Warning : Innoculation of fact checking and seeking the truth is infectious. The following is just my opinion, if you disagree and wish to prove me wrong, bring me some facts and I can research.
Those who spread information based on fear are just as much if not as dangerous as the problem itself. They spread false information based on their own fears, and spread the paranoia into the community. For those that they convince, they put those people’s wellbeing at risk. Those who don’t seek out experts and ask what danger there is can only base the facts on what they’ve overheard. They are not arming themselves against the problem in the first place. There is an infection of ignorance which breeds in an environment of fear and it spreads like wildfire.
So what can we do to stop this?
Feed your brain with facts and common sense. You should be doing this on a daily basis. Ask an expert. Read a book. Actually read, don’t skim. Avoid news services that spend more money on their video graphics than their own fact checkers and reporters. Avoid putting large amounts of speculation on things beyond your control.
If you come across those who refuse to do even one of these things, ask them to get sources proven. Call their hand, lets see the cards. Cross reference their information. If they are wrong, pass the proven facts back to who they got it from. If they refuse, they don’t care about your own wellbeing. If they are right, isn’t it great to be smart enough to change your mind and gather information from the correct people you’ve put around you?
Just remember, you’d let a neighbour change your tire for you, but would you let them perform open heart surgery on you? Would you let them invest your life savings? Would you let them tell you how to vote? So… Why would you take medical advice from them? Why would you take investment advice from them? Why would you let them tell you who should be making laws for you? The only way that I would let them would be for conversation. Or if my neighbour is a brilliant cardiac surgeon with hands of a demi god, brains and amazing spreadsheet talent of a financial wizard, and the gift of gab from a world reknown political sociologist. (If that was the case, then I’d tell them to pass me the tire iron and get to fixing things because they have better things to do with their time than helping me change a tire.)
Just because you don’t have the facts, doesn’t mean you can’t get to them in a smarter method. The internet is easy to use, don’t let it use you. Seek the truth, kill a rumor today, help a friend improve their wellbeing, you’ll thank yourself for it.
I’m still here,