It’s the “ever fancier” that’s the problem, not the concept of a model. Too fancy and you learn less but impress more. The math sweet spot that I’ve written about.
You think we don’t all know this about coattailing reputation? But it works both ways re name. Oxford has a name because of all the people who have been there, as well as vice versa. Anyway, it is very clear which way the credit works for any individual you meet!
But it’s a serious issue that the weaker the intellect the more they try to impress with complexity. I said elsewhere that you need to see someone improvise on a blackboard to see if they are smart or a plodder. I have my own views on who in this forum is a plodder!
Cuch. I am not writing a paper. I am not affecting any public policy. I am not being peer reviewed. And what I am definitely not doing, because I never have, is spoon feed my students. (And you will see that in the threads on, say, characteristics in differential equations where I try to give you hints so that you learn yourself.) But if you insist on being spoon fed, here gathered together from the other threads where everything is explained already, is the simplest explanation of the back-of-an-envelope calculations.
1. Data from worldometers
2. Look at ratio of deaths to population across countries (mostly ignore claims of number infected)
3. Include Diamond Princess
4. Include major cities/states e.g. NYC
5. Judgement call on which data to prioritize. Eg Diamond Princess important as closed environment. NYC important as high population density. Small places I’ve tended throw out
6. This very clearly shows potential distribution of deaths as a fraction of local population
7. Conclusions easily drawn then on how far the disease has spread in each country
8. No need for Python. You hardly even need Excel
9. Results are in a table around here somewhere. The one where Alan says they match some US testing. I’ve heard of more testing recently that is consistent with my numbers. Eg NYC at herd immunity fraction
Anyway my vote goes to the WHO. Ferguson is doing what Ferguson does. China is doing what China does. It’s the WHO (and the WHO are responsible for Tedros Adhonam) who are dodgy. Playing it down when it was serious, now trying to cause panic when we should be calming down.