A model predicts that coronavirus deaths in California will peak on Wednesday. But it’s more complex


If the most popular model of coronavirus in the country proves to be correct, California will reach the peak of its epidemic this Wednesday, which would have been a tax day if the pandemic had not uprooted almost all the social and financial structures the United States.

On that day, according to the model designed by scientists at the Seattle World Health Research Center, 66 people will die in California. From then on, the number of deaths per day will decrease over several weeks, until the epidemic – at least this first phase – is finished in mid-May.

But this is only a projection, and it differs greatly from the forecasts developed by the California disease modeling team, which predicts a peak in mid-May or late May and a slow decline until June.

The patchwork of forecasts can cause confusion and frustration among the tens of millions of Californians who want to put the outbreak behind them and get out of their weeks of isolation. But models of the disease, for all that they are useful in making policy decisions and preparing for a disaster, are not intended to predict the future, say public health and infectious disease experts.

No one can say for sure when the worst of the outbreak will be over – or when the next could happen.


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