The Scientific Debate Over Coronavirus: Part II


As the science surrounding the coronavirus evolves, disagreements are sure to appear. While many of these have involved the concept of asymptomatic spread — as highlighted in the first half of our two-part series — other sources of contention also limit consensus within the scientific community. Chief among these? The ongoing strength of the disease.

Is COVID-19 Conquered in Italy?

While it may seem as if the world has lived with the coronavirus for ages, it’s still less than a year old. Much remains unknown about its current — and future — volatility.

Italian doctor Alberto Zangrillo made headlines in late May, when he declared that COVID-19 “clinically no longer exists in Italy.” He made this statement while hundreds of new cases were confirmed each day in Italy. This statement prompted a healthy dose of cynicism by those in the scientific and medical communities, followed by cock-eyed optimism from citizens worldwide. Many of these optimists believe that the media has overstated the impact of COVID-19.

Italian health advisory board leader Franco Locatelli scoffs at the increasing prevalence of a sunshiney outlook, citing the still-growing numbers of COVID-19 cases as a reason to remain on guard. Still, Zangrillo is not alone in his feelings about the virus losing its potency. Infection disease clinic director Matteo Bassetti also agrees that the current coronavirus afflicting the Italian population pales in comparison to the original disease.

The One Area of Consensus: The Need for Mitigation Efforts

While medical experts and scientists may disagree on the current state of COVID-19, nearly unanimous support underscores the continued importance of masks, social distancing, and increased hygiene. After all, if the virus has begun to weaken, it’s primarily due to these methods. No matter which findings appear in weeks to come, these measures will remain vital to the ongoing mitigation of the disease.