Today’s optimism

Financial markets rose today on signs that the virus is being slowed in the EU and providing hope that #SocialDistancing can achieve the near eradication of #COVID19 seen in China.

Here is a quick Excel plot illustrating the day over day growth rate of cases in China, Italy, Spain and the USA. It is difficult to choose a precise starting point for when social distancing begins in a country as things have tended to shut down in a series of tightenings, but you can see the 4 countries are roughly aligned at the starting line with out of control growth rates of over 30%.

China steadily drove its case growth rate down to 0.3% with 30 days of “Iron Hand” lock down. The virus never showed exponential growth in this period as its growth rate was never constant. Italy and Spain have not quite kept the pace of China but in recent days have driven their growth rates down under 3%.

The USA has proceeded in two stages of steady exponential growth. One before social distancing of 26% and a more recent steady 13-14%, where it has drifted off the path cut by the other countries. It is showing signs of stepping down today. If that can be sustained with concerted effort ACROSS the country, then we have good prospects of driving the level of infections down to a manageable level.

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