Recomendations change

Dear Editor,

A recent letter titled “Drop the mask” denied mask efficacy, belittling Dr. Fauci and the CDC for changing their initial recommendations. In science, hypotheses are formed to fit existing data, tested against new data as it comes in, and the hypothesis changed if it proves incorrect. This is unlike theology (or politics) where truths are considered absolute and unchanging. As more was learned about how COVID spreads, experts’ recommendations necessarily changed, reflecting improved understanding.

I was told during my medical training that the most dangerous time for a patient was after we made a diagnosis, because we stopped thinking and made any new data fit our diagnosis. Changing recommendations to reflect new data is common sense. You go to your doctor with a mild cough and fever, and she diagnoses it as viral bronchitis, telling you to go home, rest, push fluids, etc. A week later you develop high fevers and cough up blood. Based on what she first knew, the approach was reasonable, but wouldn’t you expect her to change her treatment based on new data?

Michael Nesemann

Lake Mills

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