Things Seem To Be Falling Short Of The Models

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“There are 15,905 people currently hospitalized. Cuomo said two-thirds of hospitalized patients have been discharged, and the total number of hospitalizations dipped yesterday.” The numbers in New York are bad, but don’t seem to be going as predicted.


If this holds up, it’s great news, except for the models.

Plus, Florida:

Well, NYC is dense and relies on public transport in a way no other US city does. In addition, it’s north and Florida is south — so if seasonality is going to slow down spread it’s going to hit NYC later.

Or these are artifacts of reporting problems and don’t mean anything. Stay tuned. If the Wuhan coronavirus were to turn out to be seasonal, that would be huge news, though of course the 1918 flu was seasonal and came roaring back in the fall.

But note that something similar happened with Ebola: “New Ebola cases in Liberia, where streets were littered with the dead just a few months ago, now number in the single digits, according to the World Health Organization. In neighboring Sierra Leone and Guinea, the other two nations in the Ebola hot zone, new cases have fallen sharply in the last month, dropping to fewer than 100 in a week at the end of January — a level not seen in the region since June. . . . Experts are trying to understand how the disease, which has defied the ominous predictions of the world’s top infectious disease researchers, appears to be extinguishing itself with surprising swiftness. In September, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had projected that, by Jan. 20, the outbreak could reach 1.4 million cases in Liberia and Sierra Leone alone, but by that date only 21,797 were recorded in all three countries. While many have emphasized the enormous assistance hauled into the region by the United States and international organizations, there is strong evidence, especially here in Monrovia, that the biggest change came from the precautions taken by residents themselves.”

Perhaps people change behavior more swiftly than models take into account.

Meanwhile, there’s this, which I would like to be true: Covid-19: four fifths of cases are asymptomatic, China figures indicate. But that’s a much higher number than other figures I’ve seen.

Related: Estimates of the severity of coronavirus disease 2019: a model-based analysis.

All models are wrong; some models are useful.

UPDATE: From the comments: “I suspect we are seeing the impact of the much less strict voluntary measures that were taken well before the harsh lockdowns went into effect. It may turn out that washing hands was enough to stop this thing after all. Then again, maybe not. We are far from done with this and it will be about 30sec after it ends before everyone starts cherrypicking data to prove that their position was right all along.” Well, that last prediction is spot-on for sure.

ANOTHER UPDATE: How close are the latest Alabama coronavirus numbers to previous projections? “The total number of cases and deaths has fallen short of what was projected by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. IHME has sought to forecast, with advanced metrics, the amount of hospital beds needed to treat COVID-19 and the daily totals of deaths resulting from the virus.”


h/t GR


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