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


(3) comments

Joe Battin

Wow! JJ you are a person of many talents; political advisor, medical professional, English teacher and technology expert! You are Google in your own mind!

Jim Jones

John, I almost forgot. If the Enterprise can't afford Microsoft Excel to present Covid data in a table format, they can always download Open Office - it's free.

Jim Jones

You know what would really be helpful, John? A definition of "related" when preceded by Covid-19. Covid-19 NEVER appears by itself in State documents. Not one death has been attributed to just Covid-19. Every single time, without exception. so, how many Wyomingites died of Covid-19? The only truthful answer is, "we will never know." As of today, it could be anywhere between zero and 23 but not more than 23 which just happens to equal the number of deaths attributed to the 2018 Wyoming influenza season. I can't recall if those deaths were influenza or influenza-related. I don't recall any influenza shut downs in 2018, do you?

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