Keep An Eye On The Growth Factor

None of those who follow my posts or videos have missed the exponential nature of the spread of COVID-19. Those people are surprised, who are not used to seeing the progressive doubling even if it starts from an apparently negligible basis become disruptive.

There are many considerations to be made, and lessons that will hopefully be learned by all the governments and organizations involved. You can see how well-prepared ones manage to contain the infection, as is happening in Singapore and Taiwan, with extensive use of technology and policy resources.

One of the aspects that must now be carefully managed in Italy is the growth factor. This is, given that the phenomenon is not continuous but discreet, both fundamentally and in our surveys, the relationship between the number of new cases today and that of new cases detected yesterday. If the ratio is greater than one, the epidemic is still in the exponential phase. If the relationship is less than one, perhaps for 3-4 days, the epidemic has entered the logistic phase and will tend to stop.

Greatly recommended video “Exponential growth and epidemics” by 3blue1brown

This is a very delicate moment, because the same people who, not knowing the nature of the exponential phenomena, were holding back the introduction of the drastic measures that allowed to arrive at the turnaround, can again do damage, asking to loosen the measures too soon.

It will be necessary to resist these pressures, wherever they come from. In fact, if measures were eased too early, the epidemic would immediately return to spread to a new exponential phase!

PS: of course I’m not an epidemiologist and any correction to the above is welcome!

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