Are we over reacting? Some people think so.

This article caught my attention since so much of what we do today is based on big data. This coronavirus situation is no different. In the article John P.A. Ioannidis – professor of medicine, of epidemiology and population health, of biomedical data science, and of statistics at Stanford University – argues that as the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data adding that the consequences of extreme measures of social isolation in the long term are completely unknown and that, at present, there no reliable statistics that justify them.

The unknown obviously creates a bunch of uncertainty, and the need to know true statistics becomes critically important for decision making. I would venture to say we agree with some of what Dr. Ioannidis writes. But it’s also true that it’s impossible to figure out the denominator and the virus could infect up to 70% of the world’s population, as Marc Lipsitch from Harvard University expert warns in this interview from CBS News.  Definitely worth reading.  

Dr. Ioannidis writes, “One of the bottom lines is that we don’t know how long social distancing measures and lockdowns can be maintained without major consequences to the economy, society, and mental health.   Read the complete article here.

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3 COMMENTS

  1. Upset about the posting of this article, at this time. Those of us with autoimmune hypopituitarism would be better served right now by up-to-date information about the role of steroids in COVID-19 treatment — or exacerbation — and how to handle our complicated steroid regimens if we end up sick in an overwhelmed health system; not speculation on whether our health system is going to be up sh*t creek or 10x up sh*t creek. The issues about sustainability of social distancing are real, but I don’t think now is the time to be communicating messages that will decrease people’s understanding that social distancing is critical. The vulnerable people this disease targets include *us*. And at age 51, I’m not ready to go yet.

  2. Coincidentally, I had just read the referenced article, before receiving the Pituitary World News reference to it.
    The thing that Ioannidis’ implications leave out is, we can never re-catch-up if we don’t start with “extreme” measures to reduce the rate of spread of COVID-19, whereas we can always relax measures later.
    A bit like climate change.
    Even if you think we’re over-reacting, the future cost of having UNDER-reacted is far worse, and we can always STOP our over-reaction once we’re more sure that it had been such.
    -Jay Libove
    Barcelona, Spain (where we’ve been under nationwide lockdown for four days now, and continent-wide lockdown is coming; and we’re pretty glad for it, in hopes that our hospitals stay ahead of the terrifyingly rapidly accelerating curve).

    • Thank you Jay. I agree with your take. That is what makes this article so fascinating and thought-provoking. Many thanks for the comment. JD

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