Predicting how diseases spread is a critical component in public health efforts to fight outbreaks and epidemics.
But the coronavirus pandemic — which originated in Wuhan, China, late last year — has been plagued by wildly divergent modeling and interpretations. That has only added to the public confusion, concerns, anxiety and frustration as the disease inflicts death and economic destruction around the world.
Since mid-March, Montecito resident Brian Goebel has been studying the data sources and forecasts, and building his own predictive modeling to better understand the true threat from COVID-19 in California. He’s been sharing his findings in his Noozhawk columns — nine of them to date, since March 24.
The work is second nature to Goebel, a public policy expert and the founder of a successful applied analytics company. His conclusions and projections, however, have been first rate and spot on.
Readers have noticed and have been hanging on his every word. In fact, his April 5 column, “California Substantially Flattened the COVID-19 Curve in March,” has been read more than 170,000 times, making it the most-read article in Noozhawk’s 12½-year history.
At 1 p.m. Monday, I’ll be chatting with Goebel in an exclusive hour-long Zoom interview that will be livestreamed on Noozhawk’s homepage and Facebook page. We’ll be discussing his consistently accurate coronavirus modeling, how he succeeded, and how similar methodology could help California — and Santa Barbara County — be better prepared in the future.
We’ll also be exploring some pointed questions that the public should be asking of elected officials and policymakers.
We encourage you to join us and we invite you to submit questions for possible inclusion in the interview. Click here to pose your question through our Noozhawk Asks platform.
Noozhawk has never done anything like this before, but none of us has ever experienced a global crisis of this magnitude either. If now isn’t the time to try something new, then when?
We think the interview will be informative and helpful, and we’re excited to have you listen in. Please join us.
— Bill Macfadyen is Noozhawk’s founder and publisher. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org, follow him on Twitter: @noozhawk and Instagram: @bill.macfadyen, or click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.