Pandemic Modeling, Good and Bad
Keywords:pandemic, model, epidemiology, fragility, CovidSim model
What kind of epidemiological modeling works well? This is determined by the nature of the target: the relevant causal relations are unstable across contexts. I look at two influential examples of modeling from the Covid pandemic. The first is the paper from Imperial College London, which, in March 2020, was influential in persuading the UK government to impose a lockdown. Because it assumes stability, this first example of modeling fails. A different modeling strategy is required, one less ambitious but more effective. This is illustrated by a second paper from Imperial College London, which, in December 2020, first estimated the transmissibility of the Alpha variant.
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