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How Do Pandemics End? Diseases Fade But Are Almost Never Truly Gone

Epidemiologists and public-health specialists have been using mathematical models to forecast the future in an effort to curb the coronvirus’ spread. But infectious disease modeling is tricky. Epidemiologists warn that “[m]odels are not crystal balls,” and even sophisticated versions, like those that combine forecasts or use machine learning, can’t necessarily reveal when the pandemic will end or how many people will die.

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