Physician anesthesiologist at Stanford at Associated Anesthesiologists Medical Group
Richard Novak, MD is a Stanford physician board certified in anesthesiology and internal medicine.Dr. Novak is an Adjunct Clinical Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine at Stanford University, the Medical Director at Waverley Surgery Center in Palo Alto, California, and a member of the Associated Anesthesiologists Medical Group in Palo Alto, California.

Today I’m forwarding a link to Worldometer Coronavirus, a valuable big data scoreboard for hour-by-hour numbers on the pandemic worldwide. Data from the United States shows an escalating case load, but the data from China and South Korea shows flattening of the case load curve already.

Does social distancing work? Check out these two graphs of the case rates in China and South Korea:

This is the first encouraging data I’ve seen regarding this pandemic. Chinese case numbers went from roughly 0 to 40,000 in nine days from January 22 to February 9th, then went from 40,000 to 80,000 in seventeen days from February 9th to February 28th. Remarkably, from February 28th to March 16th, over the course of seventeen days, the curve flattened in China. That’s exactly what we’re praying for in the United States. A similar flattening of the curve occurred in South Korea:

The total coronavirus cases in the United States are still increasing exponentially at this date as shown in the graph below. The United States is still on the upswinging portion of the case curve. We expect/hope our social distancing will bring about the same flattening of the case count curve that has already occurred in China and South Korea.

Total case data by country are listed below. The USA has the 8th highest number of cases to date. The encouraging information in this table is in the “NEW CASES” column, where CHINA and SOUTH KOREA have only 36 and 74 new cases, respectively. Most likely this is because of the social distancing measures put into place early in those countries.

Additional data from the United States as of today are copied below. This data is updated hour-by-hour on the Worldometer Coronavirus website:

If you read down this far, you’re flooded with information. If you follow Worldometer Coronavirus regularly, you’ll know exactly how the pandemic is progressing or fading. Worldometer Coronavirus is not on the App Store for your phone, but you can do this: a) open the Worldometer Coronavirus website on Safari on an iPhone; click on the SEND icon (the square with the upward arrow) at the bottom of the screen; and c) select ADD TO HOME SCREEN. This will enable you to follow Worldometer Coronavirus on your smartphone.

Remember how the case number curves flattened in China and South Korea, and be encouraged by the probability of the same eventually occurring in the United States in the weeks to come. Until that time, practice social distancing as advised by national health leadership.

Information is power. I hope you’ll be empowered to make the right choices for yourself and your family in these historic and difficult days.