Dealing With Misinformation During COVID-19

#By Parvathy Suresh Kumar

Dealing with uncertainties causes significant anxiety. As the world grapples with the COVID-19 pandemic, many of us are trying to do our best to protect ourselves and our families. Our information feeds are constantly updated, some of them less accurate than others, and the need to curb misinformation has never been more vital.

With the numerous cases of false information being circulated through social media and other communication channels, it becomes increasingly difficult to navigate personal anxieties regarding the Coronavirus. So, what do we do when we are faced with an immense volume of information about COVID-19?

Educate yourself about general facts on the illness

Research through reliable resources or talk to experts to gain insights on the symptoms and protective measures required to fight the illness. Not only does this keep you informed, it also helps identify misinformation.

Ensure the validity of the source

Take the time out to verify the information passed on from social networks before accepting them as fact. Look to trusted governing and scientific authorities as sources of reliable information and guidance in navigating your activities. Use the helplines provided to get accurate answers for any queries that you may have.

Avoid sharing unverified prevention and treatment methods

Steer clear of unsubstantiated tactics to cure or prevent being affected by the Coronavirus. Also beware of attempts to deflate the threat of the illness. Use the self assessment tools provided on reliable websites or consult a medical professional if needed. It is important to know that spreading of false and unverified information may also lead to strict measures by law!

Check your own assumptions

Avoid selectively seeking out information that confirms your own assumptions, this creates an information bubble. COVID-19 can affect anybody regardless of ethnicity, age, and gender; be empathetic and avoid making assumptions regarding the spread of the disease.

Manage how you follow the media

Find a balance between being informed about the outbreak, but also avoid being preoccupied with the virus. Take a break from the news if it causes you stress. Balance your activity by reading positive pieces or watching light-hearted content.

Practice self-care

Take some time off to distance yourself from the news and the happenings around the world. Find uplifting distractions, meditate, or engage in a favorite activity to induce a sense of calm. Your mental well-being is most important!

Take care of yourself, #StayHome and #StaySafe. We’re in this together!

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