Modeling COVID-19 Escalations: Recommended Simulator
by John S. Marr, MD, MPH, and Lloyd F. Novick, MD, MPH
Over the past few decades, we have become acquainted with models predicting the path of hurricanes. Now, over the last few weeks, we have become inundated with numerous graphs and “modelings” of COVID-19 escalations. They have become a regular part of the White House briefings. Dr. Tony Fauci does not rely on models for COVID-19 because the assumptions are flawed. He also notes the worst case scenarios fortunately never occur.
“There are things called models, and when someone creates a model, they put in various assumptions. And the model is only as good and as accurate as your assumptions. And whenever the modelers come in, they give a worst-case scenario and a best-case scenario. Generally, the reality is somewhere in the middle. I’ve never seen a model of the diseases that I’ve dealt with where the worst-case scenario actually came out. They always overshoot.” ~ Dr. Anthony Fauci, Real Clear Politics, March 29, 2020
This presentation by Grant Sanderson at 3blue1brown offers an outstanding understanding of this discipline. It shows how modeling for COVID-19 actually works. It is based on the inputs. How these inputs vary will predict the apex and duration of the epidemic curve as well as the effect of public health control measures on the outcomes. The advantage of this presentation is that it illustrates the dynamics of modeling and how as the factors vary, so do the outcomes. It also provides guidance on the best public health measures to stem the pandemic. This modeling shows us that the most effective strategy to address spread of disease is identifying and isolating individuals with infections. Also of importance is testing contacts of infected individuals. These are basic public health measures. Mitigation techniques, including social distancing and quarantine, are also recommended. But to the extent that they are “leaky,” or imperfect with respect to containing infected individuals, the epidemic curve can be prolonged, and the number of total cases may increase over time.
It is well worth the ten minutes to see this video once. Or twice.
Consider yourself as a host and vector of this valuable agent of information and “spread” it to your colleagues and friends.
Source: Grant Sanderson at 3blue1brown
Related Posts and Podcasts on COVID-19
- COVID-19 Stimulus Package, Direct Money Payments, and Scarcity by Dr. Gregory S. Schober
- Serological Testing and Smarter Public Health Strategies to Combat COVID-19: Podcast with Dr. John Marr and Dr. Lloyd Novick
- COVID 19: Future Scenarios and Health Care Capactiy (Podcast with Dr. Lloyd Novick and Dr. John Marr)
- COVID 19: Podcast with JPHMP Editor-in-Chief Dr. Lloyd F. Novick and epidemiologist Dr. John S. Marr
- Standardizing Financing Information Systems: Implications for Addressing COVID-19 – Podcast with Dr. Gulzar Shah, Dr. Kristie Waterfield, Dr. JP Leider, Dr. Betty Bekemeier, and Mr. Greg Whitman
- When the Going Gets Tough, the Tough Must Be Ethical by Dr. JP Leider
- Cooperative Extension as a Public Health Partner in COVID-19 Outreach by Dr. David R. Buys
- Social Distancing “Isn’t Working” for Some Young People – Why Not? by Elena Vidrascu
- Getting Creative but Remaining Rigorous, and Scientific, in Responding to a Pandemic by Dr. JP Leider
- Combatting COVID-19 Virtually: A Student Organization Perspective on Becoming Involved in the COVID-19 Response
- Thoughts on Adaptive Leadership During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Managing Close Contacts of Confirmed Cases of COVID-19 in Metropolitan Areas in China: A Community-Driven Preparedness Strategy
- Q&A with Bahareh Ansari: One International Student’s Experience and Advice During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Determining Actual Death Rate from COVID-19 in the US by Dr. Mohamed Al-Ibrahim
- What’s the Deal with Public Health Funding? by Dr. JP Leider
- The COVID Denominator by Dr. Jason S. Brinkley
- Risk Communication in Trying Times: COVID-19 by Dr. Cynthia B. Morrow
- Local Leaders Start Scaling Up the Public Health Response to Coronavirus by Chrissie Juliano
- Coronavirus and Local Health Departments: Where the Rubber Meets the Road by Dr. Cynthia B. Morrow
- Coronavirus Spreads Concern Around the Globe
Dr. John S. Marr is an American physician, epidemiologist, and author. His professional life has concerned outbreaks of infectious disease and thus his subsequent writing career has focused on that topic, particularly historical epidemics. Marr graduated from Yale and received an MD from New York Medical College. He then completed an MPH degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. Marr is a board-certified (internal medicine, preventive medicine, occupational medicine) physician and a Louisiana State University Fellow in Tropical Medicine.
Lloyd F. Novick, MD, MPH is Professor Emeritus of the Department of Public Health at the Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University. Previously, he was chair of this Department. He has served as the Commissioner of Health and Secretary for Human Services of Vermont, Director of Health Services for Arizona, and Director of the Office of Public Health for New York State. Previous academic positions include Professor and Director of the Preventive Medicine Program for SUNY Upstate Medical University, Professor and Chair of Epidemiology at the University of Albany School of Public Health, and Clinical Professor and Director of the Teaching Program in Epidemiology and Public Health at the University of Vermont, College of Medicine. He is the Founding Editor and Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Public Health Management and Practice. Follow him on Twitter. [Full bio.]
- Big Cities Health Coalition2021.06.30How Health Departments Are Addressing Substance Use Disorder and Overdose During a Pandemic
- Announcements2021.06.21AcademyHealth Call for Nominations
- Healthy People 20302021.06.16Podcast: Law and Policy as Tools in Healthy People 2030
- HRSA's Investment in Public Health2021.05.18Video Q&A — Preventive Medicine for Rural America: Why More Training Programs Must Be Here