03/22: Can We Predict When the Pandemic Will End?

“When will all of this end?” has certainly been a question lingering in the minds of many, jaded from the year of quarantines, social distancing, and constant hand washing. At the rapid development of the pandemic, epidemiologists across the globe scrambled to create predictive quantitative models and projections of the end of the pandemic ranged from Summer 2020 to 2022. Researchers at the National Academy of Sciences of Belarus recently proposed a kinetic mathematical model for the spread of epidemics to test how accurate it could be in real-life applications. The model considers factors such as the dynamics of the variation in the number of disease-free, infected, and recovered cases. They compared what predictive outcomes they would have calculated using this model and compared it to the Covid-19 pandemic data and found that such models can reliably forecast an epidemic for a period of up to two months. This paper gives us a glimmer of hope that if a similar event were to ever happen again, we would be better prepared with better models to guide us.