The Participation Blog

The Biggest Communication Failure of Our Time

I’ve said before that the COVID-19 pandemic has been the biggest and most consequential risk communication failure of our time. Assessing relative risk is something that most of us do almost every day – can I make this left turn in time, do I buy the cheaper or the organic apples, should I get this thing checked out by my doc now or not bother? What’s the likelihood of harm and what are the consequences? Communicating risk is about helping people understand the science and rationale of risk and to make good, trustworthy decisions. With COVID-19 deaths soon to reach a half-million people in the U.S., many people still refusing to distance or wear masks, and the most vulnerable people among us having little or no trust in the vaccination program, we have clearly failed to communicate the biggest public health risk of our time. Our highly respected colleague and friend Lucy Moore offers a well-crafted professional and personal perspective.

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