The Corner


My Coronavirus Mistakes

I’ve been thinking about the things I’ve gotten wrong during the course of this virus:

—When Trump first extended the shutdown guidance, the White House cited an estimate of 100,000–240,000 deaths that I found incredible. But here we are, sadly, right in that range.

—I thought we’d get a seasonality break, because that’s what many experts said, and it tracked with what happens with the flu. But we have the highest number of confirmed cases here in the middle of summer.

—I believed we were on the same trajectory as Western Europe, with cases in inexorable decline.

—Finally, I thought conditions in New York made it particularly susceptible to a large-scale outbreak — the subway system, density, etc. — in a way that the rest of the country wasn’t. But Florida, Texas, and Arizona now have large outbreaks of their own. The spike in cases in these places hasn’t yet produced anything like the deaths we saw in New York and New Jersey, and perhaps it never will (it’s a younger cohort getting infected), but it is alarming.


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