Like a number of our friends, my wife and I are switching to a more plant-based diet but still find a steak or fish a good occasional choice. That got us to talking about why some people choose to restrict their diet. In looking for an answer I ran across a plausible explanation, that generalizes to other issues.
The CDC just revised its guidance to K-12 schools on the social-distancing guidelines for keeping students and staff safe, from six to three feet. Is the agency following the science? Bending to a new political will? Here's what led to that decision.
Social distancing reduces the possibility of becoming infected with COVID-19. A new study suggests that social distancing also applies to facilities -- in this case -- nursing homes. But how can these particular facilities do that? Read on.
COVID-19 makes us reconsider so many of our normal activities. Sure, from the perspective of exposure, driving is the safest form of travel. Planes? Perhaps not as much, as corporations and your wallet determine the seating relative to other passengers. But what about trains? Hop on board and find out.
There is a distinction between healthy concern for the coronavirus and deeply unhealthy obsession and paranoia. Guess which side Esquire magazine picked?
Thinking Aloud is an irregularly-scheduled column that considers how we think about a particular issue. First up: Given all the uncertainty surrounding COVID-19, how do you decide how you should behave?
Much remains biologically uncertain about COVID-19, especially when it comes to its infectiousness. For example, how many particles must be taken to allow the virus to begin to replicate within oneself? On the other hand, the virus particle itself is subject to well-established laws of physics. So, when it comes to masks and social distancing, how can physics inform our understanding? Let's take a look.
It's summer and COVID-19 is not only not going away, but it's getting worse by the day, largely because of idiotic public health policies. One of the worst was letting people pack themselves into indoor bars. This has worked out exactly how you'd expect it to. Plus a special visit from The Real Morons of New Jersey.
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.
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.
When it comes to unwinding the lockdown, we are faced with the urge to be social once again. And since we are also faced with huge uncertainty, what does "an abundance of caution" actually mean?
It's quite likely that the human toll from COVID-19 will not be as bad as the prediction models forecasted. That's because models contain simplifying assumptions that rarely hold true in the real world; our human response is probably the least predictable of all. And yet, while all models are useful, all models are also wrong.