Pandemic Data Crisis

Decisions are only as good as the data you base them on. With that in mind, what data are you using to base your responses to the pandemic? Who is at risk? Is the disease transmitted through the air? If so, at what range? If not, then how? Mask? No mask? Social distancing? Businesses closed? Open?

I've had enough. I want to make evidence-based decisions about how to comport myself in 2020/21. While I can't get a consistent story from our elected officials or government institutions, there is one statistic that appears to be all too accurate: excess mortality.

Compared to historical data, the US suffered more than 244,000 excess deaths between March 1, 2020 and August 16, 2020 over the average of the same time period for the previous five years. I don't know if I can trust this data either, but even if it's only 50 percent accurate, the number is staggering.

Absent leadership and a single source of truth, we are left to our own devices. Why is 2020 so much deadlier than the previous five years? What's different about it? The obvious answer is the spread of COVID-19.

I don't know if the number of reported cases is correct, or if the number of deaths attributed to coronavirus are correct. I do know that, so far, about a quarter-million more people died in 2020 than were predicted to die. That's a statistic you can use to make an evidence-based decision.

Shelly Palmer is Fox 5 New York's On-air Tech Expert (WNYW-TV) and the host of Fox Television's monthly show Shelly Palmer Digital Living. He also hosts United Stations Radio Network's, ...

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