Models have become the tool of choice for telling the story of the pandemic. Problem is, in journalism they’ve landed in that murky spot where demand for future certainty meets desire for catastrophising clickbait. 

They’ve fed the drift from diagnosis to prognosis. It's a jerk back to ancient Rome, where the high priests of journalism read the entrails of the moment not so much to explain what was happening, but to predict the future.

Now that facts about “what’s happened” are ubiquitous, journalists are seeking the scoop of being the first to predict what’s going to happen -- and the more awful it looks, the more likely it is to go, well, viral.