I have to admit, although I expected some fear to spread because of the virus which is currently and quickly infecting the world, I was surprised by the frenzy surrounding us, especially in my homecountry (Italy) and particularly in my parents’ region which is at the moment under lockdown. I will also probably cancel my planned trip home for Eastern and perhaps also after that since the situations is still unclear and I may be unable to come back to the UK in the short time. This is pretty scary to all the people living in those territories, who are now forbidden to have any sort of public meeting and are strongly recommended to stay at home. I am afraid this will not be enough to stop the virus from spreading but of course it is useful as it is the only way we have if we want to contain it. The hope is that by summer time the heath will reduce the ability of the virus to spread and give us some time to come up with a possible vaccine in the next months.
There have already been attempts to estimate the fatality ratio of the virus using statistical methods. Here I post the tweet from Andrew Gelman
Post Edited: Coronavirus age-specific fatality ratio, estimated using Stan, and (attempting) to account for underreporting of cases and the time delay to death. Now with data and code. And now a link to another paper (also with data and code). https://t.co/CSHnXRMtyp— Andrew Gelman et al. (@StatModeling) March 9, 2020
which refers to epidemiologists who tried to use STAN for achieving this objective, although an additional reference to another work based on the use of differential equation analysis is also made. However, results are still preliminary and subject to limitations for the type of data and assumptions used. From a statistical perspective I am sure this new epidemic will be interesting to study and I guess lots of funding will be devoted to analyse the upcoming data to get a better idea of the actual threat it represents for the people. I am not an epidemiologist, so I do not have a big statistical interest in this, although I am pretty much worried as any other person. Hopefully, this will become clearer as time passes and let us just hope the number of deaths will not be very high.
Sorry about talking about this here, but from time to time I would also like to highlight was is currently happening around me. As for my research, nothing has changed much for me at the moment and life as usual continues with another busy upcoming period with lots of boring meetings, reports and standard analyses to do, but hopefully I can also save some time to do some methodological work. I am also waiting for the decision about my abstract which I submitted to the EuHEA conference 2020 and which is supposed to be held in Oslo this July. I really hope I have a chance to presenting my work there as I have never been to this specific health economic conference. Fingers crossed! Of course, nobody knows what will happen from here till July and much is to be discussed also with respect to how the spreading of the virus may affect everyone’s schedule in the next months.