I was considering writing to you concerning your recent From the Editor article. While you are certainly entitled to opine that the shutdown was a political move, I do find issue when you bring in various studies. As a math major and someone who has viewed medical studies for 20 years, I can tell you that my biggest takeaway is that I am far from an expert. Anyone can find a study that reinforces their opinion. Are you familiar with p-values? Can you explain if it is statistically significant?
You recently quoted a Brown University study, a small study that seems to have been well done. But your take on the study was that it was halachah l’Moshe m’Sinai that schools are completely safe. Additionally, your view of the WHO saying lockdowns should not be the sole means of fighting COVID-19 was also the wrong conclusion. For example, surgery should be avoided, but sometimes physical therapy will not work and you do need surgery.
Every expert will tell you that lockdowns have costs. Lockdowns should be avoided. Israel is a country where the virus spread when they opened up schools and they likely needed to lock down for a short time. You also claimed that the red zone numbers were not as high as areas like Elmhurst. I reviewed the NYC zip code case map. All the Jewish neighborhoods had high positivity rates and Elmhurst was much lower. However, there is certainly a strong case to be made against the strict lockdown measures in our community, and that is an opinion you can make. If you want to mention a study, you should speak to an expert in the field.
The real point of my letter is as follows. In Dr. Gila Jedwab’s article that I read, she talks about the Gemara in Sotah that references the generation before Mashiach as faces of the dog. If I am not mistaken, the author is saying law-abiding mask-wearing citizens have dog faces. I noticed your editor’s disclaimer at the end saying that masks are important. That does not take away from the terrible message you allow in your paper week after week. Most of it is just nonsense, but recent articles are particularly awful. You have shouted out against fraud in our community. Yet you allow fraudulent science in your paper every week. I was pitched the Cardis company more than 15 years ago. I have a lot of experience spotting fraud. You have too much of it in your paper.
Thank you for your time.