Modeling COVID-19 epidemics in an Excel spreadsheet: Democratizing the access to first-hand accurate predictions of epidemic outbreaks

Mario Alvarez, Everardo González-González, Grissel Trujillo-de Santiago

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Received date: 29th March 2020

COVID-19, the first pandemic of this decade and the second in less than 15 years, has harshly taught us that viral diseases do not recognize boundaries; however, they truly do discriminate between aggressive and mediocre containment responses.
We present a simple epidemiological model that is amenable to implementation in Excel spreadsheets and sufficiently accurate to reproduce observed data on the evolution of the COVID-19 pandemics in different regions (i.e., Italy, Spain, and New York City (NYC)). We also show that the model can be adapted to closely follow the evolution of COVID-19 in any large city by simply adjusting two parameters related to (a) population density and (b) aggressiveness of the response from a society/government to epidemics. Moreover, we show that this simple epidemiological simulator can be used to assess the efficacy of the response of a government/society to an outbreak.
The simplicity and accuracy of this model will greatly contribute to democratizing the availability of knowledge in societies regarding the extent of an epidemic event and the efficacy of a governmental response.

Read in full at medRxiv.

This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on a preprint server, which is currently undergoing peer review at Scientific Reports. The findings have yet to be thoroughly evaluated, nor has a decision on ultimate publication been made. Therefore, the results reported should not be considered conclusive, and these findings should not be used to inform clinical practice, or public health policy, or be promoted as verified information.

Scientific Reports

Nature Research, Springer Nature