Models and the Virus

The world of Modeling has taken a blow, as the numbers of both those infected and those that will die have run the gamut from below 100,000 to 2 million.  538 recent survey that experts have changed their outlook from 200,000 to 263,000 as the new consensus with 1,500,000 on higher end.  A British survey went from 500,000 dead to 20,000, a change of factor of 25. Much of the guesswork is based on human activity and how Americans will follow the recommendation and also on the virus itself.

Problem with modeling is that we are basing government policies and we are still finding out about the virus itself and the data is incomplete.  The mortality rate is instructive but inaccurate since it doesn’t include many mild cases and are not random but strictly those who are seeing physicians. Since many are told to stay home unless symptoms show up.  The infection numbers are underestimating actual infection and overestimating the death mortality rate. 

Alex Berenson on his twitter site has been following Mhme_WA and notice how often they have overestimated numbers of infection, hospitalization and noted, “States and WH need to provide clarity for the end of the lockdowns. Where there be one standard?  Will states be allowed to go on their own?  Will the metric be hospitalizations, new cases, decline in either/both, something else?”

One modeler noted,” I decided to publish and speak out because the response to this pandemic is having a huge effect on the lives of vulnerable people with a profound cost and it seems irresponsible that we should proceed without considering alternative models. Imperial has a long history of involvement with government and its epidemiological models can have huge importance and translational impact but it’s tricky to use them to forecast what’s going to happen. We need to also consider alternatives.”

If nothing else, we need to review the Models and decide to what extent they were right and they were wrong.  And maybe we might want to review the model that is becoming the basis for many in determining our energy policy and Climate change.  If we are seeing questionable assumptions the basis of these policies dealing with COVID-19, then maybe we might review other models, like those dealing with Climate science.

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