Daily COVID-19 data update, what comes after XIII?

Seriously I had to look it up. This is daily COVID-19 data update XIV (14), day XX (20) of the pandemic, and day XCI (91) since the first cases were reported in Wuhan. Chinese health authorities are looking back at potential cases before COVID-19 was identified as a new disease, and they have found likely cases as early as CXXXV days ago (November 17, 2019, which was 135 days ago).

Emperor Commodus (Joaquin Phoenix) gives the thumbs-down sign from the movie Gladiator
Thumbs down to Roman numberals: I.V out of V stars, would not buy again

I hate Roman numerals, why did I decide to use them here?

Speaking of forced segues between slightly-related concepts, I’ve been noting encouraging news out of Italy, where the rate of new diagnoses is slowing down. But remember that COVID-19 is still a disaster in the only geographic unit that really matters, Earth. The disease has now reached even highly isolated South Sudan and the far-flung Northern Mariana Islands. COVID-19 cases worldwide continue their depressing exponential growth, as shown in the graph below. Nearly 800,000 people have been diagnosed and nearly 40,000 have died.

Cases and deaths in individual countries

As long as it continues to be useful and interesting, I will keep tracking case and death rates in eight countries: China, the United States, Iran, Italy, Spain, France Belgium, the United Kingdom, and Australia.

The graph of cases rates per country is first (diagnosed cases per million people), and the graph of deaths is next. See the legend at the bottom of each graph below to see which line represents which country. As always, suggestions on how to improve the graph are welcome.

Spain is running up the score on Italy in terms of cases per million people, and is on pace to become the leader in COVID-19 death rate soon. The case rate in the U.S. has passed that of Iran, and Belgium is nearly tied with France in death rate.

A word about China – the solid red line in both graphs. The flat line means either that they haven’t had any cases or deaths in a while, or that they are vastly underreporting their true cases, or both. And although I don’t trust the Chinese government any further than I can kick them, I think the amount of lying required to hide a raging epidemic in Wuhan or Guangzhou or Beijing is beyond even their ability to lie. There are enough foreigners with tunnel access to the open Internet that we’d at least be hearing about full hospitals and cemeteries from them. So I think we need to at least approximately take them at their word until we get evidence of additional Chinese cases from someone. I might remove China from the graphs starting tomorrow.

As always, I’m not an expert, I’m just a guy on the Internet who likes to make graphs of things. I hope I’ve shown you some ways you can look into COVID-19 data for yourself. You can find the data from the European Centers for Disease Control’s Coronavirus Source Data site (download the CSV file from the “Full dataset” link), and you are welcome to use my Excel template.

Update tomorrow, and every day until this pandemic is over.

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