For months we have been bombarded nonstop with COVID-19 statistics, both nationally and here in the state of Connecticut. TV stations give updates multiple times a day, in each newscast they do. We seem to be drowning in COVID information, but are we really getting all the facts that are relevant and helpful?
For example, Channel 8 in New Haven reports the number of tests administered, the positive test results, the current hospitalizations (+ or -), and the number of deaths from the prior day (+ or -). This is all well and good and useful information, but do they really put the whole COVID pandemic into true perspective or are we being snookered with just negative information?
I have seen absolutely zero reporting on the number of false positive or false negative tests. Does the state even collect this information? If not, they should as this information and the test type/brand involved affects the reliability factor of one test versus another which would be very useful information for the general public.
Many people are tested more than once, particularly if they work or are residing in hospitals and nursing homes. Are the people who test positive a second or third time added to the number of new cases reported or not, or just counted as another test administered? If they are counted as a new case that inflates the actual number and makes things seem worse than they actually are.
I have also seen zero reporting on how many people have been positive and have recovered. Wouldn’t that be a bit of positive, uplifting news for us and also an indicator of how much better we understand and are treating this COVID-19? I think so.
And finally, I have also seen zero reporting on the number of people who test positive but are asymptomatic. Does the state have any data on those people, and if so why not share it with the news media? Test result notification times vary widely too, and may be due to the brand of test administered and the testing lab that processes the tests.
Constantly reporting all the negative aspects of COVID-19 is wearing down the public’s morale and defeating the positive aspects of the improved treatment methods that have evolved since the beginning of this year. People are so tired of hearing the constant chatter about the virus that I’m sure many have taken to tuning it out.
I suspect that this has something to do with a fatalistic attitude in some people which affects their decision to wear masks, stay socially distanced, etc. Perhaps if the public saw some more positive information they would be more inclined to see a light at the end of this COVID tunnel and take more precautions with themselves when around others.
Craig Hoffman lives in Cheshire.