BIOL368/F20:Class Journal Week 2

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Yaniv Maddahi Response

Based on the reading by Epstein (2008)

  1. Why should scientists model the COVID-19 pandemic?
    • The reading emphasizes the idea that a model can be used to run a prediction or even to understand how something, such as an epidemic, will unfold. I would say the article goes on to express the importance of what are called “explicit models”. And in relation to COVID-19, and supported by the reading, a model of the COVID-19 pandemic can be used to educate the public, identify uncertainty, discover thresholds, and offer ciris options in near-real time. All of these aspects of a model bring light to a different aspect of COVID-19 that help to build the overall picture and understanding of it.
  2. Why did Dr. Dahlquist give this exercise?
    • I believe this exercise was given to help open our perspectives on the purpose of models. Similar to what is said in the reading, people tend to have a very narrow view of what models can be used for and thus limit the potential of models and the ways in which they can be utilized.

Three questions that I have about the COVID-19 pandemic or the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it

  1. What is the way in which it attacks the body? By what mechanism?
  2. Why has the virus continued to be so prevalent? Why does it seem to only be increasing and not decreasing?
  3. What do scientists know so far about a vaccine? How would the vaccine work?

Yaniv Maddahi (talk) Yaniv Maddahi (talk) 13:49, 29 September 2020 (PDT)

Nathan Beshai's Answers

Epstein (2008) Reflection

  1. Based on the reading by Epstein (2008), why should scientists model the COVID-19 pandemic?
  • Scientists should model the COVID-19 pandemic for a couple of reasons. One reason is that when we are imagining the pandemic we are already making implicit models that we haven't written down and it is important to see an explicit model so that it broadens our imagination to a visualization. Another reason is that it creates a reference point and branches off new questions and models. The explicit model helps anyone viewing the model to generate questions which might help them create another model that helps the pandemic. Lastly, even if the models do not help in solving the current pandemic it can help solve future pandemics. When a new situation arises, scientists look to previous models as a basis for how to treat the current crisis. This can be seen in the COVID-19 response where initially scientists were looking to SARS and Flu models to help with their decision in the current crisis.
  1. Why did Dr. Dahlquist give this exercise?
  • I think that Dr. Dahlquist gave this exercise to show that anybody can model. The article showed that even imagining a model is creating an implicit model. Another reason I think Dr. Dahlquist gave the article is because it shows how crucial creating models are for the future. Imagine no COVID-19 models were created and another COVID strand went around a couple years from now. The current models will help them treat it more efficiently since without them they would be as clueless as we were at the start of the current pandemic.

Write three questions that you have about the COVID-19 pandemic or the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it. These questions can be about any aspect, they do not necessarily have to be about modeling.

  1. Is it true that antibodies for COVID-19 only lasts for around 6 months? If so, how do we prevent an outbreak every couple of months?
  2. Going forward, would it be better to create a huge surplus of masks or manufacture our own masks as Germany did and were successful at?
  3. Are the science community going to pivot the research on viruses to any specific branch after the current pandemic?

Nathan R. Beshai (talk) 20:17, 13 September 2020 (PDT)

Anna Horvath Response

  • Based on the reading by Epstein (2008), why should scientists model the COVID-19 pandemic?
    • Scientists should model the COVID-19 pandemic because, according to the article, it is useful to have 'explicit models'. These serve to lay out the data in a presentable way in order to study something. Epstein outlines sixteen reasons why models are useful. Some of the ones that stand out to me in relation to COVID-19 are educating the general public, discovering new questions, and offering crisis options in near real-time. With COVID-19 being so new and relatively unexplored, these three reasons specifically can point scientists in the right direction. By getting the public's attention on the matter and offering new solutions through innovative questions, thus pandemic can be better understood.
  • Why did Dr. Dahlquist give this exercise?
    • Dr. Dahlquist gave this exercise in order to help us understand just how applicable modeling is. Prior to this week, modeling felt very abstract and unattainable to me because I did not believe I had the capacity to properly do it. However, I now understand how useful modeling is and it feels much more approachable. Models are very important, and being able to both develop and interpret them is an essential part of being a scientist in the modern age.
  • Write three questions that you have about the COVID-19 pandemic or the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it. These questions can be about any aspect, they do not necessarily have to be about modeling.
    • When will scientists be able to accurately predict how long antibodies last for an individual? Will we need to continually receive vaccines for the first few years to prevent subsequent outbreaks?
    • How long would FDA approval for a vaccine not from the US take? Would a vaccine produced in the US have a faster approval time?
    • If people are getting reinfected but are sicker the second time, does that mean the virus has mutated in between the time the individual first caught it and the second time they became sick?

Anna Horvath (talk) 22:21, 15 September 2020 (PDT)

Aiden Burnett's Response

  1. Based on the reading by Epstein (2008), why should scientists model the COVID-19 pandemic?
    • To explain the efficacy & necessity of social distancing & masks to the public.
    • To inform policy makers of sensible decisions.
    • To predict infection rates & pandemic duration, in order to inform the decisions of institutions and businesses.
  2. Why did Dr. Dahlquist give this exercise?
    • To educate us on the inputs, outputs, limitations, and uses of modelling.
  3. Write three questions that you have about the COVID-19 pandemic or the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it. These questions can be about any aspect, they do not necessarily have to be about modeling.
    • To what extent are Covid-19 survivors immune to future infection?
    • When will a safe vaccine be widely available in The United States?
    • How will the Covid-19 pandemic affect my job prospects after graduation in May 2022.

Aiden Burnett (talk) 23:52, 22 September 2020 (PDT)

JT Correy Response

1. Based on the reading by Epstein (2008), why should scientists model the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • There are many reasons to model the COVID-19 pandemic, all 16 proposed by Epstein can be applied to COVID. I think some of the major ones are to “explain”, “promote a scientific habit of mind”, and “discipline the policy dialogue”. As the COVID-19 virus is continuing to sweep across the world and cause significant death and illness, it is important that we are able to understand it as much as possible. By tracking and modeling the diseases, scientists can explain why it is such a significant issue to the public, as well as find ways to address it themselves. Through the production of models the amount of scientific knowledge about the virus increases. This is crucial because, as we see in America today, ignoring the science and facts of a situation, can lead to severe outcomes. By continuing to model the virus, science is continually pushed to the forefront of the conversation and thus is able to research it more and help support vaccines and therapeutics. Lastly, by producing models, scientists can direct the policy dialogue. People around the world are hurting from the virus and look to their respective government and politicians for support. If no models/data were available for the virus, these leaders would be unable to properly support their people.

2. Why did Dr. Dahlquist give this exercise?

  • I think that Dr. Dahlquist gave this exercise to push the limits of what we think a model does. Last class we talked about the different forms a model can take on, but we didn’t focus on the impacts that models can have. This reading gives great examples of why models are important and how they can be used. By applying what this article says to COVID, we are able to grasp real world examples of why modeling is important.

3. Write three questions that you have about the COVID-19 pandemic or the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it. These questions can be about any aspect, they do not necessarily have to be about modeling.

  • How far away are we (America) from reaching a point of herd immunity?
  • What is the long-term economic impact going to be?
  • Is the virus going to be able to mutate like the seasonal flu does?

Jcorrey (talk) 14:38, 16 September 2020 (PDT)

Owen Dailey Response

1. Based on the reading by Epstein (2008), why should scientists model the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Although predicting the number of future infections may be a goal of modeling the COVID-19 pandemic, there are quite a few more reasons as to why scientists should model it. Epstein would argue that modeling the COVID-19 pandemic could promote a scientific state of mind within the population, offer crisis options, and educate the general public. In regard to educating the general public by modeling the COVID-19 pandemic, I believe more people would/will gain an understanding of “flattening the curve.”

2. Why did Dr. Dahlquist give this exercise?

  • I believe this exercise was given to illustrate the fact that there are various types of models, and it was also given due to the relevance of COVID-19 modeling. As Epstein stated, many people view models as a representation of something whose sole aim is to predict; rather, models can be numerical, symbolic, or even verbal. Additionally, the more we learn about models, the more our knowledge can be applied to the current pandemic.

3. Write three questions that you have about the COVID-19 pandemic or the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it. These questions can be about any aspect, they do not necessarily have to be about modeling.

  1. Why do some patients develop neurological symptoms (is it possible the virus can be carried through the blood)?
  2. How long will it take to administer a vaccine to the entire American population?
  3. How does an S.I.R. model take into account people who are infected and asymptomatic?

Owen R. Dailey (talk) 17:58, 16 September 2020 (PDT)

Fatimah Alghanem

1. Based on the reading by Epstein (2008), why should scientists model the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Modeling COVID-19 is important because it helps in understanding the spreading of the disease. It also makes a guide to detecting the steps that a person could go through when they are diagnosed with COVID-19 and therefore actions would be taken based on that. Finally it helps to educate people about the spread of the disease and that it's necessary to follow public health guidlines.

2. Why did Dr. Dahlquist give this exercise?

  • I think Dr. Dahlquis gave this exercise in order to expand our knowledge of disease transmission. especially with the COVID-19 pendamic happening this year, it's important for us as biology majors to learn about it and how it's spreading and this excirsed helped show that.

3. Write three questions that you have about the COVID-19 pandemic or the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it.hese questions can be about any aspect, they do not necessarily have to be about modeling.

  1. was it possible for COVID-19 to be predicted before it happened?
  2. how long is it estimated that vaccination will take?
  3. Is there anyway we could prevent a pandemic like COVID-19 from happening in the future?

Falghane (talk) 20:05, 16 September 2020 (PDT)

Macie Duran

  1. Based on the reading by Epstein (2008), why should scientists model the COVID-19 pandemic?
    • SIR models are not only helpful in making predictions about COVID-19. These models also promote gaining a better understanding of the virus and taking the precautions necessary to slow the spread. I agree that creating and explaining SIR models is a great way of educating the public. Everyone must do their part to flatten the curve.
  2. Why did Dr. Dahlquist give this exercise?
    • Dr. Dahlquist assigned this exercise to show how important and effective SIR models are. Being able to understand and interpret these models is a valuable skill to have, especially at a time like this. These models can seem confusing at first, but taking the time to learn about them is worth it.
  3. Write three questions that you have about the COVID-19 pandemic or the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it. These questions can be about any aspect, they do not necessarily have to be about modeling.
    • Is it likely that SARS-CoV-2 will become a common virus in the same way that Influenza is? Will there be yearly vaccines?
    • Some people are saying that the vaccine will be ready by the end of the year. How likely is that to happen? How do we make sure enough Americans are on board to get the vaccine and gain herd immunity?
    • What are the long-term health effects of those who recover after being infected?

(Macie Duran (talk) 21:23, 16 September 2020 (PDT))

Ian Wright

  1. Based on the reading by Epstein (2008), why should scientists model the COVID-19 pandemic?
    • According to Epstein (2008), modeling COVID-19 could elucidate flaws in theory of the pandemic and educate testing processes and data collection. Modeling could also help us discover new questions to answer with data collection. It could also inform policy development by showing outcomes of alternative approaches, tradeoffs, and uncertainties.
  2. Why did Dr. Dahlquist give this exercise?
    • Dr. Dahlquist gave this exercise to give a new paradigm when considering the tool of modeling. This article was analogous to discovering that a pocket knife has not just a knife, but a screwdriver, can opener, leather hole puncher.
  3. Write three questions that you have about the COVID-19 pandemic or the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it. These questions can be about any aspect, they do not necessarily have to be about modeling.
    1. Is the genetic material for the virus sequenced?
    2. Does the 10-14 day "incubation period" entail that the patient is infectious? Or are they in a latency period?
    3. Is post-recovery immunity permanent?

Ian R. Wright (talk) 23:04, 16 September 2020 (PDT)

Kam Taghizadeh

1. Based on the reading by Epstein (2008), why should scientists model the COVID-19 pandemic?

  • Scientists should model the covid-19 pandemic in order to educate the public, as well as provide a tool that can be utilized by policymakers to guide the population. Furthermore, scientists should model the pandemic to give concrete facts regarding the pandemic, rather than one's so-called "wisdom." To Epstein, the most important aspect of modeling is that it brings about a "scientific habit of mind."

2. Why did Dr. Dahlquist give this exercise?

  • Dr. Dahlquist gave us this exercise to show us how modeling is not one-dimensional.

3. Write three questions that you have about the COVID-19 pandemic or the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes it. These questions can be about any aspect, they do not necessarily have to be about modeling.

  • Since there have been some instances of people getting reinfected, how are they going to come up with a vaccine that could truly help?
  • When do you think it will be safe for people to start going out without masks?
  • Will this virus eventually become like our yearly flu that we need to get vaccines for?

Kam Taghizadeh (talk) 23:40, 16 September 2020 (PDT)

Taylor Makela Response

  1. Based on the reading by Epstein (2008), scientists should use explicit models for the COVID-19 pandemic because it is important for scientists to give the general population a visual model in order for people to be able to understand what is currently going on. As Epstein pointed out, it is very difficult to explain uncertainties with an implicit model.
  2. Dr. Dahlquist probably gave us this exercise so that we can better understand modeling and how it can convey information and explain how things work.
  3. Questions about COVID-19:
      1. What specifically about SARS-CoV-2 makes the virus so contagious?
      2. What makes COVID-19 unique as far as why it is so difficult to make a vaccine?
      3. What are scientists doing to "rush" the process of making a vaccine?

Taylor Makela (talk) 00:01, 17 September 2020 (PDT)