Home > Uncategorized > New Bloomberg Column: COVID-19 tracking will not work

New Bloomberg Column: COVID-19 tracking will not work

April 16, 2020

Another skeptical column from me today:


The Covid-19 Tracking App Won’t Work



See other columns I wrote here.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. Jim Carroll
    April 16, 2020 at 11:33 am


    Did you see this on fivethirtyeight?

    A Comic Strip Tour Of The Wild World Of Pandemic Modeling | FiveThirtyEight https://fivethirtyeight.com/features/a-comic-strip-tour-of-the-wild-world-of-pandemic-modeling/


  2. John Berman
    April 16, 2020 at 1:11 pm

    Thanks, Cathy. You may want to know, however, that Bloomberg has a firewall so if you don’t have a subscription, it limits the number of articles you can read.



  3. Andrew Kusmierczyk
    April 17, 2020 at 12:35 am

    Hi Cathy,
    Is one of the reasons this isn’t the flattened curve we were promised (per your latest Bloomberg piece) because it is an overlay of multiple curves? The outbreak isn’t homogeneous everywhere, so different regions within a country will experience “ramp up” periods at different times. So while the NY/NJ area has been really driving the shape of the curve early due to the sheer number of cases, as those areas flatten and start to decrease, other areas are still experiencing growth. And when you sum all the curves, the right hand side will be seen to drop off slowly because of the other regions “coming online”. As a non mathematician, I was curious to get more of your thoughts on this slow descent phenomenon you pointed out which is both fascinating and frustrating.
    Thank you!


    • April 17, 2020 at 6:31 am

      Probably! Certainly the US overall curve is a huge sum of curves. In any case I was merely pointing out that we simply cannot expect symmetry. I wasn’t even getting into modeling exactly why, but I imagine any attempt at that would be pretty complicated. I like your point though.


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