Armchair epidemiology—or why I’m a better runner than Eliud Kipchoge

Over the last week or two, pre-emptive postmortems on the continuing worldwide shutdowns due to Covid-19 have begun to metastasize. Their authors stand in judgment over these shutdowns, claiming to present incontrovertible facts that prove that the shutdowns were unnecessary.

These postmortems get published in widely-read, respected periodicals like The Telegraph, The Hill, and even the Wall Street Journal. The way they’re written, they sound like so much Serious Thought.