Time for authorities to change how they are communicating about Covid-19

Great column from Elizabeth Rosenthal in the New York Times today, “great” because I totally agree with it.

One of the biggest mistakes health authorities and experts have made, I think, in communicating about the dangers of getting infected in this pandemic is to sort of soft-soap the problems that may arise from an infection, not to focus on the horrendous difficulties that some people – even completely healthy young folks – end up enduring when they get infected.

And although the majority of young people who become infected will have little or no trouble with the 7-14 day course of illness (although clearly no one really knows if there will be any long-term problems even in mild cases – unlikely but not impossible), if you’re a young person who ends up sick enough to be hospitalized – as thousands and thousands of young people around the world have been – you are going to endure a very difficult and very, very scary course, something that is very hard to picture unless you’ve actually seen it.

And given the nonchalance that too many young people are still exhibiting, I think it’s time to let them know exactly how bad it can be.

It won’t work on most – nothing else has, especially gentle exhorting, so why this? – but it will work on some, and the more people – especially the young – who are convinced to wear masks and adhere to prevention protocols, the better we will all be.