Eliminating the rounding errors: 100 123 146.37 172.7166 Linear would be this: 100 123 146 172 What I'm waiting for is not a linear increase, but an exponential curve with a base of less than one. [Edited for accuracy.]

More testing would do a lot to solve the squishiness of the numbers. By the way, the FACT that caseloads in some places have exceeded the available medical facilities is not "made up."

I'd be curious to know how many of the "active" cases require a hospital ventilator. My understanding is that the vast majority of people who get this don't need to be in the hospital, as, after all, there is no real known cure.

Not correct. We are talking about the rate of increase (the increase per day) being a constant percentage of the current value. That IS exponential growth. If (increase per unit time) = (constant) x (current value) then value (as a function of time) is proportional to e^(constant x time). The "constant" might be a small enough number that it doesn't LOOK lilke exponential growth, at least in the short run, but it is.

voice of reason...yeah...right! as Bill Gates said: It’s very tough to say to people, ‘Hey keep going to restaurants, go buy new houses, ignore that pile of bodies over in that corner. We want you to keep spending,’ because there’s maybe a politician who thinks GDP growth is what really counts.

Yes, perhaps easiest to just plot the log of the number of total cases. If that looks like a straight line, then it is exponential growth at a constant rate. As of the day before yesterday (when I last did this for the US data), it looked like a fairly constant exponential growth with a 2.5 day doubling time. There was a slight hint of a decrease in the slope, but nothing that appeared outside the range of random variation.

That's what I've been doing for the Vermont data. Because the sample size is so small, there is a good deal of random variation, but the linear fit is fairly good and the doubling time is consistent with the national value (about 2.4 days, with no sign of flattening as of two days ago).

There is fairly good accumulating evidence that hydroxychloroquine shortens the duration of viral shedding to between 4-6 days. Whether such people are then immune is not presently measured, but that would be the normal result. If Covid-19 becomes a trip to the doctor and some illness for a week or two (like many viral illnesses), with a need to take medicine but recovery following, it is a much less dangerous thing.

BTW...I listened to an article yesterday about the 1918 flue...the stats from that era show that the economies of the cities that shut down quickly and stayed shut down until it was over recovered far faster afterwards than those that didn't. Yes...We are FAR REMOVED from 1918...but still...a data point. OTOH...I certainly don't understand why Chicago would outlaw running and bicycling. ??? How is it that you can't stay over 6' from people doing this? Hell, I can't imagine it's possible to get within 6' of anyone while bicycling...

"Exponential" is not a "buzz word." You had better go back and reread your textbook before you start talking about 'exponential growth' again.

There's a recreational trail about a block from my house, and it's shared-use between bicyclists and pedestrians. It's not wide enough to be able to maintain six-foot separation while passing.

Amen. Even with my engineering background, I had misremembered the form of the equation until I was straightened out by one of Azure's posts earlier in the thread. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exponential_function

Do you have a cite? Because this isn't what I've been hearing anecdotally from friends in the medical community. I should say that I have read the Chinese article in Lancet, but have heard nothing official about the trials taking place in NY. Is that where your info is coming from?

For some needed perspective, NY times has a decent article comparing it to the Flu. https://www.nytimes.com/article/coronavirus-vs-flu.html

2 4 8 16 32 64 128 256 512 1024.....for those us in the software industry, powers of 2 (exponents) are tattoo'd in our brains.

In this context (pandemic), exponential is being used because it is accurate, at least in the early stages.

I posted on Brian's board that over the last two days, the Vermont data is showing signs of flattening. If I take only the data from Thursday through Saturday, the doubling time appears to be 4.8 days. Still too early to say whether this is truly a trend, but it is somewhat encouraging.

I understand that it is accurate, but using a term that many think means x10 or squared could cause a lot of misunderstanding. Kind of like what non pilots think when we talk about stalling the aircraft.

There is the common usage of the word "exponential", and the mathematical one. Pretty sure the one we have been hearing refers to definition 1.

What’s the basis for saying “many think means x10 or squared”? If many think that, than we have a serious issue with how math is being taught in schools. An exponential equation is in the form f(x) = ab^x This is basic algebra. They still teach algebra in high school these days, right?

Yes there's a serious issue with math in this country. Algebra is still taught, but in most schools it is not required for graduation. Long division is to much for a lot of people applying for entry level jobs here.

In f(x) = ab^x, x = 1 would refer to only one point along the curve, because x is the variable, with a and b being constants. Due to the fact that it's been a long time since I've worked with this stuff, in an earlier post I had "exponential" confused with f(x) = ax^b, where the base is the variable and the exponent is a constant. (I have since gone back and corrected my post.)

When you're graphing f(x) = ab^x, If b = 1, you not only get a straight line, it's a HORIZONTAL straight line! The formula for a linear function is f(x) = ax + b.

The problem with the news...they make it sound like it’s gonns stay exponential...it’s not ...and it’s not asymptotic towards infinity. It will taper to a normal distribution.

And algebra is a common core requirement. In many states, parents and students could not hack it. So they pressured political leaders to kill it. Sent from my HD1907 using Tapatalk

Well, yeah, but the only thing that will make it less efficiently spread is the development of herd immunity, if measures aren't taken to limit contact. That's a pretty gruesome natural experiment, the curve could remain pretty darn steep in a population with no previous exposure.

The one we have been hearing where? The use of "exponential" by epidemiologists when talking about the pandemic is most definitely definition 2.

If "it" means the total number of cases that have occurred, "it" will eventually flatten to a horizontal line. (Though in principle, the y-value of that line could be the entire population of Earth - probably not though, since many infections have not been counted as "cases".)

2ax + b. But ax^2 + bx + c is quadratic, not exponential. The first derivative of an exponential function is exponential, as is the 2nd derivative, and ...