Infamously Bad COVID-19 Predictions

Twitter account @YearCovid is tweeting COVID-19 stories that were published a year ago. Some of those stories, of course, involve infamously bad predictions and advice.

Take Dr. David Powell, medical adviser to the International Air Transport Association, for example. On February 5, 2020, Bloomberg published an interview with Dr. Powell in which he was pretty much wrong about everything. You can tell where this is going given that the article was titled, “Forget masks to Avoid Coronavirus on Flights Says Airline Doctor.”

Among other stellar insight, Powell scoffs at the idea that there will be any widespread change in behavior due to COVID-19,

Will people stop getting together inside an airplane? I would respond by asking: Will I stop going to the movies, or sports games, or concerts or conferences? I don’t think so.

And, don’t even think about wearing masks–they apparently are more likely to spread disease than they prevent it,

First of all, masks. There’s very limited evidence of benefit, if any, in a casual situation. Masks are useful for those who are unwell to protect other people from them. But wearing a mask all the time will be ineffective. It will allow viruses to be transmitted around it, through it and worse still, if it becomes moist it will encourage the growth of viruses and bacteria.

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