Tokyo & N.Y Comparison

The spread of COVID 19 in Tokyo is continuing, and whether Tokyo would face tough situation like New York City or not is big interest for many people.

We compared the growth speed of total deaths in Tokyo and New York City.

Log-scale chart is useful to understand big picture of COVID 19 trend

Infectious diseases, including COVID-19 pandemic, spread with exponential growth. If you show the deaths or confirmed cases in a normal linear chart (i.e. Y-axis is 1, 2, 3, 4 or 10, 20, 30, 40 and so on), it will be exponential lines.

The problem of an exponential curve in linear chart is, the rate of growth keeps going up and up, and the line can become almost vertical and appear to go on forever. It can create the impression that governments’ measures like lockdown or social distancing aren’t working.

In such a case, logarithmic (log) scale is helpful to understand big picture and compare different countries or cities. Log -scale chart means, graph’s Y-axis is graduated by orders of magnitude (1, 2, 4, 8, 16… or 1, 10, 100, 1,000…etc).

We compare total deaths in Tokyo and New York City using this log-scale charts as follows.

Reference
https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2020/04/covid-19-spread-logarithmic-graph/

How to interpret log-scale chart

Here is total deaths comparing Tokyo and New York City in log-scale chart. Y-axis is shown as a log-scale of 2 (2, 4, 8, 16, 32…). Day 1 is defined as the date on which the first death case reported; it was February 26th, 2020 in Tokyo, and March 11th, 2020 in New York City.

Note: Day 1 is defined as the date on which the first death case reported; it was February 26th, 2020 in Tokyo, and March 11th, 2020 in New York City.

Source of data: Tokyo Metropolitan Government (TMG)Japan Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare (MHLW), and New York City Health

 

As Y-axis is shown as a log-scale of 2, you can visually understand how fast total deaths in Tokyo and New York have become double.

  • For example, total deaths in New York surpassed 512 on March 26th, and it surpassed 1,024 on March 28th. It means it took only 2 days to become double from 512 to 1,024.
  • A steeper line means that the rate of growth is higher.
  • If the line looks like a straight line, it means that the rate of growth remains same and the exponential growth has not stopped yet.
  • If the line looks “flattening out”, it means that the rate of growth levels off.

Daily Confirmed COVID-19 Cases and Death