Confused or frustrated by the news/data on COVID-19? If you follow the daily news on the coronavirus that has stopped the world in its tracks, you are probably inundated with contradictions. Back in mid-March when the pandemic label was proclaimed, we were told millions could die and we should shelter at home. The virus apparently lived on surfaces, could remain in the air for hours and was particularly devastating to the elderly. We were told to wear gloves and masks if we ventured out into a contaminated world. The elderly were told to stay home.

As we retreated to our homes, the data continued to pour over us, spreading ironically like a virus. Everything shut down, and most of us quarantined at home. As the data changed, the numbers changed and some of us began wondering why. The CDC has released new numbers, new COVID projections almost daily, on age, race/ethnicity and underlying conditions. They now produce “provisional” death counts. At some point, many began to wonder what the CDC actually knows. After all they, too, are faced with an unknown.

Add to that the human spirit, which does not like to be controlled and you have the protesters who have gathered to say no to the many regulations and orders that various governors, including Colorado’s, have imposed.

When the experts can’t agree, we have a problem. Now over 60 days in, we still don’t have consistent answers. Order is maintained when the rules of the game are clearly defined. Are restaurants open or closed? Should you go to church? Is it safe to dine out? Are we supposed to wear masks? Now we are told the virus doesn’t live on surfaces for as long as we thought, so gloves aren’t necessary. What else has changed?

A lot of America’s chaos is due to these ever-changing questions. Until the elusive vaccine is developed, we need consistency. And we can help. Don’t spread conspiracy theories, and don’t lean into the panic. Don’t let social media or rumors define your thoughts. As uncomfortable as it is, we must accept that the adage “only time will tell” applies to this pandemic more than we would like.

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