COVID-19 has been a nightmare for science to communicate what’s going on. The fire hose of information from diverse sources with conflicting agendas feels like wearing roller skates on ice.
While the CDC is the gold standard for pandemic science in the U.S., their communications have been atrociously confusing.
The CDC shares what they know when they know it, but their updates evolve as more data comes in. For example, what are the 10-year effects from COVID-19 infections? We’ll know in another eight years.The media splashes overly simplistic sound bites to the public while the CDC follows their initial announcements with clarification and nuance that is ignored. Click To Tweet
This happened after the CDC’s April 5th announcement that “…each contact with a contaminated surface has less than a 1 in 10,000 chance of causing an infection.”
Main stream media was all over this because it was about COVID-19 yet ignored the other common infections spread by touching contaminated surfaces. And the CDC has volumes of follow-on announcements, they were just lost in the pandemic noise.
Roller Skates on Ice – Test Your Confidence
Here are a list of questions that likely (do) have answers based on science – but may keep ones’ confidence a little shaky.
Without Googling, see if you feel 100% confident answering what first comes to mind. Here goes:
- If CDC says not to worry about COVID-19 from touching surfaces, what about catching rhinovirus, influenza, norovirus, adenovirus, and MRSA from touch points?
- CDC says “If no one with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 has been in a space, cleaning once a day is usually enough” But how do we know if someone is suspected of COVID-19 when they don’t have symptoms?
- As the CDC says wear masks indoors based on one’s knowledge of the vaccination status of those around you, how can you be certain of the status of strangers?
Staying Above Water
Keeping current with the evolving science of COVID-19 is a roller coaster; there were no-masks then masks, freedom after vaccination then Delta-variant fueled surges, and now more hospitalizations, likely followed by an increase in deaths.
Take the best science has to offer. Get double vaxxed and boosted.
Will you become infected? Possibly. Will you be hospitalized and/or die? Very likely NOT. While there are no guarantees, take the increased percentages in your favor rather than the alternatives of serious illness.
And for the safety of others, wear masks when and where appropriate, try not to be a spreader (more here).
With that said, here are a few thoughts for pandemic sanity:
- COVID-19 vaccinations & boosters are #1 — believe in CDC science
- Decisions must often be made with incomplete & imperfect information — that’s life
- Scientific data evolves — it happens with Woolly Mammoths, why not with COVID-19?
- Lastly, think critically about news from social and mainstream media, check multiple sources, & decide who you’re going to trust — believe in science, even if it’s confusing sometimes
“Welcome to the Confusion Games” was first published on LinkedIn.