Forecasters are predicting that U.S. COVID-19 case counts and the U.S. COVID-19 death numbers will continue to improve over the next four weeks.
Most of the forecasters in the COVID-19 Forecast Hub system say weekly new case counts will be somewhere between 350,000 and 450,000 over the next four weeks, compared with an actual number of about 477,000 recorded during the week that ended March 1.
The forecasters are predicting the number of deaths per week will fall to about 6,000 to 8,000, from about 14,000 per week, over that same four-week period.
In April 2020, I made my yearly predictions, and many of them were about the (then new) coronavirus pandemic.
Two other people on Less Wrong, Zvi and Bucky, decided to test themselves against me by trying to predict the same questions. Zvi saw my answers beforehand; Bucky didn’t. Here’s how we did (except where otherwise stated, all predictions are for 12/31/20):
Oh, right, you came here to learn about Covid-19 news. The short news is great. Infections and deaths are down much faster than anticipated. The vaccine news is less great. The process continues to accelerate, but that acceleration was slower than expected, and there’s still lots of FUD about what vaccinated people can and can’t ‘safely’ do and little movement yet towards saner policy in other ways, although there are signs of moving in that direction. The new strains aren’t here in force yet, but it seems likely that will happen soon.
One potentially big thing we learned is the study from infected NBA players, which suggests that the English strain causes infections to play out over a longer period of time than the classic strain, with all the implications of that.
Another was that it got even clearer than it already was that the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are highly effective after only one dose, and that First Doses First would be a vast improvement while we continue to have much less vaccine than we need.