The COVID-19 outbreak has been aggressive and disruptive. Our movement has been restricted and the reality is there may not be any rugby played for a matter of months. It’s just too early to say and USA Rugby has formally suspended rugby activity for the foreseeable future with the following statement:

“All sanctioned competition and rugby activities are suspended for the foreseeable future, effective March 20, 2020. Members and clubs are asked to refrain from match play, training or team gatherings during this period. Accident and Liability insurance will not be valid during the above window of time. Information on when rugby activities will be able to resume will be communicated by USA Rugby.”

As a club with strong social ties, the idea of social distancing is torture. It goes against all instincts to come together in a show of support, and to help the most needy in the community. And if you’re in need of any kind: help with shelter, food, guidance or support of any kind, reach out and we’ll help get you what need. 

However, we have to accept now that self isolating is critical to getting through this. The lockdown is now in place here in NYC and it’s to be taken very seriously.

Montreal based Lion Hugh McGuire crunched the numbers on projected damage COVID-19 can cause in the US, Canada and Quebec (we’ll ask him to look at NYC next). We can see how we can mitigate the human cost by getting serious about social distancing. Read what he has to say and look at his projection model below:

Why #socialdistancing is life or death

by Hugh McGuire
Twitter: @hughmcguire

(I haven’t written anything here in a long while, I guess the apocalypse is as good a time as any to get back at it.)

Aggressive Social Distancing Now Will Make A Big Difference in the Fight Against COVID-19.

Taking social distancing very seriously helps reduce the spread of COVID. The impacts are huge. The “natural” growth of COVID before major social distancing measures are in place is around 30% per day. This is true in Italy, France, Spain, Germany, and other countries that are further ahead in life with COVID. Typically once major social distancing measures are in place, the growth rate drops to 20% a day or less.**

Other important data: about 10% of COVID cases need hospitalization; about 1% of cases die.

Currently, the daily % increase in COVID cases in Quebec (average in last 5 days) is: 38.9%

Here are the projections for 30 days (by April 19) if we don’t slow the spread, and continue growing at 38.9% / day* …

If spread continues at 38.9%/day:

  • Number of QC cases on April 19: 1.8 Million
  • Number of QC hospitalizations: 180,000
  • Number of dead in QC: 18,000

If we reduce spread to 30%/day:

  • Number of QC cases on April 19: 246,000
  • Number of QC hospitalizations: 24,628
  • Number of dead in QC: 2,463

If we reduce spread to 20%/day:

  • Number of QC cases on April 19: 22,313
  • Number of QC hospitalizations: 2,231
  • Number of dead in QC: 223

Here’s my spreadsheet, with links to data. If you are interested in making something webby & pretty with this model that will help people understand the implications, please let me know, I guess on Twitter? @hughmcguire.

*NOTE1: This number is high, likely because as testing ramps up we are just finding more cases that were there rather than detecting spread.

**NOTE2: It’s possible that the natural growth rate would drop anyway. Do you want to be in the place where that theory is tested?