COVID-19: Why 200,000 Fatalities in U.S. Could Be in Next 16 Days

For over a month, I have exchanged several emails with our financial planner concerning my concerns COVID-19 will have on the stock market. In an email I sent last week, I accurately projected the United States would surpass 1,000 deaths per day on Wednesday, April 1st. After that came to pass, I sent another email explaining why 200,000 deaths could be less than three weeks away.

Dear Financial Planner,

Please do not take this email as bragging. Being correct about a lethal virus attacking the United States is not something to celebrate. I would much prefer to be wrong and see our country thriving. However, I’m hopeful that you will take notice of how remarkable my projections have been and take serious consideration with what I’m about to share in how you analyze what comes next.  

COVID-19
Photo Credit Dan McLellan

Last Wednesday, I sent you an email that projected for the first time today (Wednesday) the United States would see an excess of 1,000 COVID-19 deaths, and we would pass over 5,000 fatalities. 

My exact projection seven days ago for today was 5,273 deaths, with an increase of 1,094 for the day. 

As I write this, we are currently at 5,115 deaths, with an increase of 1,219.

The accuracy of the projection should give you pause. 

Last week, I wrote that I was concerned that 1,000 COVID-19 deaths in a day would dominate the headlines and hurt the stock market.  

USA Today, today: More than 1,000 in the U.S. die in a single day from coronavirus, doubling the worst daily death toll of the flu

I also voiced concern that we were closer to a national lockdown than reopening despite what Trump had promised. I believed there was no possibility we were on a path of a quick return of regular production for businesses. 

Political wire, today: Surgeon General Advises National Stay-at-Home Order

These projections and concerns are not the first time that I’ve shared with you that have come to pass. When the market first showed Coronavirus jitters in early March, I responded to your update asking you several questions to see if you were taking into account facts with regards to the virus. 

You seemed dismissive of those concerns.

As the market tanked in mid-March, I sent you another email with regards to the virus. I asked you if you shared my belief that the hotel industry perhaps could weather the storm better than expected. My take was hotels and motels will likely house people recovering from the virus who can not yet return their families but are healthy enough to free up needed hospital space. 

Your response was again dismissive, saying, “I believe anything at this point.”

Chicago Sun-Times, last week: Four more hotels agree to rent rooms to ease the strain on Chicago hospitals during the pandemic

COVID-19
Photo Credit: Dan McLellan

I’ve also previously shared with you that I made a prior projection of when we would exceed 1,000 deaths for the first time, which happened a little less than 24hrs from my prediction. It occurred on Wednesday as opposed to Thursday of last week.  

I’ve made these projections not with a crystal ball, but by using the same Rule of 72 math that you use as a financial planner. I was able to make accurate projections because the United States fatality rate has been consistently grown at around 26%, for the last 10 days.

Compounding growth is fantastic for stocks, but not for fatalities. If you get a 12% return on money, it should double every six years. 

But with a 26% rising daily death rate, our fatalities have doubled less than every three days. 

What happens if we see the same growth for the next 16 days, as we have for the past 10?

We will pass over 100,000 deaths in just 13 days from now and 200,000 three days later. 

The Government is now preparing for that reality. 

Bloomberg: Pentagon Seeking 100,000 Body Bags for Civilians in Crisis

Here is what that would like:

Day 1, (April 2nd) 6,444

Day 2) 8,120

3) 10,231

4) 12,892

5) 16,244

6) 20,467

7) 25,789

8) 32,494

9) 40, 943

10) 51,888

11) 65,001

12) 81,901

13) 103,195

14) 130,026

15) 163,833

16) 206,430

While there is some good news that percentages are decreasing in New York and in Seattle, we are likely going to see the average continue as a nation. Florida, Georgia, Louisana, Mississippie, Louisana, and even in San Diego where I live, are among areas growing at an alarming rate and could soon become the new hot spots. 

Like last week, my questions to you remain nearly the same: 

What happens if these projections come to pass, and as a country, we are far from reopening our economy? 

Do you consider that possibility to be more of a reality today than you were last week?

Does this COVID-19 info affect your current short term vision and approach?

Sincerely,

Dan McLellan

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