This Bugs Me

A New York Times article explaining how the CDC is misrepresenting the statistical risk of COVID transmission demonstrates my frustration with the COVID messaging. You cannot get good information. The news does not understand what they are reporting on, and often do not seem like they are trying. They are sensational without nuance. And then the governmental organization are so scared of being wrong that they will not share what they know to be true. That causes more confusion because what people see with their eyes and experience does not match up to what an entity like the CDC or municipal government says is occurring. And that breaks down trust. Regarding the CDC saying that less than 10 percent of transmission was occurring outdoors . . . “That benchmark “seems to be a huge exaggeration,” as Dr. Muge Cevik, a virologist at the University of St. Andrews, said. In truth, the share of transmission that has occurred outdoors seems to be below 1 percent and may be below 0.1 percent, multiple epidemiologists told me. The rare outdoor transmission that has happened almost all seems to have involved crowded places or close conversation. Saying that less than 10 percent of Covid transmission occurs outdoors is akin to saying that sharks attack fewer than 20,000 swimmers a year. (The actual worldwide number is around 150.) It’s both true and deceiving.” . . . Which gets me to the idea that we need to get back to being brave with truth. I tell my kids that when you tell the truth, there may be some consequences, but you have nothing to fear. Living a lie is hard, and telling a lie leads to fear. Read the article for an interesting analysis of the data.

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