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Opinion
Tyler Cowen

Bill Gates Is Really Worried About the Coronavirus. Here’s Why.

The debate is splitting into two broad camps: Call them the “growthers” and the “base-raters.”

More museums could close.

More museums could close.

Photographer: Chesnot/Getty Images Europe

Just how bad will the new coronavirus be? I can’t answer that question, but I have observed the debate splitting into two broad camps: Call them the “growthers” and the “base-raters.”

The term growthers refers to the notion of exponential growth, and indeed the number of Covid-19 cases appears (by some accounts) to be following an exponential pattern. Some scientists have estimated that the number of cases doubles about every seven days. If you play that logic out, it is easy enough to see how people might be complacent at first, then in a few months there is a public health crisis.