Salt Lake Chamber President & CEO Derek Miller says data about the COVID-19 pandemic should include more than case counts and fatality rates. Mental and behavioral health data, and economic data should also be included to provide a balanced and accurate perspective.
On the economic side, we must realize the effects of the pandemic are damaging not just to businesses but also to individuals and families. When we talk about the economy, we are talking about a system that supports livelihoods and lives.
When we talk about jobs, we are talking about people. When the economy is suffering, real people are suffering. When jobs are lost, real people are hurt. The public deserves a daily, weekly, monthly view of these impacts just as they receive daily case counts.
Like most things in life, dealing with the pandemic is about managing risk and finding the right balance. In this effort, data should guide us but not control us, and we can only accomplish this by expanding the public’s view, publicizing collective efforts, and tracking Utah’s recovery.