Virus forecasts converge, but will there be a surge?

COVID-19 deaths
This chart shows the daily COVID-19 death count in the U.S. as a dark red line, with the rolling average as a dotted line, up to the present. Looking ahead, the projection from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation calls for a steady decline (light red dotted line), while the projection from data scientist Youyang Gu calls for a slight increase in daily deaths (dark red dotted line). Both projections see the rate largely stabilizing in August. IHME’s model calls for a plateau at about 550 deaths per day, while Youyang Gu’s model builds to a peak of more than 900 daily deaths. (IHME / COVID19-projections. com)

Dueling projections for the course of the COVID-19 pandemic are converging on a narrower range of estimates for this summer, as expected, but the longer-term outlook doesn’t call for coronavirus infections to fade away quickly.

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By Alan Boyle

Mastermind of Cosmic Log, contributor to GeekWire and Universe Today, author of "The Case for Pluto: How a Little Planet Made a Big Difference," past president of the Council for the Advancement of Science Writing.

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