Author Archives: colinmathers

Drug overdose deaths – another exceptional US epidemic

Earlier this week, CDC released provisional figures for drug overdose deaths in the USA in 2019. They estimate almost 72,000 deaths, the highest annual number yet seen. Initially driven by prescription opioid painkillers, users migrated first to heroin and then … Continue reading

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Covid-19: which countries are succeeding and not succeeding?

There is now sufficient data on social distancing, lockdown, and other measures that researchers are starting to assess the effectiveness of these measures. The July 4th edition of The Economist has an article summarizing what is becoming clear.  Extensive testing … Continue reading

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An out-of-control pandemic in most world regions

I downloaded the Covid-19 data up to 5 July from the JHU Github today and plotted smoothed new cases per day (average over last 7 days) as rates per million population by world region. The dramatic difference in trajectories for … Continue reading

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Two different pandemics: the USA and Europe

The trajectories of COVID-19 have been dramatically different in the USA and Europe. Currently there are close to 30,000 new cases per day in the USA, compared with around 3,000 per day in the European Union (and around 20 per … Continue reading

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Imperial study estimates 3.1 million deaths averted by the lockdown in Europe

I’ve stopped doing my own graphs to check trends for coronavirus. The 91-divoc.com website has added daily cases and daily deaths time series as well as moving 7-day average time trends to its visualizations, and has plots for countries for … Continue reading

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Machine learning projection model for Covid-19

Youyang Gu, an independent data scientist, has created a statistical projection model for Covid-19 (https://covid19-projections.com/) that uses machine learning techniques to fit a classical SEIR infectious disease model to the data for daily confirmed cases and deaths, taking into account … Continue reading

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Police killings in the USA

The current protests in the USA made me curious to take a look at police killing rates compared to other countries. Wikipedia summarizes available statistics for most recent years, and I did some spot checks of the primary sources. The … Continue reading

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Country progress to 9 May in controlling COVID-19 epidemics

I downloaded the latest COVID-19 data for reported deaths and confirmed cases from Johns Hopkins this morning to see whether the data supports the relaxation of social isolation that is starting to happen in many countries. The USA now has … Continue reading

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COVID-19 projections and reality

On 27th April, I posted some short-run projections of COVID-19 cases and deaths. The plots below show how the daily new cases per million population and deaths per million population compare with reality (at least the confirmed case rates and … Continue reading

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COVID-19 short-run projections

Purely statistical predictions of future trends in COVID-19 deaths or cases, even including predictive covariates, have been unable to make sensible forecasts that are not highly sensitive to slight additions of data. The only useful models have been the more … Continue reading

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