Central Planning Gone Wild!

Apparently these modelers have combined Epidemiology, both Macro and Micro Economics, Fluid Dynamics, and Sociology.

They have calculated how and when it’s beneficial for a business to open during a pandemic. I never thought I’d apply differential equations to opening a Pizzeria but that’s just me. I give you…

Mathematical Modeling of Business Reopening When Facing SARS-CoV-2 Pandemic: Protection, Cost, and Risk

Full paper here.

Here is their preface.

The sudden onset of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has resulted in tremendous loss of human life and economy in more than 210 countries and territories around the world. While self-protections such as wearing masks, sheltering in place, and quarantine policies and strategies are necessary for containing virus transmission, tens of millions of people in the U.S. have lost their jobs due to the shutdown of businesses. Therefore, how to reopen the economy safely while the virus is still circulating in population has become a problem of significant concern and importance to elected leaders and business executives. In this study, mathematical modeling is employed to quantify the profit generation and the infection risk simultaneously from a business entity’s perspective.

Specifically, an ordinary differential equation model was developed to characterize disease transmission and infection risk. An algebraic equation is proposed to determine the net profit that a business entity can generate after reopening and take into account the costs associated of several protection/quarantine guidelines. All model parameters were calibrated based on various data and information sources. Sensitivity analyses and case studies were performed to illustrate the use of the model in practice.

The results show that with a combination of necessary infection protection measures implemented, a business entity may stand a good opportunity to generate a positive net profit while successfully controlling the within-business infection prevalence under that in the general population. The use of personal protective equipment (PPE) is also found of significant importance, especially at the early stage of business reopening.

Here is their chart variable and parameter definitions, values, and sources.

The sudden onset of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has resulted in tremendous loss of human life and economy in more than 210 countries and territories around the world.

The incredible power of this model is evident in the following paragraph from the introduction.

The implementation of each guideline above can protect employees’ health and lives but may add an economical cost. Indeed, the main purpose of reopening businesses is to prevent further deterioration of our economy by generating profits and provide incomes that many citizens desperately need. However, for employees in a contact-based position, the risk of COVID infection and transmission may remarkably increase if they return to work. When the infection rate of COVID-19 within a business entity becomes higher than the prevalence in the general population, it may trigger a domino effect and subsequent infections in a broader community originated from this business entity. Therefore, a delicate balance between profit/income generation and infection/transmission prevention must be the ideal. The focus of this modeling strategy is to provide a quantitative tool for investigating whether a business entity may reopen according to a simple definition of operational reopening feasibility: reopening is considered as feasible if a business entity can generate positive net profit after reopening while keeping the prevalence of COVID-19 infection within this entity less than or equal to the prevalence in the general population. The prevalence in the general population is assumed to remain under a certain threshold after reopening; otherwise, isolation and quarantine orders may be re-issued by government and reopening would halt, disregarding an individual business’s performance.

So they seem to be piling uncertainties of infection mechanics, infection risk, infection outcomes, business profitability, even air flow economics, is tossed into a medieval cauldron, but without acknowledging the existence of these uncertainties.

Peruse the full study for more hilarity.

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Doug Huffman
August 17, 2020 6:06 am

Plandemic central planning, hysterical hyperbolic hoax.

Thanks for the link, wandering through the Looking Glass, the question is, “Who is to be master? That is all.”

Bill Powers
Reply to  Doug Huffman
August 17, 2020 6:30 am

The Bureaucrats rule of course. shifty, dishonest, average to below average IQ. Napoleon Complexes All.

So, Scientists and Doctors fall in line or lose you funding and you licenses.

Charles Higley
Reply to  Doug Huffman
August 17, 2020 7:04 am

Instead of making the adult decision that the fire is out after a house fire, they want to have the fire department hang around for a couple of years, just in case. Instead of checking for any residual embers, they use computer models to guess if there are any and, as in math, the chance is never totally zero, they hang around forever destroying the house owner’s life.

This is called over-analyzing the problem. It is that simple. How many years have we had a flu season every year? We all reach the conclusion at some point that the flu season is over. That does not mean that there are not a few ill people, and even deaths, in the off season, but that’s what happens to old, infirm people.

Notice how they almost refuse to talk about the proportion of old people with health issues succumb during the flu season every freakin’ year! This is not a new result, but always pretend that it’s a NOVEL virus and therefore it behaves completely different from all other viruses. It is simply another SARS virus and we know a lot about them. It is highly infections which is more like a flu or simple coronavirus (covi). It came and went with the flu season and, as it has not been isolated and cultured by anybody, our tests and conclusions are patently invalid, the tests being crap, basically judging a man’s age by his beard length, ignoring all other factors.

Justin Burch
August 17, 2020 6:28 am

Brought to you by the same modellers that brought us climate change?

Reply to  Justin Burch
August 17, 2020 6:59 am

and no doubt the same modellers that that have predicted ‘A’ level examination grades here in the UK:


Quote: “testing found the accuracy of the model to be fairly low – in the range of 50 to 60 per cent.”

August 17, 2020 6:31 am

If you can’t sell pizza, you’re not really trying 🙂

Reply to  u.k.(us)
August 17, 2020 6:38 am

To be fair, there is real pizza and fake pizza, kind of like real news and CNN.

Reply to  BobM
August 17, 2020 3:00 pm

And CBS, ABC, NBC, MSNBC, Ny Times, Washington Post…..

August 17, 2020 6:32 am

So, this is just a codification of how to destroy an economy and inflict maximum harm to individual citizens. Just what was needed!

Mike Haseler (Scottish Sceptic)
August 17, 2020 6:34 am

Let’s rephrase the question: When is the right time to shut a business due to a flu bug?

Now let’s rephrase that: if the government have put the onus for any death from flu – no matter how small the risk – on the business owner – how does that affect your decision to close down your (and by extension eveny) business?

Now let’s rephrase that: if the government are paying doctors bribes to put people down as having covid so that every natural death, and even injuires are being attributed to flu, and you as a business owner are being told you are responsible for every daft claim that anyone can think of to take money away. How does that affect your decision to open?

Remember – it’s just flu, and flu does kill, but never before has anyone suggested that a flu death was anything other than bad luck. But now “it has to be stopped” and no amount of economic damage will ever be too great to stop just one death.

August 17, 2020 6:34 am

“… without acknowledging the existence of these uncertainties.”

The IPCC set the precedent for ignoring inconvenient uncertainties.

Andrew Kerber
August 17, 2020 6:43 am

‘but may add an economical cost’ Did this pass any peer review at all? If they cant get their English language syntax correct, you don’t even need to look at the rest of the paper.

Matthew Bergin
August 17, 2020 7:08 am

And 99.7% of everyone who catches it will recover. What is the big deal?

Reply to  Matthew Bergin
August 17, 2020 7:54 am


So far here in North Carolina people are mandated to wear masks in public and PEOPLE ARE STILL GETTING IT! What? How can that be?

The recent news story here were three “clusters” of CV-19 infection to students returning to UNC. One cluster was two students. What I never heard behind this story was just how sick were the kids? Were they on death’s doorstep? Or somehow were totally asymptomatic and got caught in a testing program? We will never know because the charade of the coronavirus must go on. One news story about this was an interview of a female student who was scared and returned home. I’m sure they interviewed other students who didn’t give a flip but they never make it on air.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  rbabcock
August 17, 2020 8:55 am

So, what’s the compliance rate for wearing masks in public in North Carolina? And, keep in mind that masks are meant to reduce, not eliminate, transmissions.

I will agree that the lame-stream media are clearly straining at gnats in many cases.

Reply to  rbabcock
August 17, 2020 10:11 am

“Were they on death’s doorstep?”
Isn’t that always the case when someone gets the virus?

BTW Have you heard anything new from Blooper about a time frame to lift the mandate? Or are we sticking with it until the election?

Reply to  TonyG
August 17, 2020 10:58 am

Don’t forget the Second Wave which will come in December if Trump is re-elected.

Reply to  rbabcock
August 17, 2020 11:29 am

I have a child there, at least at the moment. I hope they don’t send students home, until the quarantine center is at risk of being filled.

Reply to  Scissor
August 17, 2020 1:34 pm

I’m fairly confident that all of these State “border controls” are leaking like sieves. Even discounting the usual routes that move sex and menial labor slaves around.

Reply to  Writing Observer
August 18, 2020 5:25 am

You think?? My son flew from “red zone” Kansas to Connecticut for his grandfather’s funeral, and there was no one at the airport to show his papers to. Lest anyone think he was irresponsible, he tested negative in Kansas before he went and had proof. Also wore his mask the whole time. But no one cared.

Reply to  rbabcock
August 17, 2020 4:09 pm


That’s probably because masks (even surgical grade N95) are completely transparent to viruses (virii?). The pores are much bigger than even the largest virus you want to stop, and Covid is a single-strand RNA virus, which is quite small.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Hivemind
August 18, 2020 2:45 am


Reply to  Steven Mosher
August 18, 2020 7:09 am


Steve Case
August 17, 2020 7:23 am

Apparently these modelers have combined Epidemiology, both Macro and Micro Economics, Fluid Dynamics, and Sociology.

And maybe they conjured up the embodiment of Asimov’s Hari Seldon who was able to mathematically predict such things.

August 17, 2020 7:38 am

From what I have seen it would appear that the death rate in the US is ~0.04%

In the UK there were fewer excess deaths in July 2020 compared to July 2019, no let up in the crisis though

as the first wave of Covid deaths has declined, the trend has reversed, with lower than average deaths reported for five weeks in a row. The number of deaths registered was 3% below the five-year average in the week ending 17 July (week 29), the figures show.


Lower excess deaths in the middle of a pandemic? The Guardian helpfully explains what causes this..

Displaced mortality…

Central planning means to make the covhysteria a permanent feature

sky king
Reply to  fretslider
August 17, 2020 3:46 pm

In the Philippines there were 16% (259K vs 309K) fewer deaths in 2020 vs 2019 thru June. I haven’t found a breakdown of causes in the gov’t data, but that would be interesting. Perhaps there should be perpetual lockdowns. Freedom is apparently lethal.

shortie of greenbank
Reply to  fretslider
August 17, 2020 6:34 pm

that is 0.04% of the total population of which 1% was expected to have contracted the ‘disease’. This is roughly 4% if 100% were infected.

Another metric I had seen was that about .5% of frontline medical staff (not full of 80 and 90 year old retired folk) who contracted the disease died.

With various agencies hindering the usage of known early preventitive treatments we are losing valuable healthcare workers and other lives. Now that these treatments are being used in most countries the death rates have plummeted.

Steve Oregon
August 17, 2020 7:40 am

Central Chicanery
Here in Portland Oregon it is an art form they have perfected.
The absolute worst people in charge with progressives saturating every bureaucracy.

Ron Long
August 17, 2020 8:07 am

“Return with us now to those thrilling days of yesteryear!”. That’s right , the introduction to the masked man, The Lone Ranger. Wear a mask, rob a bank, engage in vigilante justice, or avoid excessive spreading of the China Virus. We’re all in this mess together.

Tom in Florida
August 17, 2020 8:26 am

Here’s some real facts from one area, mine.
SW Central Florida along the Gulf of Mexico. Cities of Venice, Rotonda West and portions of Port Charlotte.
Our business, appliance sales and service, did not shut down being essential.
Since March (approx 24 weeks ago), our two service techs have been on an average of 9 calls per day, 5 days a week. Total home visits: approx 1080
Our delivery people have been on an average of 5 deliveries per day, 5 days per week. Total home visits: approx 600.
Some homes were visited more than once, as in service call then purchase delivery.
Approximately 1600 homes have been visited. We call each home the afternoon before the visit and ask several health questions to ensure our people do not go to an infected home. We have had only 8 people cancel due to symptoms but not defined necessarily as having COVID.
We have walk in customers daily. All of us in the store wear masks when customers come in for their sense of well being. We do not require customers to wear masks but most do.
Take all that as you will but also consider this. The restaurants and bars are open, so are most other businesses. New construction continues. We have a very low rate of this disease in our area. But then, we are on the Gulf of Mexico with constant fresh, clean air. It is not over populated with a high population density and excessive traffic. People out and about are respectful of others and their space. People wear masks indoors. Things are good here, it is almost as if nothing out of the ordinary is going on.
Now, I may have a distorted view of what is going on elsewhere because my area is doing so well and I acknowledge that.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
August 17, 2020 9:40 am

Appliance stores in my town in BC shut down. They have now significant problems opening, because staff are getting $2000/month from Trudeau + provincial handout. Delivery guy just has to say he has a ‘vulnerable’ relative and the handouts continue. There is hugh pent-up demand from all the people whose appliances went bad during the 3 months of closure. My brother-in-law has a food store that stayed open, but he also is having to work the till and make sandwiches a lot of the time because no one wants to work more than $1000/month, because that would mean handouts were cut.

We need to crack down on the handouts and start reassuring people that the ‘worst’ is over, but the govmint just goes on an on about ‘being SAFE’.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Fran
August 17, 2020 3:02 pm

What’s worse is now the manufacturers are so backed up it is becoming difficult to get new appliances without a 3-4 week or more wait. There is a huge demand for washing machines and refrigerators which are the hardest to get in a reasonable time. Some of those are not available until late Oct/Nov.
GE has just instituted a quite substantial wholesale price increase on many items which is going to drive retail prices way up. Our bet is that the other big manufacturers will follow suit. Do not get sticker shock when buying new appliances from now on. It is what it is.

Robert MacLellan
Reply to  Tom in Florida
August 18, 2020 3:46 am

The same thing here in Nova Scotia as regards the appliance biz. Have you also noticed that parts supply has dried up with many items backordered with no firm delivery date? My retirement job at a discount/reconditioned used appliance store went from casual to full/overtime in early March and has not slowed down. We have also noted a large change in what people want with things like extra freezers being a hot item as people began hoarding.

Climate believer
August 17, 2020 8:35 am

If we carry on like this we’ll be headed for some kinda ‘Bronze age collapse’ type event that’ll have us back in the dark ages before you can sneeze into your elbow.

Wonder what’s going on in the Amish community….. do they even know?

Reply to  Climate believer
August 17, 2020 10:14 am

Probably found out when they showed up at the market to sell their furniture

August 17, 2020 8:45 am

I believe it was Michel DeMontaigne who said, about 400 years ago, “As a lamp is drowned by too much oil, so is the active part of understanding by too much study.”

Tim Gorman
August 17, 2020 8:50 am

Just another model that assumes all inputs are 100% accurate with no uncertainty. If you don’t know the uncertainty in each input then you can’t calculate the uncertainty of the output. Whoever built this model has no more idea than the man in the moon about what this model actually says.

How have things gone so bad in science today?

The Dark Lord
Reply to  Tim Gorman
August 17, 2020 12:21 pm

modeling is not science … its statistics and mathematics … just becasue some scientists try and use models does not mean that all models are science in action … some are just nonsense … like this one …

Mark A Luhman
Reply to  Tim Gorman
August 17, 2020 2:39 pm

I assume that pre Apollo their model would have predicted the moon was made of green cheese.

Tom in Florida
Reply to  Mark A Luhman
August 18, 2020 4:36 am

Way back in the mid 60’s there was much discussion about lunar dust and the depth it might be. There was a concern that it was going to be so deep that the lunar lander would sink into it and never be able to re-launch to get the astronauts home.
And before the final design of the Saturn V rocket, the concern was being able to lift enough fuel for the needed lunar insertion. You needed a bigger the rocket to lift that much fuel but that meant you needed more fuel to lift the bigger rocket which meant you needed a bigger rocket for the increased amount of fuel to be lifted which then needed more fuel to lift the bigger rocket etc etc etc.

Reply to  Tom in Florida
August 18, 2020 6:37 am

Getting marooned (stuck under the loose, disturbed “seas” of lunar dust) was the focus of at least one science fiction story I read back before the actual lunar landings back in the 60’s.

Flavio Capelli
August 17, 2020 8:58 am

I’d call this modelling effort “rather desirous”.

Abolition Man
August 17, 2020 9:12 am

They didn’t include anything in their calculations on what having a prophylactic treatment like HCQ/AZ/zinc in early stages would do for those in contact with others. If there is really a 75-80% decrease in fatalities, as the data from Switzerland and other advanced nations shows, maybe there is little need for their mumbo-jumbo and we can all open up and get back to work!
It’s funny how very few commenters seem to be denigrating the HCQ cocktail anymore; guess they must’ve actually read some of the studies that used it correctly and saw the results. Now if we can only get our power-mad politicians to stop killing our fellow citizens and let America get back to school and work. Maybe we can even resume our status among the developed nations by allowing doctors to practice medicine and throwing some lying and murderous politicians in jail!

Reply to  Abolition Man
August 17, 2020 10:17 am

“It’s funny how very few commenters seem to be denigrating the HCQ cocktail anymore”
Around here, perhaps. Out in the wild (various “average joe” forums I visit) people are terrified about the drug and screaming about how dangerous it is.

Reply to  TonyG
August 17, 2020 3:05 pm

That was the goal. Now who/what is behind the misinformation?

Clearly Democrats are not this smart.

August 17, 2020 10:11 am

Maybe they should include those pesky tracing app uncertainties, too. 😉

August 17, 2020 1:19 pm

“The sudden onset of the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic has resulted in tremendous loss of human life”

That is not what all experts say. Many experts say that the mortality caused by the virus is low and the life years loss even lower.

What we still don’t know is how many young people with mild Covid have long term health issues.

Mark A Luhman
Reply to  niceguy
August 17, 2020 2:43 pm

Having had shingles twice, my question to you is so what, virus do what virus do. You live, you work your a$$ off and you die that’s life. A lot that comes you way you have little control over, that does not mean you lay in bed and hide!

August 17, 2020 3:33 pm

Having them working on this mathematical nonsense does have the positive effect, in so far as it keeps them off the streets, rioting, smashing windows, robbing stores and setting fire to them.

August 17, 2020 3:56 pm

Because central planning in the Soviet Union went so well, right? /sarc

Bob in Castlemaine
August 17, 2020 5:49 pm

These researchers aren’t from the Royal College of London are they?

Mike Dubrasich
Reply to  Bob in Castlemaine
August 17, 2020 8:24 pm

I was curious about the authors and their institutions so I went to the link and copied the following:

The Authors

Hongyu Miao1*, Qianmiao Gao1, Han Feng1, Chengxue Zhong1, Pengwei Zhu1, Liang Wu1, Michael D. Swartz1, Xi Luo1, Stacia M. DeSantis1, Dejian Lai1, Cici Bauer1, Adriana Pérez1, Libin Rong2 and David Lairson3

1 Department of Biostatistics and Data Science School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, United States

2 Department of Mathematics University of Florida Gainesville, FL, United States

3 Department of Management, Policy and Community Health School of Public Health, University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, Houston, TX, United States

Many questions arise, but the main one is why are these institutions still operating during the Pandemic? Isn’t there a differential equation that demonstrates how useless academics should be quarantined (sheltered in their homes) to prevent them from spreading horrible infections to the general population?

If we must shut down churches, schools, sporting events, and barber shops while torching and looting city centers, then how in the heck are Universities not locked down. If there are any folks who ought to be laid off semi-permanently, these are them.

John Andrews
August 17, 2020 8:33 pm

I looked at the parameter list. they have averaged measurements that are order of magnitude apart, then carried out the result to 2 or 3 significant figures. I didn’t read the rest.

Craig from Oz
August 17, 2020 10:11 pm

So… why are we trying to prevent deaths? To protect society because society is made from the people who live in it.

How are we acting to prevent deaths? By preventing society from functioning.

Conclusion? We must destroy society in order to save it.

Yeah… That makes sense.

August 18, 2020 7:16 am

“while keeping the prevalence of COVID-19 infection within this entity less than or equal to the prevalence in the general population.”

This has it backwards. In order to stop an epidemic people have to be infected and recover with immunity. Trying to stop it while building up pockets of uninfected people simply prolongs the epidemic. Ideally restarting a business with people who were 100% immune would be perfect. Grocery stores and other large retailers have found simple distancing, control of the number of customers, and a few extra staff to direct the customers is adequate to run the store and minimize new infections at the same time.

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