I found this video and accompanying visualization of exponential growth on a logarithmic scale helpful, if not terrifying.

Animated plot of selected nations does not bode well for the United States. When looking at the growth along a logarithmic scale you see the United States and Italy shoot up and to the right like fireworks – racing past South Korea and China.

Singapore took quick action because of their experience with SARS but you can see the number of cases creeps back up but they are still below the trajectory of other nations. Japan and Finland have also managed to keep slightly below the trajectory of most nations but I think it’s too early to tell why.