Looking At Coronavirus Cases Per Million, By Country

Further to yesterday’s Coronavirus (COVID-19), post, Tracking the Trajectory and Peak of Coronavirus Cases, I want to make sure we are thinking not just in terms of the absolute number of confirmed cases, but also cases per million. 

The graphic below highlights the countries which have been hit hardest on a per capita basis. Using this criterion, Iceland is the country where the coronavirus is most prevalent, followed by ItalySouth KoreaIranChina, and Switzerland. These six countries stand out as having passed an inflection point. Given the data out of Western Europe in the past 48 hours, it appears as if SpainSwedenFrance, and Denmark are not far behind. The U.S. currently ranks 41st in terms of cases per million, with just 1/100th of the penetration in Iceland.

(Click on image to enlarge)

[source(s):  Wikipedia, VIX, and More]

Assuming the distribution of new cases continues to trace a parabolic path, being able to reasonably estimate the terminal penetration rate – which will no doubt vary by country – could help to set expectations about the progress and timeline of new cases.

Finally, to follow up on yesterday’s post, I am now dating the first day of 100 new cases in the U.S. at March 7th. Using the 8-14 day window for 100 new cases to peak new cases means the U.S. could see peak new cases in the March 15th – March 22nd time frame, with an outside shot of the peak extending out to March 29th. Of course, this projection are merely an extrapolation from the experience in other countries and will be largely dependent upon the rate at which testing is ramped up in the U.S.

Disclosure(s): net short VXX and VMAX; net long XIV and ZIV at time of writing.  The CBOE is an advertiser on VIX and More.

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