Is Our Fight Against Coronavirus Worse Than the Disease?
There may be more targeted ways to beat the pandemic.
By David L. Katz
Dr. Katz is the founding director of the Yale-Griffin Prevention Research Center.
March 20, 2020, 11:46 a.m. ET
I am deeply concerned that the social, economic and public health consequences of this near total meltdown of normal life — schools and businesses closed, gatherings banned — will be long lasting and calamitous, possibly graver than the direct toll of the virus itself. The stock market will bounce back in time, but many businesses never will. The unemployment, impoverishment and despair likely to result will be public health scourges of the first order.
There is another and much overlooked liability in this approach. If we succeed in slowing the spread of coronavirus from torrent to trickle, then when does the society-wide disruption end? When will it be safe for healthy children and younger teachers to return to school, much less older teachers and teachers with chronic illnesses? When will it be safe for the work force to repopulate the workplace, given that some are in the at-risk group for severe infection?
When would it be safe to visit loved ones in nursing homes or hospitals? When once again might grandparents pick up their grandchildren?
从最近的事件里我渐渐地学到了一件我个人认为挺重要的事情。作为一个被正统教育系统制造出的社会有用之材，内心深处一直对权威还是抱有一定敬畏和尊重的，如果权威的结论与我的想法冲突，我会自动先怀疑自己而不是质疑权威。然而最近我经常会产生强烈的感觉，怎么权威说的话不太靠谱啊，Could WHO be talking out of their ass? Could CDC be talking out of their ass?There are many possible answers, but the most likely one is: We just don’t know.
Hell, maybe they are. 权威不见得就那么对，尤其是在突发新现象的面前，谁都没有全知全能的本事，权威很可能并不怎么高明，这很正常，因为还没有足够的数据和 consensus 形成结论。我越来越烦的是这些权威机构端着的态度，很多时候都应该说，We don't know. 然而却不肯说，只顾着发 guidelines 指导世界应该如何如何，抄这国作业，抄那国作业，实际上很虚的。如果能承认 we don't know，也许没有那么安抚大众，但真实坦白至少不会误导和添乱，making things much worse.