Coronavirus – Math

So also these posts regarding the virus:

A long as the government is not doing any draconian measures virus spread will be exponential.

In short the growth looks like a hockey stick.

The UK graph taken from 10/3 (ref 2 – click Global, Europe and then UK):


Compared to Italy same date:


Problem is curve shape is the same, meaning UK has the same exponential growth as Italy but number of cases are just a few days behind.

So the UK is where Italy was on 25/2; so the UK is around 2 weeks behind Italy before chaos hits (see ref 4).

UK Data as of 10/3:


Using doubling d = 2.8 and assuming start s = 16 cases arrived from abroad and x is number of days since start of patient zero, we get:

y=s*2(x⁄d) = 16 * 2(x/2.8)

This formula ties-in with ref 5.

Gives the following data:


So pretty close to actual data.

Graph is looking like this:


Extrapolating on this; the UK will be looking like Italy by 23-24/3:


Also remember the real spread is 5-10 days ahead due to the incubation period, where people may not have been tested yet due to lack of symptoms.

Even if the calculation is slightly wrong the exponential nature of this makes the formula precise within a couple of days.

If the UK government do not introduce draconian measures, the forecast may look like this; assuming up to 80% of the population will be infected:


With a mortality according to WHO at 3.4% this is a scary outlook.

It gets even more scary if the health system is overrun, which may to a degree explain the current Italian mortality of 6%.

We can only hope the government comes to it’s senses in due time and introduce very draconian measures to contain the spread.


  1. Most of the data is from:
  2. Good graphs:
  3. Good numbers (includes critical):
  4. Bad situation in Italy as-of 7/3:
  5. Wikipedia:
  6. Columbia University: