December — on track to be US Deadliest month for COVID. Tennessee is #1 for new cases per capita

Julian Fry
2 min readDec 19, 2020

As the US case curve has continued to increase significantly, we have now seen a sharply increasing number of fatalities.

So far in December there have been just over 44,000 deaths (to Dec 18th). At an average of about 2600 deaths per day — that looks like the potential for about 70,000 deaths this month.

To put this into context, in April — at the inception of the pandemic (or at least what we casually think of as the inception) — there were 55,000 deaths in total.

In November over 4.2m new covid cases were recorded. So far in December we are at 3.8m — and likely projecting about 5.8 million cases for the month.

Tennessee is Rapidly Increasing

My home state of Tennessee is rapidly advancing up the league tables — in fact it’s #1 for new cases per capita. The 7 day moving average has increased by 50% in the past week.

The rate of daily cases is more than twice the national average — about 1,400 new cases per million per day. That’s just over 9,000 new cases per day — across a state population of 6.7m people.

Fatalities are 70% worse than the national average. Tennessee is #6 on the fatalities per capita list. South Dakota is still holding the #1 spot.

Lets look at the daily case chart below. We thought things were bad in the summer — and we peaked at abour 2400 cases per day. Now we are almost 4 times that level.

Consider this, in October, Davidson County had approximately 6,000 COVID cases. In November that almost doubled to 11,400. So far in December we are at 13,000 — and will likely end december at close to 20,000 cases for the month.

The mayor of Nashville has said that through their contract tracing efforts they know that most of this increase is happening at home (not bars and restaurants). Lets all do our part…. we can do better.

Originally published at on December 19, 2020.



Julian Fry

I’ve always been logically driven. I like to think I look at things broadly and draw observations that may not be represented by main stream media.