Fearful of the damage that may occur from the continued surge in good news, epidemiologists are striking back.


Late last week, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) shared its updated COVID projections that run through the end of April. The IHME, a research center at the University of Washington, makes predictions at the global, national and state levels.

Here’s what the two organizations [Fred Hutch being the other one] forecast:

Using numbers most closely matching the current vaccination rate in King County, the Fred Hutch model predicts a fourth wave of cases — caused mostly by the UK variant, known as B.1.1.7 — to hit between May and August, triggering the need for a partial lockdown.

If the region is able to reach vaccination numbers closer to 45,000 a week (or 45,000 a day statewide), the fourth wave could possibly be eliminated, or delayed until fall and greatly reduced, depending on multiple factors.

IHME predicts that infection and death rates will continue declining for Washington and U.S. at least through the spring — unless we experience a worst-case scenario in which the variants begin spreading wildly, including among people who are vaccinated.


Conclusion: Lock downs and face masks forever!!!!!!

When it comes to a spring COVID surge, “I don’t think any state will allow this to happen,” said Ali Mokdad, an IHME professor and chief strategy officer for Population Health at the UW.

Of course, nearly every state already allowed this to happen last year in spite of, not because, of their restrictions.

Many of us have been locked up, locked down, socially isolated, wearing face masks since last spring. None of that worked to stop the peak waves in fall or winter.

So let’s do it all over again – because it worked so well last time!

The epidemiologists are determined to put an end to the surge in good news – and riding to their salvation are models (never mind they’ve been wrong, and sometimes massively wrong, for the past year).

Will want to follow up on these predictions over the coming months.

Related: The suicide of expertise

By EdwardM