Idris Elba announced today via his twitter account that he has been diagnosed with covid-19, also known as the novel coronavirus. He posted a video along with the tweet and indicated that he has no symptoms so far and feels ok. Along with Tom Hanks and his wife Rita Wilson, who are in isolation recovering in Australia, this announcement is the second recent one involving a major Hollywood star.
Long lines all over L.A. with people trying to buy staples, Sports events and Concerts cancelled, empty shelves everywhere and now both Disney and Universal are releasing current upcoming films for streaming – since box office will be zero or even cancelled for an undetermined time period. Not to mention the Dow is down nearly 3000 points at closing today (-2997.10 / -12.92%). Yikes.
This news, based on the incredible familiarity that we all have with stars of this magnitude, is making the pandemic more and more “real” for all of us. In the chart below a big reason for the extreme precautionary measures can be seen:
The line all the way to the right, almost straight up vertical is the number of cases not in China. As is clear the total is nearly as many as all that have been reported in China to date and will soon overtake that number. Most alarming is the vertical rise – far steeper than the gradual increase that was seen since February 16th, after the drastic measures were taken in China by that time.
Just such a slow down in additional cases will “flatten the curve” of non-China cases and is the goal of the extreme and increasingly invasive measures we are taking in the US and Europe. Although the feeling in the air, especially if shopping for supplies, seems somewhat panicked, it is important to recognize that all of these measures, most of all self-quarantine and social distancing are meant to protect us, and ultimately, flatten the curve to a point where the number of cases can actually slow down enough that this chart will actually be on a downward slope.
The interactive chart of Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases can be accessed here, courtesy of the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU). The mobile version of the chart can be accessed here.
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