Model Citizenry

(aka. “America’s Next Top Model”)

If you have been watching the U.S. Coronavirus Task Force briefings, you know that Dr. Birx (“Debbie” LOL) is emerging as a key player. In case you missed yesterday’s, watch this for a minute or two:

Apparently, our experts were unhappy with the model from Imperial College, so they started over and created their own. Then they found a group at the University of Washington’s IHME producing identical results.

Here is that model. Select your own state from the drop-down menu. They intend to keep it up-to-date as “facts on the ground” emerge.

The Frequently Asked Questions are worth a read. For example:

Does this show the effect of social distancing and other measures?

The model includes social distancing, and assumes continued social distancing until the end of May 2020. In states that do not currently have social distancing in place, we have assumed that they will put it in place within seven days. If they do not, then the estimates for the number of deaths and the burden on their hospital systems will reflect this and will go up.

I am not an expert, but it seems to me that widespread testing to enable contact tracing could affect these curves (cf. South Korea). As could a readily available treatment if it can keep people out of the hospital. But from where we are right now, today, these are probably the best projections you will find. And right or wrong, they are guiding policy decisions at the federal level.

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