To the editor:
Language has consequences.
COVID-19-related communications should not increase misunderstanding of the situation. The use of broad terms not defined should be avoided.
The word “case” is a good example.
Is a “case,” as used by the mediums of communication (i.e. Cases spike): a person who has tested positive but has been asymptomatic for more than 14 days; a person who has tested positive but is asymptomatic; a person who is actually ill of the virus but doesn’t need hospitalization; a person who is hospitalized for an underlying cause and tests positive; a person who is hospitalized only because of the virus; or is all of these and other conditions?
Perhaps it would be useful to consider borrowing from the way baseball box scores are reported specific, defined categories followed by a number (i.e. Deaths-0).
This would be straightforward data that would provide the citizens with a truly accurate picture. It would provide the decision-makers with a substantive basis for comparison so as to engage in clear, balanced decision-making (i.e. actual health impact of virus v. actual economic impact.)
(s) john gordnier