This would give us a better idea of the success of different managements. Also there are a lot of deaths especially in the winter to people with existing conditions. Really useful to make some allowance for this otherwise it looks as though Italy has terrible health care whilst in fact they have been keeping people who are unwell from other problems alive to this time and are then included in the figures.

  5. I heard there was a new treatment that would extract the antibodies from the blood of recovered covid patients…. and another treatment using malaria medicine from the 40’s that also kills covid virus… of course both of those experimental treatments are not easily scaled up in a short time…. actually, i don’t understand that… if they can pull the anti-body out of a recovered patient’s blood …then that means they know the anti-body that works against covid already…so why cant they synthesize it aritifically in a lab?

  6. Almost half of all US cases are in NY. The spread isn’t uniform across the US. NYC is definitely out Wuhan and NY is definitely our Hubei.

    Seattle and Washington seem to be doing a good job reducing the spread.

    Here in Southern California people are really distancing. LA’s famous freeway traffic is NONEXISTANT because people are staying home.

  7. You do know that Chongqing, Beijing, Shanghai etc all have thousands of cases already?

    News reports have already had Chinese being infected by people with Covid19 entering the country from other places such as the USA.

    Your speculation is a month or two out of date.

  8. It is media coverage that is the hoax, which has been made clear all along. It is only the media that doesn’t understand the joke is on them.

  9. Your protection of Trump is misguided. Anti-science, anti-reality…that stuff does not pay off. Though those who were supposedly experts were stupid too. The WHO gave really egregious advise early on. They should have been imploring countries to stop travel, instead they were aggressively trying to keep stuff open:
    Everyone in the WHO who pushed this message needs to go. Fired!
    The more full of gas they are, the more turds rise to the top.

  10. No, governments must take action because we need delay to develop and manufacture vaccines before it kills millions of elderly and others.

  11. If weather can’t do anything about it, it is just a mater of time before it reaches everyone. We will definitely need vaccines. Though…I suspect weather will help a little…how much is unclear. Of the countries you mention, only Australia is both hot and dry. Dryness is what we are after. Though sunlight helps too. Moist and hot…not so great.
    Delay is what we need. The vaccines are still in development. I am now convinced there will be at least two vaccines available by the end of the year, possibly months sooner, depending on how much leeway is given for testing. We obviously need treatments as well to save lives, but only vaccines can stop the spread. Economies can’t shut down for months and months.

  12. We’ve had other diseases like SARS, Asian flu, H7N9, etc. come out of China because of their open markets, animal disease reservoirs (including wild animal) and sanitary lack of requirements. Enough already. Sanction them hard until they clean up that mess. There are no amount of trade advantages with China that offset the costs of this never ending litany of plagues.

  13. 1.4 billion. And they’re showing a slight increase in new cases in the last few days (South Korea too). If they pay attention and act quickly, they can block it. But if not, they’ll be entering a 2nd wave.

  14. Shelter in place isn’t enough to keep it from spreading to every state in the United States… they actually needed to block roads and close airports… for that reason it’s all over for the United States in 2 months because every state got infected…. In contrast, China successfully blocked it from spreading to other regions…so the country could get reinfected… Shelter in place… yeah right,,, I can still put my crona virus infected ass in a car, and drive over to Arizona …Texas etc,.. then somebody there can get infected and get in a plane and carry it anywhere in the United States…

  15. China: 1 billion people Minus 80,000 cases….

    that’s still a billion people in China without herd immunity..

    how long before somebody with corona virus visits China and infects a different city,,, like Changching, Beijing, Shanghai, etc,,,, Wuhan is just a small part of China… This economic shutdown mess is going to be going on for years if they keep trying to slow down infection and don’t have a vaccine… Look at how many times Ebola reactivated in Africa after they contained it and had it under control…

  16. Some of you may find interesting some data about the age distribution in Italy: as you may see, almost half of the population is over 50 years old, this age group seems to have been more exposed (or rather, more diagnosed) and the lethality rate spikes with age.

    Another interesting datapoint collected elsewhere: 97% of the deceased had a previous serious condition or a multitude thereof. The coronavirus flu is the last push for people already staring into the abyss. However, it’s still going to be destructive for the entire society because it clogs the healthcare system and paralizes the economy, a true black swan.

    Total cases / Deceased / Lethality rate / Population weight
    (Data from a few days ago)

  17. Another piece of warning from Italy: their death rate is now up to 8.6% (and still rising, I think).

    Other countries’ death rates are also rising (not too surprising, I guess, since it takes a while for cases to resolve). Even South Korea is up past 1.1%, from around 0.7% a couple weeks ago.

  18. If the US numbers get to 20,000 and they are still doubling every 15 days, then it would likely overrun the medical capacity in two more doublings. […] The doubling without the shelter in place is about 4-7 days.

    By published numbers, US cases are already nearly 20K, and rising at 45% per day. That’s a doubling every two days. The shelter-in-place is only in effect in a few states, AFAIK, and it’s too early for it to affect the numbers significantly. It’ll be another week or so before it can.

    Italy’s official numbers are 47K cases, rising currently at 15% per day. It was 25% per day before their quarantine, and then 20% per day, so it looks like their quarantine is starting to have an effect. But they’re still exponential.

    With these numbers, the US will catch up to Italy’s current case count in 2.5 days, and to Italy’s future count in under 4 days.

  19. Yeah, it’s going to depend in genetics of the population where it causes problems. People with different genetics will either recover better or worse or not at all, based on their current health and their overall physical makeup.

  20. A major issue if true.

    That would sort of justify the other reports of Italy just not putting people in intensive care if they thought they were too ill/old/weak to recover.

    Though we’ve had enough long term cases in places like Korea and Japan to get more data on this, and they are reporting better results AFAIK.

  21. Sean Patrick Hannity is an American talk show host and conservative political commentator.

    So I’m guessing zero medical knowledge there.

    Whereas AAA is a size of battery often used in small medical devices. So actually has more experience in these matters.

  22. Good point on the effect of temperature on humans. It’s all very well saying the virus is weakened by higher temperatures, but humans change a lot too.
    They wear less clothes, and are less likely to take off their outer garments when they come inside.
    They definitely have less head and face covering, and will find face masks much less comfortable in the heat.
    Speaking of inside: It doesn’t matter how cold it is outside if the inside is kept nice and warm. In my limited experience it is usually cooler in SUMMER because many buildings have heaters on too high in cold weather.
    Once summer really hits, people start sweating and I am not confident that this won’t mean shedding liquid virus soup everywhere.
    In the hot areas, people are more likely to cluster in crowded shopping centres and cafes, because these are air conditioned. This can be stopped just be closing them however.

  23. It is not a hoax and claiming that it is a hoax will reduce the effectivness of the measures introduced to reduce the spreading of the disease as less people will take them seriously. I’m Italian and the Italian government initially did not take the warning seriously (thinking it was only a Chinese issue) and few days ago in Italy we had to use the army to load 50 trucks with coffins and send them to be cremated in other regions as the local morgues could not keep up with the deaths. Is it true that the population is older in Italy than the US and that on average US is less densely populated than northern Italy, but it is also true that Trump had denied for weeks what was happening and now it is happening and all the major US cities are at risk. Claiming otherwise is crazy.

  24. There is one interesting information starting to leak out of Italy that may be worth following up. It says the patients requiring intensive care and respirators never recover. They just postpone death a while. In fact, the source I read said that they had not recorded a single case that recovered from intensive care.

    If this is true, the ramp up of intensive care is not going to do any good unless there is some other magical cure. This is likely the prime reason for the total social isolation implementations we have seen in China and now other places.

  25. Considering China hid this from the world and even silenced doctors who tried to alert the public, they should pay the rest of the world reparations.

    They gave this a 5-7 week head start, even after being alerted by their own doctors. US is guilty of acting slow on their end, but China let it out before there was really a chance to stop much of the global spread.

    Also, I do not trust any of the numbers coming out of China. It is far more widespread than they are letting on. It’s either they have given up on testing or they are hiding it and playing accounting games with lives.

  26. This really depends on the virus.
    Warmer weather makes the skin more permeable as the pores get wider and it increases skins surface humidity, furthermore in cold weather usually people wear gloves. Probably extreme heat is detrimental to virus infectivity, but we do not know what is its optimal temperature range.

  27. Agreed. Actually if you check how the virus spread in Europe it took over in the southern nations and moved north as the weather was getting warmer. We have no certainty that heat (at least temperate-climate levels of heat) slows it down

  28. It seems obvious to me that it will reduce some community spread. The virus won’t survive for as much time in concrete, steel, plastic, etc.

  29. Malaysia, Brazil, Australia… these are all having hot weather right now. It isn’t obvious to me that the hot weather is stomping on the virus.

  30. Sean Hannity on the supposed epidemic
    “They’re scaring the living hell out of people and I see it again as like, ‘Oh, let’s bludgeon Trump with this new hoax.’”

  31. And most people are more concerned about letting criminals loose or loose policing than the virus.

  32. I’m sure we will see NYC reproduce Italy. I’m my county (OC, CA) we are at 12 or 13 new infections per day for the last four days. A constant rate of increase strongly implies that social distancing is working and we are only 6 days in to when people really started distancing.

    Again constant rate of increase means no exponential growth.

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