Don’t be alarmed by numbers jump when we actually test for coronavirus

Cort Ruddy
1 min readMar 12, 2020


I’ve been accused of being an alarmist. Which I’m totally okay with in this situation. There’s plenty of reason for alarm and action.

But one thing I think we need to be aware of and not be alarmed by is this: the US virus count is going to go up dramatically in the next week. This isn’t because of a new bloom in disease. It is out there and circulating. It’s because we are about to start testing on the scale we should’ve been doing for a month.

Test, isolate and treat.

South Korea is the best model for this. They have tested a higher proportion of the population than anyone. And, because of it, they had a huge spike in cases about 2 weeks ago. But, they, more than any other country, have a handle on the level of infection and are taking appropriate action.

We are about to see some big numbers. This isn’t the virus spreading at a ridiculous rate, it’s us finding where it is. That will give us a course forward.