What explains the stunning decline in Covid-19 cases?

by Eric Zuesse
The global peak in daily new cases of Covid-19 disease was January 8th, and this was likewise the peak in U.S. new cases. Globally, it was 845,693, and U.S. was 308,443. The plunge since then has produced, as-of February 5th, globally, 495,888, and U.S., 132,045 (and, on February 7th in the U.S., that was down to 89,691). So: the decline between January 8th and February 5th was a change of -42% globally, and -57% in U.S.
What explains this?
On February 8th, the news-site “Zero Hedge” headlined “Even ‘Scientist’ Models Now Forecast The COVID Scourge Ending By The Summer” and closed: “This continued improvement – and acceleration of economic growth due to little need for lockdowns and restrictions – suggests that the US economy – and broader society as well – should be able to move beyond covid some time in the early summer.” That prediction was based upon:
Finally, and in the clearest indication that we are almost out of the woods, even “scientific models” expect Covid to be a non-event by June. BofA notes that “a fresh update to the University of Washington IHME’s COVID-19 model shows they had underestimated the current rapid pace of improvement in the US coronavirus situation”, but are now forecasting another wave of increasing daily new infections starting in the second half of this month (Figure 2) – probably due to the new more infectious strains of the virus. However, and as we previewed first back in December, “due to ongoing vaccinations of the most vulnerable, the negative consequences in the form of hospitalizations this time around are expected to be diminished significantly.”
In fact IHME expects the number of people hospitalized in the US with COVID-19 to continue to decline every single day through June 1st, which is the end of their forecast horizon (Figure 3).
How realistic is that optimistic prediction?
It is based upon an assumption that the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), at the University of Washington, is a reliable predictor of the course of this pandemic — which is, thus-far, actually false, not true. Furthermore, IHME’s current projection (which is based not upon the leading indicator, which is daily new cases, but instead upon the lagging indictor, which is daily deaths) simply assumes that the blip downward from the January 25th peak in the number of daily deaths from Covid-19 downward to January 29th — that mere 4-day decline from the peak in this lagging indicator — will continue into March and beyond into at least June, and that if the wearing of masks suddenly increases starting in late march, then things will be even better than that.
This ridiculous projection is supposedly based upon “‘Scientist’ Models” but it is certainly not based upon scientific models.
So, then: What explains the stunning decline in Covid-19 cases? This question isn’t even being discussed — at least not scientifically — and certainly not publicly, in any scientific way. That’s how bad the ‘news’-media (and “social ‘scientists’”) actually are.
The Covid-19 plunge, of around half, within just the past month, is huge global (and local) news, but it is being scientifically analyzed nowhere in the ‘news’-media.
A ‘news’-consumer is either an intelligent skeptic, or else a fool.
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