Here is my irregularly scheduled reminder about the other pandemic of misinformation. More dangerous than the actual virus itself, because people may do dangerous things due to their beliefs. We also know this pandemic can tear families and friendships apart. We all know stories of people not wearing masks, going to large gatherings, denying that COVID-19 is more dangerous than the flu. I hear more stories of people being harmed by drinking disinfectant or trying other rumor driven “cures and preventions”, as well as multiple stories about people making a stink about mask wearing and social distancing, or accusing doctors of making up causes of death to get paid extra.
Sadly, disinformation is being insidiously spread in seemingly innocent ways. Web-sites that appear to be thoughtful are full of “facts” about the dangers of mask wearing. Facebook links can spread without being vetted that make the “fact” go viral. Links in Facebook, Instagram, and other social media lead people into the deeper, darker conspiracy theories. All of these just increase our division. That is the plan of those spreading the lies.
The Infodemic blog/website (https://infodemic.blog) is full of useful information to help guide you. I also find Newsguard particularly helpful and have subscribed to it so I can make sure what I read is vetted. I have found it valuable. They have another list of coronavirus myths. (links are below) The websites, not coincidentally, are also against vaccines and deny climate change.
My hope is that we as a country can move to a new ground of trust and honesty, and away from dishonesty and division. We have entered treacherous territory as a nation and as humans. Our lives and our livelihoods are at stake. We must address these attacks on the truth for us to be safer from the COVID-19 pandemic. Only then can we re-start our economy and heal. If we can work together, everyone thrives again. It will take courage and work from us all, but can give us purpose and meaning, which is what we all crave, whether we know it or not. This will help us each find Ikagai. The world needs us to do this. Let’s choose our leaders wisely, based on values that promote caring for each other and the world.
Wash your hands, cover your nose, keep safe six, and find your Ikagai. Not to mention vote as early as you can.