Razib Khan and Spencer Wells both also said that R>1 meant continuing contagion. I at least noted them and allowed those as "I hope this ain't true" possibilities, but I essentially dismissed them as overly pessimistic. When I accuse people of believing what they would prefer to be true rather than what is true, it's because I have had first-hand experience with this, namely myself.
I was not completely dismissive of the disease by any means. I was more on the side that the doomsayers were at least partly right, and there was a lot of death in the room already, and people dismissing this as "just the flu" were already wrong by April 2020, so why were we continuing to even listen to them anymore? I did say in May that we would have over 100,000 deaths by August 1, which was regarded rather skeptically here. I predicted that there would be both overcounts and undercounts of cases and deaths because of the newness. Different places would have different rules, and it would take a while to settle. Did he die of covid, or of the pneumonia we are pretty sure was caused by covid even though we don't have a confirmed test? (Remembering also that the CDC screwed up some test design, and the FDA worsened that by insisting for a while that was the only one that could be reliably used. I didn't predict that, though.) What about the increase in heart attacks among people who have some of these other symptoms? And household members with covid-like symptoms? Such questions of causality are often present in cause of death, which is why we look at things like excess mortality to sort it out. So I got that one right. I was partly right in predicting that the more precautionary measures worked, the more some people would claim they had never been necessary. I had an early version of that all the way back to March 2020. The related thing that I did not see - largely because I was dismissing the importance of variants - was that many people would treat the variants as equivalents and dismiss differing results of interventions with a wave of the hand*. "Oh, they didn't work." It's infuriating crap, but I have to at least grant that people weren't told that possibility (even probability) very much. I don't know that many people knew that was happening even as it emerged, nevermind beforehand, so I am not blaming anyone for not making that prediction and hammering it home right from the start. It's just that without that people were going to feel that the rug had been pulled. Rather like wartime. "You said the boys would be home by Christmas!" (Those often were not quite so. Presidents or generals might have said "We hope they'll be home by Christmas," or "We think they'll be home by Christmas." The public may have ignored such. We should be smart enough to recognise at this point that 1. War is going to cost ten times as much and 2. However well we do at first, enemy is going to adjust, too. We aren't that smart after all. So too when the enemy is disease, apparently. It adjusts.)
I haven't looked at my further predictions as we went along. I don't remember anything brilliant, and think I was usually overoptimistic but acknowledging caution, and being irritated with people who were entirely dismissive. Not very helpful really. If any of you remember anything I said that was either prescient or horribly off it's okay to mention it.
Update: While looking for a link I did see some of what i have written over the last two years. I have repeated myself, but I generally like what I was thinking.
The weakness of the "From covid vs with covid" position. From someone other than me.
A suggestion at National Review that because we are all going to get covid anyway, we should abolish restrictions. Same as the previous about jumping to conclusions.
No, that does not follow. It might be true, but you have to supply more evidence. I can understand that people might not have the obvious counterarguments occur to them in the first 24 hours. Yet I think professional commenters on national affairs at NRO should do much, much better, but people miss things. Yet after the first responses are in, how do people keep thinking "Well, we don't have to answer that. Those are just the opinions of silly people?"Note also the comment from Tom Bridgeland, a commenter who has more skin in the game than I do - or ever did - last in the thread at this point under the Jan 11 "Just Approximate Numbers" post.
I have mentioned before that people are seeing only a curated version of society because they aren't connected to hospitals. It's the same as not seeing so many things that are real but not out on Main Street: Prisons, the military, night shifts. We have this tendency to view what we do as "real life," and not notice what we don't notice, even after reminders. I imagine this is a universal trait and long has been. It did occur to me that it's not just people in health care, it is anyone connected to staffing anything. Those may not see covid death much, but they certainly see lots of cases these days. They also have the frustration of not having people who can come in because of quarantine, but they at least see some if it, unlike many of the rest of us. I wondered why my wife and I hear about so many individual cases when we are both retired, and decided it is because we are on prayer chains and are deeply connect to congregational life in general. We hear about people we know, but also many at one remove, of someone's sister with covid in another state and she is carrying for an aged relative, etc. I wonder how much not having that has affected people's perceptions the last two years.
I do also see the Main Street world and because of prayer chain, hear a lot of people losing jobs and other restriction effects. I don't know why people would think otherwise. Actually, I do know why.
*Did anyone predict that? Given human nature about lack of effort in thinking and preference for tidy explanations it looks easy in retrospect that piling them all in the same basket for convenience would happen, but I don't recall anyone who actually put that on paper in advance. "Prediction is hard, especially about the future." Niels Bohr (not Yogi Berra)