It was upsetting to read the letter to the editor published Sept. 16, in which the writer was questioning information about COVID-19. I assume the writer posed many of her questions to imply that the pandemic is a planned hoax, as many of her questions/statements were based on conspiracy theories that have gone viral on social media, and were eventually debunked. How lucky she is that nobody in her family has been impacted by COVID-19. But to many families around the world, this virus is definitely a real threat that has devastated them.
Medical advice changes all the time. Doctors and scientists learn new things and recommendations change as a result. We just aren’t used to seeing it unfold before our eyes. Ever heard that when you have diabetes, you should follow a high carb diet? Sounds crazy, but for years that’s what doctors and dietitians recommended. We know now it’s a horrible mistake to do that.
This is a novel virus, so it will be years before we have peer reviewed medical journals to access with information about it. The advice about mask wearing has never faltered; the CDC and WHO have recommended that mask wearing is one of our biggest defenses. To be blunt, I think we all need to quit acting like we have gone to medical school and put in the years of education and training that these experts have done, and trust them.
Social media, where many of these conspiracy theories pop up, is like the Wild West. Many people were never taught how to evaluate a source for credibility. People need to get their news from actual reputable news sources that withhold an unbiased view and standard of reporting fact-based news. Checking your Facebook feed is not a way to get accurate news.