We were not entertained by the Joshua Judges Ruth article of Thursday, Sept 24. entitled, “Franciscan student cures COVID-19 by ignoring it entirely,” although its placement in the entertainment section was correctly chosen.
The article, clearly a work of fiction, supports a commonly held sentiment that the response to the COVID-19 pandemic is overblown and advocates for ignorance over knowledge; “Don’t get tested” and your life won’t be negatively impacted.
According to the John Hopkins University of Medicine Coronavirus Resource Center, COVID-19 deaths have now reached 1 million, eclipsing the annual death rates of HIV/AIDS and malaria. That death toll would indicate a cautious response is warranted, but for how long?
The answer to that question will only come from knowledge gained from testing.
For example, the Centers for Disease Control indicated on March 18 (MMWR No. 69) a 20% hospitalization rate for COVID-19 cases across all age ranges. That was a frightening number.
However, it has become evident that the hospitalization rate was grossly inflated. The actual rate is approximately 0.2%, a 100-fold difference.
Did the author’s lie? Absolutely not! Rather, they properly disclosed that “limited testing to date” was a limitation of the study and a larger sample size was needed.
Through additional testing, a much greater percentage of COVID-19 patients have been shown to present mild symptoms that do not require hospitalization.
If you want a return to normal and not just a “new normal,” more, not less, testing is the solution. Pandemics are ended by facts not ignorance. In that regard, coronavirus testing is available free of charge every Wednesday in the plaza outside Saints Cosmas and Damian Science Hall.
Kyle C. McKenna, Ph. D., Professor of Biology
Joseph Pathakamuri, Ph. D., Professor of Biology
Daniel Kuebler, Ph. D., Professor of Biology