Daily COVID-19 data update LXIX dudes!

Graphs day 69 dudes!, pandemic day 75, day 146 since the first cases were diagnosed.

Total cases of COVID-19 diagnosed worldwide: 5,371,700

Total deaths: 344,815

I’ve been playing with some new ways of visualizing the data. As I mentioned yesterday, it’s not clear what is the best way to show the number of cases. I’ve been showing cumulative graphs, in which the height of the curve on each day shows the total number of cases reported from the beginning of the pandemic.

The advantage of this approach is that it makes it easy to compare the overall toll of COVID-19 across countries. But a different approach would make it easier to see how the epidemic has evolved in real time: plotting the number of new cases reported on each day instead.

One potential problem with plotting new cases rather than cumulative total cases is that there can be major day-to-day variations in the number of cases, which can make it hard to see overall trends.

One way to address that concern about day-to-day variations is to “smooth” the data. That’s what I have done here. The blue line in the graph below shows the number of cases reported worldwide per day. The red line shows the smoothed data – the data point for each day has been replaced with the average value of that day, the five days before, and the five days after. That “10-day moving average smoothed” data is shown by the red line.

The red line shows the same overall trends as the blue line, with most of the daily variation removed. It’s much easier to tell the overall trend from the red line. And the overall trend is: we are very much in the middle of this pandemic.

Stay tuned for more graphs like this over the next week.

Cases by country

The rest of this update will be the graphs as I usually make them. Still no maps yet. Today is an even-numbered day, we’ll look at graphs of the number of cases per million people in real time as the virus has moved around the world.

The curve for the U.S. is now hidden behind the curve for Belgium, although the case rate in the U.S. is slightly higher (4,964 reported cases per million vs. 4,926 per million in Belgium). The curve will soon pass the curve for Spain as well, and then the graph will once again be easy to read. For the worst possible reason.

Also, Saudi Arabia seems to have joined Russia in switching from an accelerating growth rate to a constant growth rate, while it seems I was wrong yesterday – the growth rate in Brazil seems to still be accelerating.

Deaths by country

In terms of deaths per million people:

The United Kingdom has caught up to Italy.

You can get the data that I used to make these graphs from the European Centers for Disease Control’s Coronavirus Source Data; choose “all four metrics.” You are welcome to use my Excel template (version 3.3). I’d love to see what you can build with it, and I’m happy to help you figure it out!

Update tomorrow, and every day after that until this pandemic comes to an end.

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