One of the most accurate and reliable leading indicators we have discovered for the U.S daily new Coronavirus infections curve is the percentage of 52 US states that have an increasing or decreasing rate of new daily infections being reported. This indicator tops out before the national US infection tally and likewise bottoms before the national US infection tally. It is thus an early warning indicator for change in direction of the daily new infections curve.
The percentage of US states with rising daily infections fell rapidly from 50 (achieved 8 days before national daily infections peaked) to almost zero as lockdowns and stay-at-home orders came into affect. It is even likely that vaccination programs contributed somewhat to the decline. However, over the last few days, this tally has jumped from 4 to an astonishing 23 states with rising daily 7-day average infection rates:
It is highly likely that the third major coronavirus wave in the US has bottomed out and we are set for the start of a new fourth wave of infections. We do not have hard data to assist with determining whether the 4th wave will be as large or larger than the 3rd, but the assumption of ongoing successful vaccination programs likely means that the 4th wave will be a lot smaller.
The chart above shows us that large jumps in the metric are normally when we emerge from lockdowns or major holidays, as depicted by the blue line which is a geolocation based economic mobility index. When economic mobility comes out of a steep dip, the black line rises rapidly as increased human interaction raises infections. As you can see we are emerging from a recent steep dip in economic mobility, created by the Presidents Day holiday that was used as a long weekend. The prior big dip where this phenomenon was witnessed was Xmas/New Year, the one before that was Thanksgiving, and the one before that was Labor Day. In each case, the national tally of daily new cases (brown line) rose dramatically afterwards.
- The last big coronavirus wave has bottomed out
- Economic mobility is going to rise as we emerge from Presidents day holiday effects
- The number of states with rising daily infections will likely continue to shoot up
- The US national tally of daily new infections is going to rise dramatically, vaccinations notwithstanding.