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Understanding epidemiology models

Ars Technica - June 1, 2020 - 12:15pm

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty)

One of the least expected aspects of 2020 has been the fact that epidemiological models have become both front-page news and a political football. Public health officials have consulted with epidemiological modelers for decades as they've attempted to handle diseases ranging from HIV to the seasonal flu. Before 2020, it had been rare for the role these models play to be recognized outside of this small circle of health policymakers.

Some of that tradition hasn't changed with the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic. International bodies, individual countries, most states, and even some cities have worked with modelers to try to shape policy responses to the threat of COVID-19. But some other aspects of epidemiological modeling life clearly have changed. The models, some of which produce eye-catching estimates of fatalities, have driven headlines in addition to policy responses. And those policy responses have ended up being far more controversial than anyone might have expected heading into the pandemic.

With the severity of COVID-19, it's no surprise that there has been increased scrutiny of epidemiological models. Models have become yet another aspect of life embroiled in political controversy. And it's fair for the public to ask why different models—or even the same model run a few days apart—can produce dramatically different estimates of future fatalities.

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Latest iPhone and iPad update is a toxic hellstew of bugs

ZDnet Blogs - June 1, 2020 - 11:20am
iPhone and iPad users are claiming that iOS 13.5 and iPadOS 13.5 are riddled with bugs causing severe battery drain and reboots.
Categories: Opinion

George Floyd death: Jake Paul denies looting Arizona mall

BBC Technology News - June 1, 2020 - 11:15am
The social media star told followers he was only at the protest to create content for his YouTube.

Coronavirus: How will contact tracing work in England?

BBC Technology News - June 1, 2020 - 9:40am
Millions in the UK will soon be asked to monitor who they have been near to combat coronavirus.

Drones keep a close eye on Australia’s wildlife

BBC Technology News - June 1, 2020 - 7:45am
Thermal imaging is helping to monitor and survey Australia's wildlife even in remote areas.

KSI: 'I wanted to make my parents proud through YouTube'

BBC Technology News - June 1, 2020 - 1:05am
The YouTuber says his mum and dad initially wanted him to become a doctor or lawyer.

Comic for May 31, 2020

Dilbert - June 1, 2020 - 12:59am
Categories: Geek

SpaceX Nasa Mission: Astronauts welcomed to the space station

BBC Technology News - May 31, 2020 - 10:02pm
Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken have floated into the International Space Station.

Amazon UK website defaced with racist abuse

BBC Technology News - May 31, 2020 - 5:51pm
The online giant blames a "bad actor" for the language appearing alongside multiple product listings.

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