Stop Making Coronavirus Predictions

THEY ARE ALL WRONG

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The only chart/graph you need for coronavirus prediction right now

Here is a simple fact: every prediction you’ve read on the numbers of COVID-19 cases or deaths is almost certainly wrong.

All models are wrong. Some models are useful.

It is very easy to draw a graph using an exponential curve and tell everyone that there will be 10 million cases by next Friday. It is FAR harder to model infectious disease epidemics with any accuracy.

Stop making graphs and putting them online. Stop reading the articles by well-meaning people who have no idea what they are doing. The real experts aren’t posting random Excel graphs on twitter, because they are working flat-out to try and get a handle on the epidemic.

Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, practice social distancing, and please, please, try to ignore the overnight epidemiologists. Prediction is an incredibly hard thing to do.

Stay safe, and keep an eye on the news.

And remember — the best models are made after the fact. Everything else — every prediction you’re reading now — is just a guess but with statistics.

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