Predicting COVID's Direction with Three Lines
This is a simple representation that captures the essence of the direction COVID-19 is taking in the US. The lines in the attached chart represent COVID-19 hospitalizations per 100 thousand people.
The white line represents California. The orange line represents 18 Midwestern and Rocky Mountain states. The blue line represents the rest of the country.
It's hard to overstate how quickly conditions in California have deteriorated. COVID-19 hospitalizations have quintupled since November 1 with no signs of deceleration. Over the course of this entire pandemic no other state has experienced that kind of increase in hospitalizations without showing clear signs of deceleration by this point.
There's no clear evidence that Thanksgiving has played a major role in these trends. Hospitalizations are falling in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain States. All the other states are generally on the same trajectory they were before the holiday.
As with hospitalizations, the number of newly-confirmed cases is falling in the Midwest and Rocky Mountain States. Growth in new cases is slowing in most of the rest of the country with the important exception of California, where the number of newly-confirmed cases continues to escalate.