Covid-19: The Models a Year Later

One year ago, in April 2020, David Adam wrote about the epidemiological covid-19 models in Nature.

The leading model at the time was the Imperial College model developed by Neil Ferguson and his colleagues. It made startling predictions — 500,000 deaths in the UK, and 2.2 million deaths in the US.

These predictions were widely scoffed at the time, and derided as proof that Mathematical modelling is sheer quackery.

A year later, we have over 130,000 deaths in the UK and 500,000 deaths in the US. The predictions were off by a factor of 5.

But really they were pretty good. And that made the assumption that there were no lockdowns, social distancing, or mask wearing.

It’s hard to to comprehend that was just one short year ago.

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