Curve seems pretty flat to me!

Some perspective is needed!

If you’ve listened to any media coverage of the coronavirus pandemic you probably heard of the need to flatten the curve. Any reasonable person assumes health authorities want to stop the exponential increase in deaths related to the virus. Sounds like a good idea.

Using data from Health Canada I shall attempt to put some perspective on the exponential death rate curve. You can walk through my analysis in the Power BI report below, or follow along with images from this report.


Confirmed cases

Let’s start with confirmed cases. In the image below we can see the number of confirmed cases in Canada as of today (April 6th 2020) is a roughly 16,600 cases. On its own, the graph looks very worrying. Since the middle of March, cases have been increasing at an alarming rate.


In March health authorities have been aggressively testing for the virus as demonstrated in the next graph.

Testing, fortunately has been pretty steady since the beginning of March. There seems to be a noticeable increase in the testing curve after ~100,000 tests (after March 23, 2020). To date Canada has performed approximately 337,000 tests. An impressive amount of work by our health care professionals who, like the rest of us, were told of the danger of the virus.


Let’s compare the two measures.

When we compare the trend in confirmed cases to the number of people tested it is, we can see there is a very moderate relationship.

That seems like a good thing to me. I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.



No one like to think about death and in no way do we dismiss the tragedy of the families of those lost to the virus.

Has the “doom and gloom” media been painting an accurate picture?

As a reminder, in last week’s post we looked at the current number of deaths related to the virus as compared to the latest statistics from Stats Canada.

We have graphed the number of deaths (323) attributed from the coronavirus in the next image.

It’s not hard to see why some have been falling all over themselves to tell us to lock ourselves away, shut down business and public events. If you are looking at this picture in isolation.


Look at those numbers, compare to the confirmed number of cases!

Tell me if that worries you?

Is it just me or does the trend of the number of deaths (in red) seem to be pretty flat? We could add the number of tested to the above graph, but the effect would only illustrate further the flatness of the curve.


What about rates of change?

At this point you may be thinking showing absolute numbers could also be misleading. There is some truth in that. There would be cause for concern if the rate of change in the number of deaths was increasing.

The next graph (not included in the Power BI report) plots the rate of change in daily deaths. It is still early days, so the data is a bit noisy. But what really interests me is the simple trend that we have included.

It is clear to me that the overall trend is negative. Meaning the rate of change for coronavirus deaths is slowing!

Seems like good news to me.


Will the cure be worse than the disease?

The purpose of this is not to dismiss the virus risk to those most susceptible (elderly or immune compromised) but I question the extreme measures instituted by federal and provincial governments. To me it’s the equivalent of killing a fly with a bazooka! Those driving this madness will no doubt look back on this with self congratulations, but will they have the same concern for the long term effects of those actions – unemployment, destroyed lives and long term inflation from financial stimulus measures.

I will leave it at that, so the analysis presented is about the public data used and not the weaponizing of this data (there I go again).

When I look at the data in the manner presented, the observations certainly do not equate to the public health response.

I hope it does for you as well.


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