Exponential Functions and COVID-19

This cartoon made me smile, because I’ve had this “when will I need that” discussion with any number of people. Click any image in this post for a larger view. (Hat tip to Flopping Aces.)

This is the US Deaths per day data for COVID-19 and the exponential curve fit by Wolfram-Alpha. I can’t insert x-axis labels but the dates run from 2/29 thru 3/23. Data sourced from this link.

Here is the same data from LibreOffice, which doesn’t do as good a job with Chi-squared curves as Wolfram-Alpha.

So when people who actually understand math were telling you there was a problem with this pandemic, and you, who are proud that you don’t understand math, didn’t understand…

6 thoughts on “Exponential Functions and COVID-19

  1. The thing about exponential growth is that it can’t go on very long – the infection runs out of “food”. Observe it while you can.

    Something I heard in undergrad Microbiology in the early ’70s stuck with me: given ideal growing conditions, a single E.coli bacterium could produce a colony the size of the earth in 24 hours. That can’t happen because the food can’t get in nor the waste products get out to keep “ideal growing conditions”.

    Liked by 1 person

    • This is going to be (or it was going to be) a maximum-reach virus. Long periods where you are asymptomatic, but contagious. The length of time a person is contagious. The viruses ability to exist on surfaces for what is really an extended time. Coupled with modern air travel…

      That is why the disease is the way it is in Italy and in Spain. And to a lesser extent in New York City.


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  3. One Reason Italy and Spain have problems is that they let the Chinese in country for “investments” i. e. money for the politicians to buy votes with. Hopefully the Politicians will be the first to die.


    • There isn’t that much justice in the Universe.

      Also, Italy, has almost complete control of health care by government. Not sure about Spain. Germany, the Nordic countries, less control, fewer deaths. Coincidence?


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