A Pedagogy of COVID-19: Facts from 30 Pandemic Months
Authors: Marco Roccetti
Abstract: While the scientific community, health authorities, international media and the public are still arguing about several characteristics of this virus and the patterns of its spread, after 30 months of pandemics there are now some facts, along with their dynamics, over which a scientific consensus has been finally reached. In science, it is well known that facts and observations should be explained by a hypothesis, which should be tested until it is refuted. This is not, unfortunately, still the case for many of the aforementioned agreed facts. Nonetheless, the time has come for a rapid review of those facts and relative data, which is the specific goal of this short article, while avoiding all the myriads of logical fallacies that have pervaded the universe of discussions about COVID in these months. The undisputed facts we will cite and comment include the following: mechanisms through which the virus spreads (including what is meant with a COVID wave), transmissibility and virulence (i.e. the degree to which this virus sickens and kills), role of meteorological and environmental factors in the transmission, role of control measures and vaccination, role of variants and their evolution, preparedness for pandemics and epidemics, societal impact of COVID (including factors that could explain the variation in infections and mortality across different countries). At the end, it will be evident that, even if many of these facts represent unchallenged and accepted truths, they are not still meaningfully associated with precise causes and clear underlying phenomena on any possible level, including biological, biochemical, bio-statistical, economic and social. And the conclusion is that this just means we need to do more of what we have already done so far.
Keywords: COVID-19, Public Health, Pandemics, Pedagogy
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