Fellow monkeys -
Let me be the first to plead guilty to underestimating the coronavirus a few weeks ago.
But in the last 1-2 days, I can't help but notice a sudden rush of analysis that's suggesting this virus threat in the US may be remembered as one of the great overreactions in history. And its mostly due to bad math.
A few examples (trust me, a lot more where this came from):
- Stanford Professor says data shows we are "severely" overreacting https://www.dailywire.com/news/stanford-professor-...
- Richard Epstein (AIDS spread expert) says the leading math failed to account for adaptive behavior and only 500 Americans will die compared to common projections of 500k-1m American deaths
- After Imperial College (led by the vaunted infectious disease expert Neil Ferguson) put out an influential and scary paper 2 days ago, Nassim Taleb et al published a rebuttal pointing out major flaws.
- Dr. Drew was on the Herd today basically saying its been overblown, especially as it relates to hospital overflow
The constant theme in these examples, and others I've seen, is that there's been such a rush to crunch numbers and put out whitepapers that nobody has taken the time to be more thoughtful about making the right adjustments and applying the right assumptions to actually yield useful outcomes.
Meanwhile, other major news (like these two new drugs that appear to be virtual cures if we're being honest) has been buried in the endless rush for more (bad) data analysis. I shudder to think of how many more lives would be saved; you can find articles about these drugs that are a month old yet its a new story here.
Again, its a terrible situation no matter what and under no circumstances am I suggesting this is a time to relax our efforts.
But I am increasingly optimistic that this whole episode is about to end a lot sooner, and with a lot less human and economic damage, than anyone would've predicted just a couple days ago. And yet we're already taking measures that assume a recession based on months of 10-20% of Americans unemployed.
Curious to hear any additional thoughts/info. Everyone stay safe!