Effect Measure on what "so far, so good" means


I should just have a permanent pointer from here to Effect Measure. But as I've not figured out how to do that, here's some more sensible thinking from Revere:

No one on the public health side has over reacted. When an outbreak or pandemic is unfolding, you get only one chance. The window is a narrow one. CDC (and WHO) have acquitted themselves well, so far. CDC's daily briefings have been straightforward and informative. The public, understandably, has bounced back and forth from fear to relief and back again. I don't think either pole is avoidable. If the scientists are baffled and uncertain, the public has a right to be, too. But CDC has been steady and consistent in their approach (more so than HHS or Homeland Security, in my view) and they clearly understand the most important thing: this outbreak is still evolving and it is premature to write it off.

The idea this is "mild" flu virus is so far true, but mild is a relative term, as we have pointed out here. And "so far" is another important qualifier. This virus is spreading relatively quickly, but it isn't everywhere and not much time has passed. With exceedingly virulent strains like the 1918 virus many people died relatively quickly but with flu death usually comes weeks after the onset of infection. Not that many people have been infected as yet. If the pace of new cases accelerates, we will likely seem many more hospitalizations (currently there are only 35 in the US) and more deaths (currently there are two)

Here's the analogy struck me a minute ago while I was brewing coffee:

You're approaching an intersection. You see a big truck on the intersecting road is fixing to run the stop sign and smash you. You slam on the brakes -- only to find the truck has slammed on its brakes and doesn't enter the intersection. You release the brakes and roll through unharmed.

Have you overreacted?

Get it all at Effect Measure.

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