In the midst of a global crisis, scientists are trying to solve an epistemologically intractable question. Defining whether a drug “works” has never been easy, a task vexed by methodological uncertainty, commercial pressures, statistical errors, or sometimes straight-out bad practices. Facing a new disease, researchers have to rethink what success even means. Is it lower mortality? Less disability upon recovery? Faster recovery? The answers are cryptic because the questions are just educated guesses.
“Every health system, every public health department, every jurisdiction really has their own ways of going about things,” says Caitlin Rivers, a senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “It's very difficult to get an accurate and timely and geographically resolved picture of what's happening in the US, because there's such a jumble of data.”
A story about testing, contract tracing and controlling the spread of the virus. Cultural taboos and privacy issues can be a detriment to stopping the spread of the virus as we learn from this story
Language matters. This author critiques the use of War metaphors in dealing with pandemics. Author reminds us that at war we require command and control, rather than the spontaneous volunteerism we have seen with self-isolation and self quarantine.