The best description of the 'present' that I came across durng the COVID-19 pandemic is that of 'data fog'. Reality is always difficult to guage, but during the early phase of the Corona crisis this was especially difficult. We learned the hard way that the only certainty during a pandemic is uncertainty. Since the virus is new, its characteristics - in particular the speed by which it spreads and its severity and mortality - are unknown (and while we are on a steep learning curve much remains unclear). Therefore, epidemiological modelling is an art rather than a science, and that is true even though its approach is scientific, evidence-based and contains a lot of mathematics.
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