What the COVID-19 death toll tells us about the next 2 weeks

TL;DR: The confirmed case number is not helpful in understanding today’s COVID-19 pandemic. The death toll is a more informative measure, but still lags the actual infection number by 3 weeks. Given that mitigation efforts in the U.S. started only in the last 1–2 weeks, we will continue to see an exponential growth of the death toll in the next couple of weeks. The number of American deaths will likely exceed 20,000 by Easter Sunday. However, this doesn’t mean social distancing and shelter-in-place have not been effective; it simply means that their