A top priority during any pandemic is to inform the public because facts save lives. But invariably, something arises to muddle the message: conspiracy theories. It happened with HIV, Ebola and it is happening with COVID-nineteen. These unfounded theories undermine health officials and prolong the pandemic and social media has been the perfect conduit. It fuels and spreads misinformation quicker than ever before.
Here�s a taste of the paranoia: Instagram posts suggest Bill Gates planned the virus to benefit pharmaceutical giants. In Alabama, facebook posts accuse bad actors of helicoptering in sick patients while in South America, some believe the virus was made to spread HIV. In the United Kingdom, people have burned down five-G cell towers fearing they made people vulnerable to the virus.
The fact is, COVID-nineteen came from bats and even though this has been verified by science, some governments are using misinformation to deflect blame. The Chinese government says the US Army introduced the virus into China.
There�s also the problem of false cures being circulated. One group used Twitter to promote a �miracle mineral supplement� containing bleach to kill the virus. Some nasal sprays claim to work and here�s a doozy � televangelist, Jim Baker, tried to sell a solution of colloidal silver as a cure on his TV show.
Empty claims won�t cure the virus, but given time, good ol� fashioned science just might.
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