Coronavirus (615) Uncertainty amidst COVID 19

17 May, 2020

A question for colleagues:

Ongoing experience with Covid-19 is educating everyone. Evidence is not yet available to settle many important issues. There are, for example, strong disagreements about how many Covid-19 deaths to expect in 2020. There are so far no good estimates of the impact of lockdowns on poverty-related deaths. We don’t know if latitude, warm weather, BCG vaccination, and/or something else explains low Covid 19 death rates in South Asia and Africa. We don’t even know if reported Covid-19 deaths are reasonably accurate throughout those regions.  

On Covid 19 as on other health issues, there is sometimes no right answer, at least  not yet. For example: Will lockdowns killmore people than they save?

Sometimes many mainstream experts think WHO or other respected authority has it wrong. For example, WHO recommends Depoprovera for all women, although many experts say it raises women’s HIV risk.

So my question is: How can HIFA help people accept that some issues are not at all settled, so there is no “best” advice about what to do in some situations?

HIFA Profile: David Gisselquist is an independent consultant in the United States and has a professional interest in nosocomial risks and transmission of HIV in Africa, agricultural development and agricultural inputs regulation, environment. Email address: david_gisselquist AT