Tracking The Trajectory And Peak Of Coronavirus Cases


[source(s):  Wikipedia, VIX and More]

To summarize the data in the graph, three of the four countries that are at least ten days from the initial 100-case day have seen what appears to be a peak in new cases. In China, it was 22 days from 100 cases to peak new cases, though it is possible that peak new cases might have been 14 days if China had not expanded the methodology for defining new cases to include a clinical diagnosis.

In South Korea, a concerted effort to ramp up testing as quickly as possible is probably responsible for the fact that South Korea saw a peak in new cases just 9 days after the first 100-case day.

While the peak in new case data in Iran should be considered provisional, the current peak in new cases was only 8 days after the first 100-case day, perhaps aided by the steep trajectory in new cases during the first five days.

Italy is the outlier in that there are no signs of a peak some ten days after the first 100-case day, though it is reasonable to expect that the newly implemented national lockdown and public gathering measures will help to slow the rate of new cases going forward.

The remaining three Western European countries – France, Germany, and Spain are only 3-4 days into their post-100 timeline, so it is too early to talk about a peak.

The first quick takeaway is that the time from 100 new cases to peak new cases seems to cluster around 8-14 days or perhaps 8-22 days if you overlook the changes in the methodology for counting new cases in China.

Second, with the U.S. new case count hovering just below 100, it is reasonable to expect that the 8-14 day window for new cases will also apply to the U.S. putting a likely peak count in the March 17th – March 24th time frame, with an outside shot of the peak extending out to April 1st.  This assumes, of course, that the U.S. follows a similar trajectory to the other countries.  Along those lines, it will be interesting to see if Italy’s new cases peak during the next week.

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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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