Background and scope
In the spring of 2020 three Dutch actuaries decided to come together and discuss how they could contribute to a better understanding of the Corona pandemic. Although there was limited data available, we believe that actuaries with their mathematical and modelling skills can provide insight by making future predictions. Over the last couple of months we have looked into Corona assumptions, different modelling options, and differences and similarities between countries. The concrete results of these efforts so far have been two models: one showing the long term effect on infections, and IC patients, the other reflecting the uncertainty around Furthermore we have looked into the effects for different countries around the globe.
This website provides the following information:
- Dashboard providing an up to date projection for the next 4 weeks on nr of infections, IC patients
- Simulation tool which allows the user to perform their own simulation and get a feel for the effect different variables have on the nr of healthy, infected and severely ill people
- Published articles ranging from in-depth articles describing the assumptions and modelling in great detail, to articles published in newspaper which provide a generic feel for our analyses and provide food for thought before looking into more details;
- Assumptions and references which allows the reader to do their own background research
We believe that Corona research is like running a marathon and it will take several cycles to really get to a deep understanding about the patterns we currently observe. The amount of research and data on Corona is still limited but we believe that based on new information and different policies between countries, one can get a better understanding of the impact of the virus over time by different perspectives and analyses. We therefore don’t pretend that our research of website is “complete” however think that by continuous updating we will be able to improve our understanding and continue approaching closer to the truth.
As per August 2020 we view this marathon as follows:
- Creation of a steady state markov model which predicts the long term nr effects of the virus
- Creation of a stochastic simulation generation model which provides insight in the variability of results which can be observed between countries or between regions
- Qualitative comparison between countries on the moment of the start of Corona waves and the impact that government intervention has on restricting the spreading of the virus (outstanding)
- Model improvements taking into account aspects like seasonality, additional data points, improved assumptions and more (outstanding)
- Impact of Corona or lockdown measures on the economy (outstanding)
We are not linked to any government or advisory institutions and our models are the best possible approximations of data and research which we have come across. We ourselves are not medical professionals and therefore have taken results from medical studies as given as we are not in the position to challenge them.
Feedback and comments
We are a group of independent actuaries who share these insights on a non-for-profit basis and welcome questions, comments and ideas so we can improve our understanding of the behavior of the virus which will enable societies to take preventive measures on time.
Rob Smit: Rob is a qualified actuary and has more than 20 years experience in the field of pricing models and reserving techniques. For five years Rob is the owner of restaurant RoberTine in the historical center of Lisbon, Portugal. Rob got inspired by Covid-19 to understand more about the virus, even after being forced to close his restaurant temporarily due to the strict conditions towards tourism in Lisbon. Rob has been leading a swimming club as president for more than six years. He lives in Setúbal, Portugal with his wife Tine.
Kees van Heugten: Kees is a qualified actuary and mathematician with more than 25 years of experience at insurance companies and pensionfunds. His expertise lies in the field of (actuarial) modelling, reporting and risk management. In 2019 Kees graduated as an Certified Enterprise Risk Actuary (CERA). Kees is a member of the Royal Actuarial Society and the Royal Mathematical Society of the Netherlands. Kees lives in the Netherlands (Hilversum), with Wilfreda, Dara, Giulia and the two dogs Hunter and Fox.