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.