Why epidemiological models only scratch the surface of the real world

29 Apr, 2020 at 14:52 | Posted in Politics & Society | 5 Comments

 

Yes indeed — the real world is way more complicated than mathematical models of it. And when it comes to choosing policies it is most often our estimations (guesses) of those very complications that decide what actions we take!

5 Comments

  1. The interview below is less mathematical but arguably very relevant and realistic.
    Perspectives on the Pandemic #5 – follow-up interview with Knut Wittkowski

    • It seems to me the interesting and even critical thing is that he says C19 appears to be more lethal to the elderly and that the elderly must be protected.
      .
      So the elderly have to be locked down.
      .
      However, this may not be enough. Perhaps, to ensure the protection of the elderly a general lock down is necessary. Perhaps that is reason enough for a general lock down?

      • Henry,
        1. Compulsory lockdown of the elderly is not being proposed here. The proposed vigorous protection/quarantine of vulnerable groups would be voluntary.
        2. A general lockdown would almost certainly increase the dangers faced by the vulnerable because it would delay the development of herd immunity among caregivers.
        3. Vulnerable groups account for the bulk of COVID-19 hospitalisations and deaths in all countries, so it is plain that general lockdowns have been dismal failures in protecting the vulnerable.

        • Kingsley,
          .
          ” Compulsory lockdown of the elderly is not being proposed here. The proposed vigorous protection/quarantine of vulnerable groups would be voluntary.”
          .
          Not so sure about that. Wittkowski is saying that the elderly have to be protected.
          .
          ” A general lockdown would almost certainly increase the dangers faced by the vulnerable because it would delay the development of herd immunity among caregivers”
          .
          If the caregivers are being exposed to the virus and infected then they cannot be giving care, at least for a time.
          .
          “…. it is plain that general lockdowns have been dismal failures in protecting the vulnerable.”
          .
          Or it might be that the general lockdown was not stringent enough.

        • And if the caregivers are unknowingly infected and continue working, they will in turn infect the cared for.


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