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March 20, 2021
David W. Johnson
Blogs Dispatches

Rotisserie/Fantasy Covid?

In the 1990s, I played in a rotisserie/fantasy baseball league. “Roto” combines sports, statistics, money, competition and trash talk to create a form of male nirvana. Unbelievably, my league still exists. After a very long absence, my “Fierce Johnsons” return to competition this season.

Good roto players assemble their teams to optimize statistical performance in ten hitting and pitching categories. They understand that individual players can help in some categories but hurt in others. Home run hitters rarely steal bases.

Even though “roto” is just a game, its analytic approach mirrors that required for forecasting the pandemic’s duration. Applying “systems” thinking, forecasters must navigate through dynamic environments with multiple interactive variables.

Uncertainty, luck and interplay between variables make performance predictions complex and non-linear. With COVID-19, the following interactive variables are shaping the pandemic’s time horizon:

  • Natural immunity
  • Vaccine effectiveness
  • Vaccine administration
  • New COVID-19 strains
  • Anti-vaxxer resistance
  • Public health mandates
  • Individual behaviors

As a roto season unfolds, information emerges that narrows the range of potential outcomes. This is also true for COVID-19.

Vaccine manufacturing, distribution and administration are humming along. While still prevalent, anti-vaxxer sentiment is receding. Mutant virus strains constitute a significant risk. Some states may have relaxed public health restrictions prematurely. The risk of another disease spike is significant.

Fortunately, complex problems lend themselves to simulation. Herd immunity seems likely within two-eight months. During this period, Americans’ individual and collective behaviors will influence outcome trajectories.

In roto, there’s only one winning team. With COVID-19, all Americans can be champions.


Read all dispatches from Dave Johnson here.

About the Author

David W. Johnson

David Johnson is the CEO of 4sight Health, an advisory company working at the intersection of healthcare strategy, economics, innovation. Johnson is a healthcare thought leader, keynote speaker, and strategic advisor to organizations busting the status-quo to reform our healthcare system. He is the author of Market vs. Medicine: America’s Epic Fight for Better, Affordable Healthcare, and his second book, The Customer Revolution in Healthcare: Delivering Kinder, Smarter, Affordable Care for All (McGraw-Hill 2019). As a speaker, Dave plays the role of rebel, challenger, industry historian, investor and company evaluator to push audiences forward. (Watch bio video.) Johnson applies his 25+ years of investment banking in healthcare to identify ways the healthcare industry must change to deliver better care. He received a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard Kennedy School, an English degree from Colgate University, and served in the African Peace Corp service. Join over 10k+ healthcare executives who read our weekly insights and commentary on www.4sighthealth.com. His third book, Less Healthcare, More Health: The Prescription for a Happier, More Equitable and Productive America, will publish in 2024.

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