Coronavirus ticker

I broke my promise not to discuss the pandemic. But Mark Sturtevant sent me this grim but mesmerizing real-time account of coronavirus cases in different countries, with the first column total cases, the second deaths, and the third “recovered.” As Mark wrote:

Thus rotates through various graphs and maps showing the current coronavirus situation worldwide.
China is cresting in the number of new cases, and I think it is decreasing there. The rest of the world is of course still highly exponential in the number of new cases.
The YouTube site gives the background, discusses possible inaccuracies, and so on.



  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted March 17, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink has a real time interactive

  2. robkraft
    Posted March 17, 2020 at 10:22 am | Permalink

    I found this site of more interest to me:

    Genomic epidemiology of novel coronavirus (hCoV-19)

    They provide a lot of different visualizations of the evolution. And the site is not just for coronavirus, but many viruses from the past.

  3. Posted March 17, 2020 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    It’s sort of like the stock market ticker, except upside down.

  4. rickflick
    Posted March 17, 2020 at 10:38 am | Permalink


  5. Posted March 17, 2020 at 10:42 am | Permalink

    One of the things I found interesting was the characterization of the disease by frequency of symptoms. Brian Leiter, a philosopher, has summarized a report of China’s experience of COVID-19, with their tens of thousands of cases:

    “The most common symptoms are fever (88%) and dry cough (68%). Exhaustion (38%), expectoration of mucus when coughing (33%), shortness of breath (18%), sore throat (14%), headaches (14%), muscle aches (14%), chills (11%) are also common. Less frequent are nausea and vomiting (5%), stuffy nose (5%) and diarrhoea (4%). Running nose is not a symptom of Covid.”

    Gives us all (ok, many of us) something to look forward to. Stay well.

  6. eheffa
    Posted March 17, 2020 at 10:46 am | Permalink

    Thank you for acknowledging this issue.

    I am an anesthesiologist. Our Hospital is preparing for a tsunami we hope never comes…

    I was hoping there would be a lot of good insight and information on this site given the many bright minds contributing to this virtual community. After all, the epidemiology of this COVID pandemic is truly Fast-paced Evolution in Real Time.

    So far, I have been disappointed in the lack of attention to the Coronavirus Pandemic and had even been considering cancelling my subscription; but this was a useful link.

    Thank you for acknowledging the significance of this issue.

    There are many folks out there who do not understand the epidemiology and there would be many opportunities to call out the misunderstandings.

    Keep ’em coming…


    • Posted March 17, 2020 at 11:38 am | Permalink

      I never purported to be a news site, and, as I said, I don’t know very much about the outbreak: certainly nothing beyond what the average person knows from reading the news.

      If you want news about the pandemic, I suggest you try the mainstream news outlets like the New York Times, which has massive coverage out there.

      In the meantime, I don’t really care if you’re disappointed at the lack of coverage here given the coverage elsewhere. I don’t duplicate what other sites write. And if you want to cancel your subscription out of some misguided petulance, feel free to do so.

      • eheffa
        Posted March 17, 2020 at 12:03 pm | Permalink

        Sorry, I am not trying to be provocative but I would argue that you often provide a refreshing perspective on the science of public issues. I would have thought that the epidemiology and evolution of multiple strains would have been right down your alley.

        Anyways, I will say no more except that I appreciate some attention being given to the Corona Virus Pandemic.


  7. Posted March 17, 2020 at 10:47 am | Permalink

    Another one I saw, which compares this to other outbreaks and to other sources of mortality:

    Only thing is the coronavirus tracking runs out to early February, so for that it is way out of date albeit still chilling.

  8. IVAN
    Posted March 17, 2020 at 10:59 am | Permalink

    This site is also very good

  9. Mike Anderson
    Posted March 17, 2020 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Russia is doing such a great job in keeping the coronavirus under control.


    • Posted March 17, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

      I bet North Korea also has ‘no problem’ with it.

    • DrBrydon
      Posted March 17, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

      I was struck the other day by the fact that I had heard no news whatsoever about Russia and Covid-19. They seem to have a very small number of reported cases for a major, industrialized nation.

      • Posted March 18, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

        What is your definition of “major industrialised nation”. Russia has a GDP roughly equivalent to Texas, about 40% of that of the UK (as was before the coronavirus).

  10. Clarence Bush
    Posted March 17, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    I’m surprised you’re not all over this. It’s a biological threat to people whole world over.

    • Posted March 17, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

      I explained above why I am not writing much about it. It’s because I don’t KNOW much about it. Go to the New York Times if you want significant informed coverage.

  11. Eric Grobler
    Posted March 17, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    Some shaky per/million case comparisons:

    1155 Hubei province
    162 South Korea
    57 China
    45 Singapore
    17 Australia
    7 Japan

    3303 San Marino
    470 Italy
    300 Switzerland
    261 Norway
    244 Spain
    101 France
    98 Germany
    28 UK

    120 Washington State
    15 US
    12 Canada
    12 Chile
    2 Brazil

    In the last 2 weeks central europe had increases between 15 and 40% daily!
    Hopefully it will slow down since all of Europe is now basically in lockdown!

    Does anyone have Italian stats per province?

  12. Posted March 17, 2020 at 11:34 am | Permalink

    I’ve been watching this site because the graphs are easy to read.

    While North America and Europe are still exponential, in China which is six weeks ahead of us, cases have leveled off with almost no new cases now. Whether this is the natural progress of the epidemic or due to the Draconian measures they took there (which will be hard to replicate here), I do not know. But I am hoping the former.

    • Posted March 17, 2020 at 11:42 am | Permalink

      PS The US rates also reflect one badly negligent nursing home (I mean really negligent) in Kirkland WA not five miles from where I live. It has been nearly a month and they have finally just got all their residents (the ones still alive) tested and controlled the access and egress (although I heard an unknown person visited and left the facility yesterday.) I hope the rest of the country is more careful than this typhoid Mary facility.

    • Posted March 17, 2020 at 12:20 pm | Permalink

      The draconian measures definitely helped, along with what I suppose is a more compliant population.
      But draconian is harder in democracies.

    • Filippo
      Posted March 17, 2020 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

      “Whether this is the natural progress of the epidemic or due to the Draconian measures they took there (which will be hard to replicate here), I do not know.”

      Should the deaths/100,000 (or whatever rate)in the Land of American Exceptionalism exceed that of China, it will be interesting to see/hear who blames whom for that result.

      (I note that China is ticked off at tRump’s tweet about the “Chinese virus.” I can understand China’s reaction. But, is there room for improvement in the hygiene of their – and certain other countries’? – open air wild, exotic meat markets?)

      • Posted March 17, 2020 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

        Do we really know the origin? I’ve heard that someone ate an infected bat, or was it a pangolin? (Neither look appetizing.) I have also heard that China does virus research in Wuhan and that it came from an infected lab worker. Not sure which is correct, if any.

  13. Roger Lambert
    Posted March 17, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    Maybe it just that new test kits are finally available, but – whoa! – total documented cases in the US basically tripled in the last 24 hours.

  14. Rick
    Posted March 17, 2020 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    Something to consider is that Covid-19 cannot be differentiated from flu without testing. The US did very little testing initially and has only begun more testing as more kits became available starting around Mar.2. South Korea seems to be handling the outbreak better than other countries (as viewed on Wikipedia) and they began extensive testing early. The US reported numbers are at least partially an artifact of of the number of tests performed.

    • Mike Anderson
      Posted March 17, 2020 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      It looks like Taiwan has also been incredibly effective at dealing with Covid-19.

    • Posted March 17, 2020 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

      “The US reported numbers are at least partially an artifact of of the number of tests performed.”

      The rates for Latin American countries also are strongly biased by lack of access to tests. This will be particularly true of Venezuela, which is a disaster waiting to happen.

      • Filippo
        Posted March 17, 2020 at 2:23 pm | Permalink

        “This will be particularly true of Venezuela, which is a disaster waiting to happen.”

        I contemplate whether it would be impolitic to consider what if any effect U.S. sanctions might have on Venezuelan citizens susceptibility to and ability to deal with the virus.

  15. Posted March 17, 2020 at 1:38 pm | Permalink

    I thank you for your postings. I am now locked in, and school is out until at least April 6 (and probably much longer, I am told). I find your perspective reassuring. I am thankful for the Internet so I can at least be in constant contact with my children in other cities. I can read facts here instead of shrill, end-of-world scenarios elsewhere. I have been reading Washington Post lately, especially since they have lifted the pay wall.

    Again, thank you.

  16. garyboone
    Posted March 17, 2020 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    I’ve only found a couple of interactive sites plotting the government data. You can click countries and other components.

    There’s one from Johns Hopkins:

    and another here:

  17. Posted March 17, 2020 at 2:20 pm | Permalink

    Thank you to all who are sharing perspectives, happenings, cheer, good sources of information, etc. Love to all in this community. May we all survive and thrive.

  18. Posted March 17, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    While it’s CERTAINLY important to take this virus seriously and take measures against it, I do not understand the air of panic that pervades all media and the people I encounter at work and on social media with respect to it. To put things in a bit of perspective: In 2018, the WHO estimated that 140,000 people worldwide died from measles. MEASLES! Apparently the all-time LOW number of deaths from measles was 90,000 in 2016. That’s the low. And the outcry against anti-vaxxers is barely more than a whinge, as people try to be so “reasonable” and consider people’s “right” not to be vaccinated. There’s no proportionality to the response.

    And why the run on <> in the face of the ongoing virus? It’s not cholera! It’s a respiratory infection. Why are people hoarding bog roll?

    According to the Washington Post, there have now been 100 deaths from the new coronavirus in the United States. There are that many traffic fatalities in the US every DAY, and in 2017 at least, nearly twice as many daily drug overdose deaths. Don’t even get started on annual flu deaths…but the people scrambling to hoard Clorox wipes and toilet paper wouldn’t dream of taking a moment to get a flu vaccine, and certainly haven’t historically been careful about social distancing, careful coughing and sneezing, staying home when sick, etc. when afflicted with that highly contagious and persistently deadly illness.

    Many of them will, however, go out of their way to buy cigarettes or vaping gear.

    I’m not saying that, just because these things are all serious and deadly and bizarrely taken in stride that we shouldn’t take coronavirus seriously. Quite the contrary. But, seriously…there’s no proportionality. Does this new virus really merit a potential global recession (which inevitably will kill and immiserate an uncountable number of people in and of itself) while we are consistently cavalier about ongoing, often preventable, horrible causes of mortality and morbidity?

    By all means, yes, let’s do the social distancing (I’m good at that!), wash our hands frequently, cough into our elbows…the latter two we should always do, anyway! Let’s clean up after ourselves, too. It would be wonderful if we, as a society, made it acceptable (and economically survivable) for people to stay home from work when they’re sick.

    We should DEFINITELY work to flatten the curve of the infection to spread out the strain on medical resources and thereby decrease overall mortality; that makes perfect sense. And maybe getting people into a lemming-like panic is the only way to get them to take this virus seriously and to take appropriate measures. That doesn’t bode well for my hopes, which are really wishes, for people to learn something about healthcare, disease prevention and control, and contagion in the future. Frankly, it makes me want to weep.

    If we humans really are so BAD at understanding such things and learning from them, then maybe it would be better if this really were the “I Am Legend” type virus people are acting as if it were.

    • ThyroidPlanet
      Posted March 17, 2020 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

      “To put things in a bit of perspective: In 2018, the WHO estimated that 140,000 people worldwide died from measles. ”

      That is comparing deaths. This line of reasoning will illustrate how many people die from the diseases.

      Putting it “ in perspective” would include factors such as :

      – treatments – none for coronaviruses.
      -precedent – have coronaviruses haven’t reached as far before?
      – everything else is still going on : flu, emergencies, etc.
      – numbers of people recovering and therefore unavailable to work

      And so on. There are more factors than just how many people are expected to die.

      • Posted March 18, 2020 at 10:10 am | Permalink

        I’m most definitely not trying to downplay COVID-19; I’m bemoaning the fact that people who are dismissive about regular, more prevalent threats to their lives and health are reacting in irrational ways to this outbreak. We definitely need to do all we can, in a measured and reasonable fashion, to counter it. We also need to take these other diseases seriously. It would be lovely if we could arrange at least American society so that people don’t go bankrupt if they have to take some time off work because they are ill…whether with COVID-19 or with Influenza or with anything else. Also, we need people to focus on doing the things that CAN slow the spread, like social distancing, avoiding crowded places (like stores where people flock to try to get toilet paper, and other things that have little to nothing to do with this illness), coughing and sneezing into elbows, and generally trying to take better care of our overall health.

        Coronaviruses have reached all over the world before. They infect humans and other animals, are among the causes of the common cold and have been known since the 1960’s. And though this new strain is clearly much more dangerous than most of those, even with COVID-19, for most people the illness will be between a cold and the flu.

        Your point about everything else still going on is of course absolutely real and serious, and probably is the most important of the concerns regarding this illness, and the reason for flattening the curve. This will make the single biggest difference, I suspect, in ultimate mortality figures.

        The thing that got me going – and maybe you are all in different environments than I am – is the irrational fears people have, the runs (pardon the expression) on toilet paper, bringing them into public to crowd with other people seeking such things. Also, people read and spread the most absurd nonsense from and on social media, and people panic and behave in ridiculous fashions that help no one.

        I also get irritated when people compare this to flu…AS IF THAT WERE A MINOR OR TRIVIAL THING. The flu kills millions worldwide all the time. It’s not a minor illness. I’m frustrated that people don’t take other health hazards more seriously than they do, and then they panic over COVID-19 as if it were an alien invasion. It would be nice if they could treat all these things seriously but not with panic. Of course, fear sells advertising and gets clicks, so the sensationalist and nonsensical stuff spreads more readily than the sober, well-informed treatments. Have you seen the video about people being able to use a blow-dryer to self-treat coronavirus?

        I DON’T mean to imply the PCC(E) is trafficking in such drivel; far from it. I guess I felt the need to vent here because I know you all are much more rational than most. In this, I’ve probably committed an injustice against you all, and for that I apologize.

    • Posted March 17, 2020 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      Millions could die in the US based on most people eventually getting it and a 2% death rate. This can be somewhat written off as most will be old and, hey, everyone has to die sometime but it will still be a significant event. We have no idea whether people who get it develop natural immunity. It’s true the sudden buying of toilet paper seems a bit silly but an exponential rise is something that’s easy to underestimate. The irony is that the panic may flatten the curve enough to prevent the exhaustion of health care resources, thereby making the panic worse than the disease.

      • Posted March 17, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

        Better than the disease?

      • Posted March 17, 2020 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

        No, I think “worse than the disease” is right. If we avoid overflowing hospitals, many will not die and, if they get the disease at all, will perhaps experience something akin to flu. If so, the deprivation of not being able to go to bars, restaurants, sporting events, concerts, the drop in their 401k, and having to wait in supermarket lines will worse.

        • Posted March 17, 2020 at 6:02 pm | Permalink

          I do not follow your logic. Flattening the curve is the goal. Maybe you are saying that panic will flatten it “too much” and cause more economic damage than needed?

          • Posted March 17, 2020 at 6:12 pm | Permalink

            Forgive me if I’ve got the logic wrong. It probably just depends on which group’s point of view one takes, the ones who panic or the rest who complain that everyone is panicking. Regardless, the beating of dead horses should not be involved so I’ll move on.

          • Posted March 18, 2020 at 9:22 am | Permalink

            It’s pretty simple. The economic damage being done by our efforts to flatten the curve may be worse than the damage that would be done by just letting the virus run its course.

            It really irritates me that people are not taking the economics seriously or are dismissing it by saying “it’s the rich people whining”. A Facebook friend of mine complained about how the UK government is trying to avoid damage to the economy to help their rich friends and in literally his next post, he was bemoaning the fact that his pension and ISA (a tax efficient savings plan in the UK) had lost 25% of their value.

            When the world economy tanks (as it is sure to do now) people will lose jobs and homes. Families will be destroyed. People will be driven to suicide or unable to afford the healthcare they need to stay alive. The recession will kill people. Many more of us will have lives ofd misery because we are not allowed – or cannot afford – to do the things we like.

            I’m a bit apprehensive about coronavirus. People I love may die. I may die, but I seem to be quite unphased about it. The effect on the economy and society, however, really scares me.

            • Eric Grobler
              Posted March 18, 2020 at 9:44 am | Permalink

              I agree with you.

              The effect on the economy could be much greater than during the time of the Blitz.

            • Posted March 18, 2020 at 10:16 am | Permalink

              I have pointed out several times here that we are faced with a trade off between flattening the curve and causing economic damage and not flattening the curve and letting very large numbers of people, perhaps millions in a worst case scenario, die from the virus. I expect there is an optimal amount of curve flattening, but I doubt we have the information or the political ability to achieve it. Certainly, I agree that the economic damage should not be ignored, as the stop-the-virus-at-any-cost crowd tends to do. On the other hand, I do not think panic buying of toilet paper etc causes anything more than temporary inconvenience. It is the curve flattening policies of governments that are causing the economic damage. To make matters worse, many of the policies are plain dumb.

            • rickflick
              Posted March 18, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

              I’m not so sure. The world has seen many recessions and the Great Depression. People find ways to manage it. Nations are currently preparing legislation to provide stimulus to soften the blow. The WWI generation showed us that people are very creative when put under stress. A year of negative growth will help the Globe reduce warming and other pollution. I would be more worried about 10-20 million unnecessary deaths.

              • Posted March 18, 2020 at 11:57 am | Permalink

                I’ve heard this argument quite a lot recently, often in relation to Brexit. They say “we survived the war, we can survive Brexit”. They seem to gloss over the fact that lots of people die in wars and not just soldiers.

                The allied blockade of Germany in WW1 starved over 400,000 Germans to death and not all before the Armistice. The Depression probably killed quite a lot of people too. One of the clichés is of stock brokers jumping off buildings.

                Negative growth is not necessarily a good thing for countering global warming. People living in grinding poverty tend to have little concern over environmental issues.

              • rickflick
                Posted March 18, 2020 at 2:26 pm | Permalink

                I meant to say, WW 2 not WW 1. But, I get your point. Global pollution is almost directly related to economic activity. Since the economy of the world is on the skids, pollution is falling as well. That was just an aside. The main point is the while economic activity declines people adapt. Modern governments are aware of the powerful tool known as stimulus. It can ameliorate the worst consequences of economic losses. Not that things are going to be like an undergraduate pot party…8-)

      • Posted March 18, 2020 at 2:08 am | Permalink

        ” most will be old and hey…. ” true, if not a little flippent with someone elses old-ness yep, we do die sometime but from someone’s stupidity or lack of good hygiene. Old but not dispensable.

        • Posted March 18, 2020 at 10:39 am | Permalink

          I was being glib. I am old too, BTW, so I have the right to say stuff like that. 😉

      • Posted March 18, 2020 at 10:25 am | Permalink

        I think you may be right about panic being necessary to flatten the curve, and that’s one of the things that drives me batty about people’s reactions…to this and to more “prosaic” causes of illness and death. I don’t think we should write off deaths in the elderly, of course – most people aspire to become elderly at some point – though it IS nice that the very young seem largely to be spared so far with this.

        I wish people would take other health concerns just a fraction as seriously as they take this, while being a little more rational (but still quite careful) in their reactions to COVID-19. Basically, I wish people were more rational. Which is a crazy thing to expect, I suppose.

        While it is true that, if 2% of all people who get the illness die and if everyone ends up getting it, the number is probably somewhat misleading, since it’s likely that a good fraction of people who get the virus either have mild illness or none at all, and they don’t ever get taken into the statistics on the short-term. But still, it’s not to be dismissed.

    • rickflick
      Posted March 17, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      People are very emotional beings. Rationality takes second place. We saw quite a few families with children roaming the isles of Walmart. I think the kids wouldn’t let the parents go shopping without them. They’ve been instilled with panic by their parents.

      • Posted March 18, 2020 at 10:26 am | Permalink

        Yeah. At least kids are being comparatively spared by this infection so far. But infections of the mind are more insidious and subtle. And thus the irrationality spreads.

  19. Liz
    Posted March 20, 2020 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    According to the current ticker, there are 269,945 coronavirus cases and 11,277 deaths. That’s a current death rate of 4.18% I believe.

    • Eric Grobler
      Posted March 20, 2020 at 3:27 pm | Permalink

      Weird variability in death rates between countries.

      Look at Netherlands vs Germany for example.

      8.5% Italy
      5.1% Spain
      4.0% China
      3.5% Netherlands
      1.2% US
      1.0% Switzerland
      0.9% Sweden
      0.3% Germany
      0.1% Japan

      • Liz
        Posted March 20, 2020 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        Yes. This is very interesting.

        • Posted March 20, 2020 at 3:46 pm | Permalink

          A good question for Dr. Fauci or Dr. Leana Wen.

          Dr. Wen has been featured on CNN quite often and is very good at answering questions, IMHO. She has a very easygoing but thoughtful style. I enjoy listening to her. As I couldn’t remember her name, my googling turned up that she’s also the new head of Planned Parenthood:

          • Liz
            Posted March 26, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

            I’m reading most of my news online and I have been looking at this ticker. It looks like the United States is about to surpass Italy and China in total number of cases. I hope everyone stays safe.

  20. Posted April 1, 2020 at 2:02 am | Permalink

    This explanation was written by a doctor in the Midlands in England and elaborates on why some people get mild symptoms while others become critically ill:

    It’s also got a lot of helpful advice for families that are self-isolating.

    I’ve been following all the news, updates and advice, but no one has really been focusing on viral load, which is strange because it makes an awful lot of sense.

  21. rickflick
    Posted April 1, 2020 at 6:35 am | Permalink

    This study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) shows corona virus can move much farther than the WHO recommended distancing of 6 feet:

    I’m not sure where the 6′ came from, but it looks like we should all be wearing N95 masks when we go to the store.

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