Pandemic Graph


nCoV Graph
  • John Hopkins CSSE provides a visual display of the nCoV outbreak (among a number of nCoV status sites). It's updated daily at around 9pm EST/NYC time (around 10am our GMT+8 time).
  • The graph on the left shows the confirmed cases in CN, which is currently rising at around 2000 cases per day. The graph on the right is worldwide cases excluding CN, which is rising around 20 per day.
  • The key indicator is whether the steepness of the CN graph remains the same, or become greater or less over the next few days. If it remains the same or become steeper, the outbreak is not under control. If the steepness declines, it would be what health workers are hoping for: to rein in in the outbreak by early February.
  • For the global graph, if it remains 20 cases a day, it may not be too serious. But if you look at the CN graph and observe the sharp rise on the 5th day, that could happen too: an exponential break out (likely to start with one country).

Face Masks
  • The outbreak has spooked folks worldwide, there is a reported global shortage of masks. 1 2 3 4 5
  • As a logistics experiment, we dropped in at a large, well-known DIY chain this morning, and their usual stocks of masks (N95-type, carbon-filter masks for DIY work, courtesy masks like the ones worn by beauty workers, and vanity masks, like for cosplay) were all out-of-stock.
  • A few pharmacies we checked were out of surgical masks. We went over to a well known ecommerce site and searched for 'surgical mask'. Of the first three results returned, two were without ratings (suggesting they were recently listed or no-one bought them before), and one 'ships from overseas'.
  • The authorities have not advised the general donning of masks yet but if they do, acquiring sufficient and suitable masks could be non-trivial.

Notes
  • While there is some (theoretical) debate on the effectiveness of face masks, empirical / field evidence from CN suggests face masks do work.
  • This post is non-expert commentary. Check with reliable health sources for proper information.