October 26, 2020

doom and gloom and statistics

In the not so distant past, I wrote about the lies that the actual number of deaths from Covid-19 were being inflated. This was debunked two months ago but came roaring back as the president, once again, accuses doctors and hospitals of fabricating the numbers. These are horrific accusations and untrue. Physicians groups are defending themselves from these false charges. In fact, excess deaths due to the pandemic in the US are about 300,000, almost all due to Covid-19, others of those deaths are due to other causes such as access to care and staying home rather than getting help. These are false and dangerous charges which will add to more stress for physicians and increase infections as people who believe our president continue to resist precautions

This news has really increased my stress and concern about how things will fare in the coming months. Already Covid-19 infections are spiking after Trump rallies. As someone described him: The Johnny Appleseed of SARS-CoV-2. Deaths from Covid-19 are now the leading cause of death in adults aged 25-44, surpassing drug overdoses. I am having a harder time understanding how people seem to accept his lies as truth, especially with the obvious harm they cause.

An interesting and important story was published today in the Washington Post about how the algorithms of Facebook draw conservatives, in particular, deeper and deeper into the pit of “alternative facts”, an echo chamber that confirms what they think is true. The algorithms are based on profit. Reddit, another social media news site, doesn’t lead to the same radicalization because there is no profit. Interesting and important read for us all. It is behind a firewall, but try to find a way to read it if you can. Finding reliable sources of news is vital for our safety as individuals and as a nation and worth supporting. Reports are that more people now are getting their news from social media rather than traditional news sources. This leaves them and us vulnerable to misinformation. Support your local or national reliable news source, if you can. They are important for our society. NewsGuard can help you discern what is reliable and what isn’t. These sites may also be a way to help pull loved ones back from the edge by offering alternate sources of information.

The next week will challenge us all, as time runs out on campaigning. I expect more and more false claims to be made. I am cutting back this week on my social media use, because it can increase depression and secondary trauma, as well as increase stress. Right now, I want to preserve my stress level and my energy, and my sleep. That is why I once again remind you to stop doom scrolling. We will all be better off for now if we can.

Wash your hands, cover your nose, keep safe six, and check your sources.

And finally, my caveat is that this is my experience and my opinions, which are subject to change as more information is available, and not related to the organization I work for. Thanks for reading.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/10/26/facebook-algorithm-conservative-liberal-extremes/

https://www.statnews.com/2020/10/16/trump-campaign-rallies-leave-a-trail-of-community-outbreaks/

https://betsybrownmd.substack.com/p/august-31-2020-a82

https://www.acponline.org/acp-newsroom/acp-falsely-accusing-physicians-of-overcounting-covid-19-deaths-for-financial-gain-is-reprehensible

https://www.emergencyphysicians.org/press-releases/2020/10-25-20-acep-rebuts-president-trumps-false-statements-about-overcounting-covid-19-deaths

https://www.statnews.com/2020/10/16/trump-campaign-rallies-leave-a-trail-of-community-outbreaks/

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.21.20217174v1

https://www.newsguardtech.com/coronavirus-misinformation-tracking-center/

https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.10.21.20217174v1

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200928125055.htm

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200929152149.htm social media and stress

https://rightasrain.uwmedicine.org/mind/mental-health/how-stop-doomscrolling-and-why-you-should