Incompetence, waffling, moving the goalposts, disregarding unintended consequences, and being political have hurt Americans' confidence in their public health institutions.
The risk to students of reopening schools is quite small. For instance, more young adults aged 15-24 will drown than die from coronavirus. The challenge for re-opening schools is the risk posed to teachers, staff, and students' families.
Strict lockdowns might work in some countries, but they aren't going to work everywhere. Americans, in particular, reject such restrictions on liberty, which is why a strict lockdown is sort of like abstinence-only sex education.
Do people acquire long-term immunity to coronavirus? Will there be a second wave? Will there be more lockdowns? Some recent news helps shed light on these questions.
We're social animals, and we want to socialize. We're also lazy, and we want to do whatever is easiest or most convenient. Those two facts about human nature, far more than the coronavirus, will shape our future.
Infectious disease models can also describe riots. The spread of coronavirus and violent protests share many features in common, shedding at least some light on the coming summer of discontent.
The COVID-19 lockdown is responsible for both the loss of economic activity and human lives. Two independent groups of researchers concluded that the lockdown may be costing more lives than it saves.
Somewhere along the way, our achievable goal of "flattening the curve" for COVID-19 has mutated into "finding a cure," which is perhaps an impossible one. Public health and economic policy must be based on reality, not starry-eyed wish-making. Otherwise, people's lives and livelihoods are in grave danger.
If the spread of COVID-19 is unstoppable, infectious disease epidemiologist Dr. Johan Giesecke says that we must shift our public health strategy away from a futile attempt to prevent its spread and toward providing optimal care for the sickest patients.
Media headlines are almost exclusively about the coronavirus death toll and the debate over whether it's too early to begin lifting lockdown restrictions. However, there are several other observations about COVID-19 that are important, but are getting very little attention.
How would we respond differently if another outbreak happened?
Much remains unknown about the coronavirus. A new paper published in The Lancet estimates that roughly 60% of the population needs to be immune to COVID-19 to achieve herd immunity.