A PSA about exponential growth

A PSA about exponential growth

Exponential growth is WILD.

There have been 5 reported Covid deaths in the Bay Area, and I've heard anecdotal stories of at least 2 deaths of people who weren't tested for Covid. In this low-testing environment, let's imagine there are 10-20 deaths.

One death — 1000 cases, so 10-20k cases, or 0.1-0.2%. prevalence in the Bay

It's growing at 20% per day, or doubling every 4 days.

This means, applying very simple exponential growth (which isn't really how it will go):

1 week from now: 0.35-0.7% will be infected
2 weeks from now: 1.2-2.5%
3 weeks from now: 5-9%
4 weeks from now: 16-33%
5 weeks from now: 60+% (unlikely to get there)

Of course, the growth will slow. It'll never get close to 100%. It would slow naturally around 1% without interventions, and physical distancing & city lockdowns will help a lot. It might not be possible to get much above 40%, or even 10% of the population.

But it's still going to grow, and quickly.

And the people who are going to get it are the people who you are most likely to interact with: grocery store clerks, delivery workers, etc.

What does this mean for you?

  • In a week or two, there's going to be a much higher probability of getting the virus just by getting a delivery.
  • I would take this week and next to ramp down your reliance on deliveries and prepare to have what you need for a few months.
  • Deliveries are fine, but you should either disinfect surfaces (link on how to do that below) or leave them out for 9-10 days. Covid is known to last up to 9 days on surfaces.
  • You should already be in self isolation, riding out the storm inside.
  • With social isolation, the transmission stops completely. This virus is transmitted via physical human contact (direct and indirect). When you isolate, you save lives.

I am hopeful when seeing the lockdown procedures being put in place. These will save lives.

These are psychologically trying times. One of the best pieces of advice I saw recently was -- if people aren't reaching out to you, you may be shutting down from them. Reach out, offer support, and ask for the support you need. I am here to talk if you want to just let out feels, and many of those around you may be too.

One more thought

The best thing we can all do right now is act as if we have the virus. Keep distance, wash hands, wear masks when out in public.

One way or another, in a manner of months this will be past us.

Much love, stay strong human fam."