UK COVID-19 Forecast update

This is my forecast of UK COVID-19 deaths based on the England lockdown relaxation timetable. It’s more difficult to forecast now with impact of vaccines and new variants introducing more uncertainty. The outcome is highly dependent on the success of vaccine rollout, but it’s looking positive. If vaccines are effective at reducing transmission then R…

The human cost of delayed UK lockdown

I prefer looking forwards rather than backwards. And it’s easy, with hindsight, to criticise government policies. But….every day UK lockdown was delayed caused a significant increase in COVID-19 deaths. The cost of the UK’s delayed lockdown is getting intensified scrutiny due to an article in the Sunday Times. Here’s my take, based on modelling. Lockdown…

USA COVID-19 forecast

I’ve adapted my model to forecast the impact of COVID-19 in the USA. Initially, I calibrated the model to fit the UK situation – but it’s built in a way to allow assumption changes appropriate for any geographic location. Forecasting the USA as a whole is tricky, because conditions vary so much across different states…

Evaluating the model

Having built a model to forecast the future progression of coronavirus in different geographical locations, and calibrated assumptions to match the UK experience, I regularly check the forecasts against reported figures. In the UK there are several different sources for coronavirus related data. The headline figures (those with greatest media focus) are published alongside the…

A mathematical case for masks

Small changes to coronavirus infection rates make a big difference to death rates. At a time when governments across the globe consider which policy tools can best reactivate economic activity – it’s worth evaluating how even small policy tweaks can help keep the death rate down. In my blog “How to relax lockdown without a…

How to relax lockdown without a second peak

Recent data demonstrates the UK is likely past the peak of new coronavirus infections. The lockdown has done its job. Now the UK, and other countries, are contemplating strategies to relax lockdowns and revive economic activity. But it’s a tricky balancing act – because weakening restrictions too much risks a second peak of infections and…

Building a pandemic model from scratch

Introduction The coronavirus pandemic has thrust forecasting models into the mainstream spotlight. They’re now recognised as essential tools to guide government policies that could prevent or cause many thousands of deaths. Whilst it’s reassuring that such grave political decisions are influenced by models built by experts, there’s a lack of transparency about assumptions and potential…