It’s amazing to me how glued we are to each statement some “expert” makes about the coronavirus death toll… as if it is fact.

They say it could be 2.2 million, and we report it in all caps: 2.2 MILLION COULD DIE FROM THE VIRUS!

Then they say 220,000, and it gets reported as if it has already happened.

But let’s not forget something about the reliability of data models: they are only as good as the input data, and no one can factor in everything.

Take every economic forecast, every weather prediction, every sports betting line, every stock market tip, every hospital budget forecast, every political poll… what’s the one thing they all have in common?

None predicted the coronavirus outbreak. Not. One.

And no one can predict how this is going to unfold, either. We can use data models to try and guess. We can use empirical data combined with intuition and experience to make decisions. But no one knows.

That no one predicted the coronavirus in every other data model we use should illustrate just how unreliable they all are and how prone to major swings they are when something truly remarkable happens.

And the problem is, truly remarkable things happen all the time. Why do we suddenly think that now we know the future?