Observe. Measure. Verify. Replicate.


Humanity has always been fearful of infectious disease. Vulnerability to microbes has wrought misery and havoc since ancient times. Bubonic and pneumonic plague, cholera, diphtheria, HIV, influenza, malaria, mumps, poliomyelitis, rubella, scarlet fever, smallpox, tuberculosis, typhus, yellow fever - these are some infectious diseases which have attacked entire societies and caused epidemics. If the epidemic spread to a large geographical area or to many countries it was known as a pandemic. Pandemics are not a new phenomenon but happen again and again. The COVID-19 pandemic is thus far the largest global pandemic of the 21st century. Humanity will overcome this pandemic as it has survived past scourges. We are blessed with advances in medical science such as vaccinations, anti-virals and medical devices to better monitor and treat disease. Physicians and scientists worldwide are now able to share knowledge within seconds. COVID-19 is indeed a novel coronavirus but we know much more today than a year ago. However, we must collectively remain vigilant, learn from past shortcomings, anticipate the future and prepare for the next wave, mutation, or pandemic. Preparation is essential.

While morbidity and mortality forecasting has been used extensively during the COVID-19 pandemic its accuracy has failed. Ioannidis et al. (2020) have stated that COVID modeling has been a failure. “Poor data input, wrong modeling assumptions, high sensitivity of estimates, lack of incorporation of epidemiological features, poor past evidence on effects of available interventions, lack of transparency, errors, lack of determinacy, consideration of only one or a few dimensions of the problem at hand, lack of expertise in crucial disciplines, groupthink and bandwagon effects, and selective reporting are some of the causes of these failures.”

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