KL Dubey wrote:Technically, that *is* a real improvement in an epidemic, because it means the virus is not killing people/not spreading as fast as in an uncontrolled situation. It also shows an encouraging trend..first the "doubling time" (a simple way of measuring longer-time direction than just the slope of the graph on a particular day) increases, then goes to infinity (i.e. no more new deaths).
Yes, it's a good thing that it is not uncontrolled, but the doubling time only makes sense in a geometric situation. A better way to represent the phenomenon would be "compounded rate of growth of daily deaths" (not of cumulative deaths). If that rate of growth is negative, the situation is winding down. Right now it is mildly positive - daily deaths slowly going from 500 to 600 to 700 now, and that means there is a smoldering situation which could potentially explode.
If you want to look at doubling time, it might be better to do that for daily deaths, rather than cumulative deaths. I.e., how fast is the rate of change increasing/ decreasing? Since the daily deaths number seems to be following a geometric trend, but the cumulative deaths are not (I can show charts for this), the doubling time would make sense for daily deaths.
You can't compare that with somebody being in debt (faulty analogy - please think through before posting). You can reverse debt, but you can't reverse fatalities in an epidemic.
So isn't the above a good reason to adopt a *stricter* metric of whether or not things are improving, when it comes to epidemic fatalities, and not just feel relieved that "doubling time is going down?"
It is a handy metric for tracking an epidemic.
I feel that the growth rate of daily deaths is handier. But that's me, we don't have to agree on this.
The European countries that are "doing better now" went through a massive wave of rapidly escalating infections and deaths, completely unprepared health systems, and huge economic pain. India hasn't experienced that (at least, not yet - and it doesn't seem we will end up like that). The initial lockdown measures allowed time for preparation, and the rate of increase in cases is much lower than in those European countries. I'm not talking about just "now", I am talking about the entire pandemic.
As for east Asia, you really can't compare small countries like Korea, Taiwan etc to India. I agree Japan has done a good job, though it is still a much smaller country compared to India.
You are probably right that the initial lockdown allowed time for preparation, in fact the same thing happened during the 1918 pandemic. Parts of the world which locked down ended up with far fewer fatalities, because:
1. Of course, during the lockdown, there were fewer fatalities (obvious)
but more importantly,
2. By the time they released the lockdown, the virus had mutated into less severe strains, so there was no ramp up of cases and deaths when the lockdown ended
Yes, the rate of increase in India is a lot less than the initial rates in European countries, I'm actively tracking this and have the charts to show this, my concern is that India still seems in the ramp-up stage, don't know how much farther it will go.