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Sun Feb 7, 2021, 11:14 AM

Holiday COVID-19 surge?

So I've been hearing a lot about the holiday COVID-19 surge which is to blame for the recent (third?) wave in cases and deaths in the US and the rest of the world. There's only one problem with that hypothesis. The data doesn't seem to back it up. If you look at the chart of active cases on JHU, we entered exponential growth in early September, much earlier than the holiday season. This growth continued all the way through early January. If anything, the rate of exponential growth (R-naught value) dropped off slightly in mid-November.

While there certainly WAS a holiday COVID-19 surge, this seems to be a poor singular explanation for the most recent wave.

The MSM doesn't seem to address this oscillation of waves that we see. Occasionally you'll hear that "people are acting more responsibly now" or something like that. That is statically difficult to accept at this macro level.

The simulations that I've looked at don't seem to show or explain these waves either. So what exactly is going on? It is unlikely that the vaccine could have caused this dramatic cresting that we see already.

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Reply Holiday COVID-19 surge? (Original post)
Shermann Feb 2021 OP
progree Feb 2021 #1
Shermann Feb 2021 #2
progree Feb 2021 #3
Shermann Feb 2021 #4

Response to Shermann (Original post)

Sun Feb 7, 2021, 04:17 PM

1. I look at U.S. daily new cases, 7 day moving average


The numbers are daily new cases, 7 day moving average (which lag a little because it's the trailing 7 days)

It starts rising in early September to Nov 24: 175,550
dips to Dec 1 mini-bottom: 161,247
rises to Dec 9: 210,112
then rises very slowly to Dec 19: 216,706
then falls to a mini-bottom Dec 30: 183,243
then rises to all time peak January 9: 253,958
and falls ever since, latest Feb 6: 121,677.

Daily new cases tends to lag the precipitating event by 1-3 weeks, so they say.

It's really hard to tell because different states keep adding and removing restrictions. For example Minnesota clamped down on bars and restaurants November 13 (first a curfew and no standing or sitting at counters or physical bars), then closed completely November 21, and then opened up for so-called outdoor dining December 19 and indoor dining on January 11. Restrictions on other businesses and activities also ebbed and flowed.

About all's I can say is the common explanation for the rise beginning early September was colder weather and people spending more time indoors. Certainly true of places like Minnesota.

I'm not going to try to adjust the above dates backwards 1 to 3 weeks and then try to find the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years peaks, if any, in all of this.

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Response to progree (Reply #1)

Sun Feb 7, 2021, 04:58 PM

2. Yes the cooler weather of flu season was definitely a factor in September

But why did the wave crest so dramatically in January? It's colder now than it was at the start of it.

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Response to Shermann (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 7, 2021, 07:28 PM

3. If you mean why has it dropped so much since Jan 9?

Dunno. I notice the world as a whole peaked at 739,400 on Jan 11, and
the latest is Feb 6 at 436,200,

A drop of 37%.

daily new cases, 7 day moving average.

Interestingly the U.S. is about 1/3 of the world's total in this metric, so a considerable amount of the world average drop is due to the U.S. component.

But the drop is happening in almost all countries, as one can see by mousing over any country on the map and it pops up the 14 day trend line.

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Response to Shermann (Original post)

Mon Feb 15, 2021, 06:56 AM

4. CNN has a "story" on this

The gist is that it is all about "what we're doing right".


So we didn't "do it right" from September to January, then magically we all started doing it right at the same time?

The article is short on science and unconvincing. There is something else going on here.

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