SEATTLE – For many, Coronavirus has made 2020 feel like the longest year ever, but the latest COVID-19 death projections from epidemiologists remind us that this year is far from over.
The Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington put out a COVID-19 Global Forecast on Thursday.
The IHME model, which has been cited by President Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force in the past, is now saying we are likely not even at the halfway point of worldwide coronavirus deaths this year.
The report projects about 1.9 million more deaths worldwide from now until the January 1st, a cumulative number of 2.8 million deaths for all of 2020.
“Looking at the staggering COVID-19 estimates, it’s easy to get lost in the enormity of the numbers,” Murray said. “The number of deaths exceeds the capacity of the world’s 50 largest stadiums, a sobering image of the people who have lost their lives and livelihoods.”
The scientists behind this research say these numbers are based on a most-likely case scenario, if mask use goes unchanged, but they say it’s not too late to aim for best case scenario, where mask use and social distancing is increased and hundreds of thousands of lives are saved.
The model also warns against what it calls “worst case scenario” where governments continue relaxing social distancing and mask requirements, leading to a projected 4 million total deaths worldwide by the end of the year.
Epidemiologists say coronavirus seems to be following similar seasonal patterns to pneumonia.
For that reason, they’re projecting countries within the Northern Hemisphere to be hit especially hard as colder weather sets in, including Europe, Central Asia, and the United States.