When Will COVID-19 Deaths Start to Decline?

A couple of people have asked for an update of a chart I put up a few weeks ago comparing the COVID-19 case rate with the death rate. Here it is:

During the first round of COVID-19, the death rate started to decline about two weeks after the case rate began falling. If the same thing happens this time around, deaths have already peaked and will start to decline in about a week or so.

I’m not saying this is what will happen. There have been too many surprises already in the COVID-19 numbers, and the actual death rate will depend a lot on how seriously everyone is taking the recommended countermeasures (masks, social distancing, etc.). I can’t predict that—and neither can anyone else—which means I can’t predict the death rate trend either.

Still, if the second round of COVID-19 is like the first round, late July would have been a decent baseline guess for peak deaths—which turned out to be the case—and mid-August is our best guess for the start of the decline.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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