From February 26, 2020
I had been hopeful that COVID-19 could be contained because of some of the differences between eastern and western philosophies and social practices.. My update on Feb 24 had a change in tone. Now that we have almost 5 days of outbreak data in Italy, I am very concerned about the ramifications of this globally.
This mirrors what was stated by Nancy Messonnier, the director of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, “It’s not a question of if but rather a question of when and how many people will have severe illness.”
In short, start preparing. What transpires in Italy will be a good indicator of what will happen in other Western countries.
Please note that while the graphs of the diseases globally and in Italy use the same methodology, they have very different scales to represent the data. Don’t try to compare them to each other for that reason.
Disclaimer: This commentary is my own interpretation and does not represent the analysis by the government or my employer. The data is from the Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering.