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Beyond The Stethoscope

Jul 6, 2020

Voter Resource: How to Cut Through The Politics of COVID-19

As a public health professional, I've been getting a lot of COVID-19 Questions:

How do we go beyond the partisan political messaging to figure out when and how to reconnect with the world safely?

What data should I believe?

How do we know who to believe to keep ourselves and our families safe?

How do I look at the data?

How do I assess if my elected officials are doing a good job?

In this video, I share two methods to look at the trends over time to know what's happening in your community:

1) Add up 15 days of data

Add the new positive cases for the first 15 days of each month and divide that number by the total tests run over the same 15 days. Then compare that ratio over time. Is that ratio getting smaller? staying the same or getting bigger over time?

2) Look at Statewide Trends

Statewide data is available through the University of Washington's Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME.) It is an independent global health research center.

Here you can easily look at the trends and predictions over time. What you want to see is the number of tests go up while the number of positive cases, hospitalizations, and deaths all trend down. Let me know if this was helpful and if you'd like to see more voter resources on the intersection of public health policy and politics to cut through the partisan rhetoric to learn what the data says and how partisan political messaging impacts public health.

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