Note: I use the term coronavirus because these posts may refer to the virus [SARS-CoV-2], which is a single type of virus, and/or the disease it causes [CoVid-19], which can appear in many different forms, depending in part on the health of the individuals and the presence of a robust health care system and epidemiological approaches.
The following recent articles shed some light on what’s right and what’s wrong with how we report — and respond to — new information about the coronavirus pandemic. One takeaway is that treating every new development as some sort of breakthrough weakens our understanding; another takeaway is that compressing information into sound bites, headlines, or tweets is very destructive.
- The Pandemic Doesn’t Have to Be This Confusing | The Atlantic — an in-depth article about the pandemic, the way it’s reported, and how we respond.
- Bill Gates explains his plan to end the coronavirus pandemic | Vox — I’m no fan of Bill Gates, but his thoughtful position on the pandemic and what’s we’re doing right — and wrong — is valuable.
- New Zealand has ‘effectively eliminated’ coronavirus. Here’s what they did right | National Geographic — the infection rate in NZ is about average, but the death rate is way below average. Clear communication from governmental leaders, willingness to take strong action as soon as the need was established, and with meaningful scientific information, seem to have made the difference.
- How to measure your nation’s response to coronavirus | National Geographic — Fast and decisive action — especially extensive testing & contact tracing — seems to be the single factor that makes a difference in outcomes.
An update from Alex Fischer strengthens earlier reports that the coronavirus did not originate in Wuhan.