Dying for the Dow . . .

In my opinion, not sheltering is not an option.

If you read my previous post about COVID-19 you know a key number is the growth factor. What’s not obvious is HOW sensitive the outbreak is to this seemingly little number. So, with this in mind I thought I would recast the math in terms which some folks could relate.

If you have a savings account (not a given here in the U.S.) you know that you receive a nominal interest rate on your savings. Let’s say your bank offers a 16% return on your savings (yes, a complete fantasy – I’m earning 0.70%). You start a new account with one dollar as an opening deposit and let it sit for a year. At the end of the year you’ll have . . . yes, $1.16.

BUT, this is an annual rate whose accrued interest is spread over a year. The growth factor is a DAILY rate generated from the previous day’s measurements. So, if you open an account with one dollar and apply a 16% daily rate for one year you’ll have:


Ok, you argue that’s for an entire year. We’re talking about a pandemic that just lasts a few months. Applying the new case formula in the previous post with a growth factor of 1.16 for three months you’ll get:


Certainly not chump change. Of course math is agnostic so whether it’s dollars or infections the number is the number. Currently there are 649,904 COVID-19 cases worldwide. Given the virus has been very active since 01Jan2020 (about three months) it looks like our growth factor of 16% is pretty good.

As I type this there are currently 115,547 confirmed cases in the U.S. In 28 days at a growth factor of 1.16 there will be:


cases. NOW do you see why you should take this seriously? NOW do you see why it’s important to stay home? You’ll never be able to benefit from a rebounding economy if you’re dead.

(By the way, I didn’t just pull 1.16 from some dark hole. It’s the growth factor for North Carolina as of 27Mar2020 at 10:30.)

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