A year into the pandemic, it's extraordinary how many non-infection epidemiologists haven't spent even the tiniest amount of time learning about infections, can't explain herd immunity, R0, exponential growth, extinction, strains ... but still provide lots of 'expert' comment.
Even worse is when they deride these as too theoretical - but even busy clinicians in infection very often learn them. I wish a fraction of the time and inches attacking modelling in the press had been given over to explanation of herd immunity thresholds.
So, we need to get epidemics in the school curriculum, and odds ratios too of course.

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More from @TAH_Sci

28 Jan
Sensible and silly criticisms of modelling. (1/7)
Sensible: The model misses out some important feature of reality, or is needlessly complex. This is hard to get right, so usually has some validity. Epidemic models don't need to represent every individual, but they almost always need something beyond the simplest approaches.(2/7
Silly: The model is "too theoretical" or "just a model". People trust their lives to infrastructure models and use devices that rely on esoteric quantum phenomena. There's no science without models, we just need to get them right (3/7)
Read 8 tweets
11 Oct 20
"Herd immunity" and "protect the vulnerable", a thread. These terms have become very divisive, and having an extreme libertarian group promote them doesn't help. But for me, they reflect the central dogma of epidemiology, which is to *target* interventions. /1
The language of the "herd" is terrible; we should say "population". But either way, this should be about the strong protecting the weak. Those of us who can get vaccinated do, then our immunity protects those who can't. /2
Will this pandemic end will immunity via natural infection? Let's hope not, but we can't bet everything on elimination, treatment and vaccination. So we need a strategy for mitigation, which is where "protect the vulnerable" comes in. /3
Read 8 tweets

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