According to IHME projections, the daily coronavirus body count will max out on April 16 — 9 days from now — before tailing off as abruptly as it began. Most of those fated to die on April 16 are already symptomatic, having caught the virus maybe a couple of weeks ago. Those who catch the virus today and subsequently die from the disease will likely do so toward the end of April. By then, daily COVID deaths are projected to be about one-third of what they’ll be on the 16th. That means that the rate of contagion — the likelihood of your contracting the virus from an infected person — is today about a third of what it was 3 weeks ago.
Why then the dire warnings not to set foot outside this week, when our highest risk of getting sick was 3 weeks ago? Because the objective of social isolation now is to slow the societal spread to a crawl, so that the current wave of contagion and illness and death stops completely in a month or so. This week’s spiking death rate is being wielded as a scare tactic to keep people sheltering in place, even though our peak exposure to infection has already come and gone. Now we’re sheltering less for ourselves as individuals than for ourselves collectively. If the wave stops then maybe the next one can be managed better than this one has been.
I’m on board; I’m staying home.