Wednesday, October 14, 2020

Covid health scores and managing risk

There are multiple services that calculate "Credit Scores".

Credit scores are used by banks and other lending institutions to manage risk. They place customers in bins based on credit score. The lowest bins are not eligible for loans at most banks.

Intermediate bins are offered a spectrum of products with the lowest bins being offered loans with the shortest duration and the highest interest rates.

Customers with higher credit scores are offered ranges of products with longer duration and lower interest rates.

Banks don't offer "better" products to customers with higher credit scores because the "like" them. Banks have a target profit rate for every loan. Lower credit scores are linked to higher default rates. The banks float the parameters of the loans offered to customers based on the profit potential as predicted by the credit score.

Why not a Covid score?

By now there is enough information around Covid to cook up a Covid risk score.

Age, BMI, heart-disease, diabetes, exercise habits, blood-type, gender and so on.

The picture in my head is that the Covid score would be advisory in nature and range from zero-to-eight-hundred exactly like credit scores.

"The best science" would make recommendations regarding risks of various activities. A weekly, cumulative risk would be suggested for each bin.

Suppose you were a twenty-something year-old with a very high Covid-health score. You get to decide whether a half-hour in a pub outweighs 20 hours at the beach. Or you can say "screw-it" and spend every happy hour at the pub but at least you have the information.

Or, if you are in a higher-risk bin you have a way to manage the risk. Suppose a person is in her sixties and has NO other risk factors. Does spending an hour in a Walmart or church pose any more risk to her than jaywalking across the street in the city?

The fear and panic is driven by the sense of loss-of-control.

Most of the fear would evaporate if people could access an on-line Covid health score calculator and the risk of various activities were denominated in Walmart-shopping-hour-equivalents.

Why Walmart? Because they have a bazillion employees and the large sample size makes it possible to tease out the incremental risk of getting Covid based on the number of hours each employee (by age group) spent working at Walmart.

People who are concerned about Covid could juggle their activities to stay beneath the advised total-weekly-risk while maximizing their benefit. The link between the Covid health score and the cumulative risk would be the stake-in-the-ground that defines "prudent risk".


  1. It's an interesting concept, but as I read through it, I was struck by the thought that it's an attempt to categorize the concept of Wuhan virus risk into some kind of quantifiable risk so that people no longer need to _think_. "We just need an app for this, you can input all your info and then this "smart" app will tell you what you should or shouldn't do." It rubs me the wrong way. Just my $.02.

  2. What sort of clown builds crap like this about a simple case of the flu?

    These numbers- CDC Sourced, really need no comment (and, thus, get none)

    2020 2,838,000* 236,000 CDC DATA CDC DATA
    2019 2,855,000 238,000 CDC DATA
    2018 2,839,205 237,000 CDC DATA
    2017 2,813,503 234,000 CDC DATA

  3. That is loonie. "The Narrative" that is c-o-v-i-d is what is scaring people.

    As "The Narrative" is slowly undermined by truth, the fear will dissipate.

  4. An online score "advisory in nature". What could possibly go wrong?

    The temptation would be irresistible to make such a thing mandatory, with required behavioral scores for certain activities. Like going to the grocery store. Or buying gasoline for your vehicle. Or even leaving your residence.

    We have seen exactly this progression with the mask mania.

    Enough already!


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