Link to corresponding paper:
Summary - it really is severe
The model shows how crucial the availability of a cure and vaccine has become. The death toll is directly related to the intensive care capacities that are totally unrealistic to keep up with any slow down of infections. The flu has a toll of 0.1 percent, Covid-19 allegedly a toll of 1.1 percent though some areas like Italy already show a rise close to 10 percent once the limits of the capacities are reached.
What is included with the model
It startet as just a small general model on tipping points (using the Bass function that can be found e.g. in Sterman's 'Business Dynamics'). It showed the nice bell shaped curves we also find in media and it showed the effects of delayed action or the potential for flattening the bell curve in order to win some time to develop capacities and even the vaccine and the cure. However, wondering why the German government on one hand claims to already have a lot capacities and on the other hand taking more drastic measures and announcing the increase of capacities I enhanced the model with some more parameters.
The model simulates 700 days now that there seems to be no natural slow down of infections during summertime. It uses figures from Germany.
Now it features:
- Parameters to play with the assumptions on the effectiveness of social distancing
- A possible delay of these distancing actions to show the importance of immediate action
- The number of days after which the distancing cannot be uphold anymore
- The number of days until a vaccine/cure becomes available
- The possibility to assume additional caring capacities
- A parameter to vary the proportion of untreated cases (the effect of more testing)
The social distancing is crucial and for the unrealistic assumption that it could be uphold it would take almost two years until the whole population has become effected. One doesn't recognize a bell shaped curve anymore, but rather a constant rate of cases, of healing and dying. Even with this slow continuation of infections and even with an upscaling of capacities we would not have enough capacities and face more than 1.1 percent as a death toll. But still we would have way more without effective distancing and of course we all hope that it doesn't take two years until we got the cure and vaccine for this.
The model has a switch to assume that we give up social distancing at one point of time, maybe because the governments decide so or because of some scary social chaos. Well, and that would indeed lead to a scary scenario.
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