Person infects. . And it is not hard to imagine that an epidemic with a high reproductive rate could have devastating effects. In order for the SIR model to be able to predictively and effectively simulate the future evolution of the epidemic. It is necessary to know these parameters. Which is very difficult in situations such as the one we live in with a shortage of useful data. Derived from the lack of sufficient evidence among the population. The SIR model does. However. Clearly point out that the Achilles’ heel of the epidemic lies precisely in the blessed reproductive number and that the best way to attack it is by reducing the number of contacts.
Hence. Today. The only effective measure available to us is social isolation. As it is unpopular. In the same way that it is essential to damage the forest with firebreaks to save it in the event of a fire. Interpersonal distance is the only barrier that the virus is not able to jump. An attentive reader will have already noticed that. Despite everything. The SIR model cannot contain the whole truth. At what scale should we apply it? Worldwide. By states. By regions. Cities or even by neighborhoods? It is clear that the epidemic is not raging equally in all places. It is at this point where a mathematician would respond that this type of model constitutes a laboratory in which one can experiment. Today in a very effective way through computer simulations.
Thanks to the powerful tools offered
By scientific calculation. But that the battle is later to face it in the realm of reality. Like it or not. This has always been the case and will continue to be so in all fields of Science and Engineering. Including of course the Social and Life Sciences. Einstein also had this in mind when he said that “insofar as the laws of mathematics refer to reality. They are not exact. And insofar as they are exact. They do not refer to reality.” The human could have chosen another way to develop his life. But he chose Mathematics and today it is difficult to imagine how he could have done otherwise. Being aware of this. And giving Mathematics the role it deserves as the best approximation available to a highly complex reality.
The horizon drawn by these models unfortunately coincides with what we are seeing in practice. A slow decline of the epidemic after reaching its peak and that always under the premise that sufficient social distancing measures are maintained. And the systems control theory also predicts that the control of any complex process will necessarily have an oscillatory. Intermittent character. Being impossible to avoid spikes. Which requires a permanent feedback action. Adapting the measures to the evolution of the indices. In fact. Nothing very different from what happens in all other areas of nature and our society. We live in an overabundance of data .
One of the most fertile fields of hybridization
Of Mathematics and Computer Science. Allows us to extract relevant information . Classify it. Analyze it. But also teaches us that it is impossible to guess in the absence of critical information. Hence. In the case of COVID19. The most effective countries in tackling the pandemic have been those that have been in a position to apply the appropriate technological resources when identifying the citizens of group I of those infected and their possible field of contagion. . Taking action on your environment. Perhaps the human could have chosen another way to develop his life on the planet. But he chose Mathematics and today it is difficult to imagine how he could have done otherwise. For all these reasons. Also on this occasion. Better with Mathematics .