A Future COVID-19 Timeline

You might find this piece at STAT by Andrew Joseph, presenting a possible, maybe even an ambitious calendar of COVID-19 developments:

In this project, STAT describes 30 key moments, possible turning points that could steer the pandemic onto a different course or barometers for how the virus is reshaping our lives, from rituals like Halloween and the Super Bowl, to what school could look like, to just how long we might be incorporating precautions into our routines.

This road map is informed by insights from more than three dozen experts, including Anthony Fauci and Bill Gates, people on the frontlines at schools and hospitals, as well as STAT reporters. It largely focuses on the U.S.

Perhaps making forecasts during what’s habitually described as “unprecedented” is foolish. “I’m kind of done predicting — none of my predictions worked out for me,” Kelly Wroblewski of the Association of Public Health Laboratories said, with a resigned laugh, about when she thought the testing problems that have dogged us from the earliest days might get resolved. And indeed, some of the events will unfold in different ways and at other times than we’ve charted out.

The TL;DR version of the piece is that it will probably be years if ever before things get back to normal. I’m guessing that the new normal will be substantially different from the old one and mostly not in good ways.

11 comments… add one
  • PD Shaw Link

    The piece references testing programs at places like U of I (C-U), without mentioning that they appear to have worked. The media covered the initial college issues involving students that came to school infected (not the school’s fault) and began partying. U of I now has a positive test rate of 0.34%. Constant, mandatory testing, quick results, and isolation enforced by disciplinary measures.

  • Drew Link

    Last week the US government updated the survival rates for Covid19: (that is, if infected)

    0-19 99.997%
    20-49 99.98%
    50-69 99.5%
    70+ 94.6%

    This should be viewed as reassuring and positive news. But….
    Didn’t see it reported in major media?

    That’s the point.

  • Greyshambler Link


    If those numbers are even close to correct then lots of people with co-morbidities are pulling through. Good news.

  • Grey Shambler Link

    In our community of 330,000 people we have to date 6000 positive tests and 20 deaths attributed to Covid19.
    And although we have a mask ordinance with near perfect compliance most people are skeptical of the threat and the numbers would justify that.
    Now if we gave an all clear, dropped the masks, jammed the stadiums, concert halls, ballparks, theatres, auditoriums, restaurants, bars, I dunno.
    We have to remember, these are the numbers with it all nearly shut down, and the reason for these measures is the experiences in Spain, Italy, New York etc. So maybe we should continue with caution through the winter.

  • CuriousOnlooker Link

    Ona related topic.


    An interesting article on why Africa has largely been spared by coronavirus. The eye raising claim is 80% of cases in Africa are asymptomatic — which raises a lot of questions in the US context. Maybe the question is not why asymptomatic cases are so high; but why are they so low?

  • The explanations in CuriousOnlooker’s linked article are:

    1. Africa is younger and the young are less likely to be symptomatic
    2. Africa is less densely populated (I’m skeptical).
    3. Early lockdowns (maybe)

    Let me propose something which touches on themes I’ve mentioned here from time to time. “Health care” is a euphemism. The objective of the health care system is not to produce health but to provide care. Modern medicine has been tremendously successful at maintaining the lives of people, particularly the elderly because that’s where both the needs and incentives are, in rather precarious health for considerable periods. COVID-19 threatens that precarious balance.

  • CuriousOnlooker Link

    I too am skeptical of the reasons given.

    My guess is given the stage of development; Africans are exposed to far more infectious agents then more developed places. And that somehow “tunes” the immune system to fight COVID.

  • Greyshambler Link

    According to Reuters, exposure to Dengue fever may offer protection from Covid 19.

    Exclusive: Study suggests dengue may provide some immunity against COVID-19

  • Drew Link

    Grey – I think there are a lot of problems with data on this subject. However, the overall trends and thrust are undeniable. And here we have yet more commentary and evidence on how Sweden got it right:


  • One of the things that needs to be considered in the conversation is that social cohesion in Sweden is much higher than in the U. S. What does that mean? It means that when you ask people to do something, they do it. Here “common sense” is coming to be considered a racist construct, a tool of the patriarchy, or unpatriotic. When you ask people to do something, they do the opposite.

    I think that the lockdowns were warranted for about three weeks, six at the longest, but they should have been much tighter than they were. The notion that lawn service workers were or that every government worker was “essential” was a farce. Deliveries should have been limited to essential good: basically food and pharmaceuticals and grocery stores and pharmacies should only have been allowed to deliver or do curbside.

  • jan Link

    One reason why African nations have been spared was not included in the above discussions. That would be the use of HCQ as a deterrent to malaria. There have been numerous references, as well as smaller studies, indicating the usefulness of this controversial drug in the early stages of COVID 19 treatment, and possibly as a prophylactic.

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