Letter: Reporting facts without context is meaningless | VailDaily.com

Letter: Reporting facts without context is meaningless

A daily staff report on two more deaths due to the virus in the Vail Valley in the March 31 issue was unduly alarmist and bordered on irresponsible journalism. The report said two 80-year-olds died, one with underlying health conditions but the other exceptionally fit and in good health.  

No other information regarding the deaths was provided, nor any context such as the general death rate of 80-year-olds with the virus.  So, what are we supposed to conclude? That all 80-year-olds, even very fit ones, will die of the virus? For your information, last week’s TIME magazine published death rates for different age groups. The worst-case scenario for 80-year-olds was in Italy where about 20% died. That also means 80% survived. 

If you’re going to publish death notices due to the virus in the Vail Valley, then tell us the whole story. For example, how many people have been hospitalized with the virus? How many are in intensive care? How many have survived? What are their ages? Reporting facts without context is meaningless and will cause people to speculate and draw erroneous conclusions.

Bob Croteau


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