Models, at their best, are simplifications of reality that even the best modelers admit don’t fully capture reality. At their worst, models aren’t even in the same time zone as reality. From the AIER staff at aier.org:
As a site focused on economics, AIER would rather have stayed away from commentary on diseases and their mitigation. In normal times, we would have.
The archives of AIER dating back to 1933 show that we had no comments on the polio epidemic (1948-1951), the Asian Flu (1957-59), the Hong Kong flu (1968-69), the Avian bird flu (2006), or the Swine flu pandemic of 2009, which was a strain most like 1918 and therefore, one might suppose, would have caused panic but did not.
We had nothing to say because disease mitigation is a job for medical professionals, not economists and certainly not politicians.
The problem is that this time, the disease mitigators (some of them, the ones in power and with the ear of politicians) didn’t stay out of economics. Indeed, their plans for mitigation trampled all over commerce, life, and the freedoms that are necessary to make it function. For a few months in 2020, the presumptuous model-building disease mitigators became central planners, overriding the wisdom of not only medical professionals but also economists, philosophers, political scientists, historians, and everyone else including legislatures and voters.