9 Comments
  • George Bean
    April 8, 2020

    Nice to see some fair, logical reporting. Of course, if everyone went back to work tomorrow (including large events like sports, etc.), we would probably see a dramatic increase. I think a slow, steady return to normalcy is the way to go, all the while encouraging safe behavior (hand washing, avoidance of large gatherings for a little while, etc.)

    GREAT WORK!!

    • Brian Goebel
      April 9, 2020

      I agree with your conclusion. The return to something resembling normalcy is going to need to be slow and steady and carefully controlled. Social distancing measures exist on a spectrum from not shaking hands to stay at home orders. I’m not sure we’ll ever go back to shaking hands. But I am sure it is time to start transitioning away from the stay at home order in California, just as Austria is doing now (and Italy soon will be). Thank you for the compliment on my work.

  • Lars Partman
    April 9, 2020

    Brian, what do you mean by your last paragraph by saying “Now they must do the same.” re: our public officials. You follow that with ” The data show that this moment is drawing to a successful close. ” Are you advocating an early relaxation of the social distancing protocols?
    I have been sharing your projections as evidence that the protocols are working but urging people to stay vigilant in following the protocols as set by our state and cities.

    • Brian Goebel
      April 9, 2020

      Thank you for tracking my analyses and your question. In short, the stated purpose of the extraordinary stay at home order was to ensure that California had adequate healthcare capacity to withstand the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. As you may recall, the Governor estimated we would need 50,000 or more hospital beds to achieve this goal. As of today, the data strongly suggest we will need about 6,000 beds at most so long as the stay at home order is in place. The data also strongly suggest that we had quite possibly flattened the curve with the public health and social distancing measures that were in place on March 18th before the stay at home order was issued. Given that we have achieved our goal with enormous room to spare, I believe California, like Austria and Italy (for example) is at the point where it needs to begin planning for the next phase in managing the COVID-19 pandemic. This will likely include a gradual loosening of certain public health measures and the maintenance of many others. I believe the State should be preparing such a plan and presenting it to the public in the very near term.

      • Lars Partmman
        April 9, 2020

        I saw a jump in covid deaths in Ca. today to 61. Is this significant?

        • Brian Goebel
          April 11, 2020

          No. Please don’t read too much into one day of data. You need to look at data over 3, 5, or 7 days. I believe fatalities have peaked. We’ll know for certain fairly soon.

          • Lars Partman
            April 11, 2020

            Yes, now I understand the 5 day rolling average. But being in the “at risk” generation I can’t help but feel it is too early to think of relaxing the protocols that have worked so well this far. I feel that the people who are on the fence about obeying the protocols would only need a small nudge to resume a normal life.

  • Martin Melnick
    April 9, 2020

    Great analysis of what has happened in California. HOWEVER, the excellent efforts in social distancing which have led to a death rate per capita of 30% of the national average implies that the acquired immunity in the State must be significantly below the national average. What will happen when people start encountering others when the stay-at-home orders relax is anybody’s guess but will likely have significantly bigger impacts in states like California and Texas than ir the rest of the US. Deaths in California dropping below 5 by May 7 in California as predicted by the model (8 worst case) are totally unrealistic.

    • Brian Goebel
      April 16, 2020

      Thank you for your comment. It will be very interesting to see what the Stanford and USC studies tell us about the presence of antibodies in the general population. In the interim, I believe our transition out of the stay at home order will need to be carefully-crafted with careful monitoring, as I wrote today.

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