Opinion

Health Care in Hues: Standing Strong Against Misinformation

With COVID-19 in evolution and the emergence of new variants, one domino propagates the other, fuelling new waves of the pandemic.

An “infodemic” (evidence overload) of misinformation propagates mixed messaging and public opinions on key public health interventions, including masking, social distancing and vaccination. Mixed messaging and public opinion, combined with pandemic fatigue, propagate an anti-masking and anti-vaccination stance, and movements against vaccine mandates across the country. Non-adherence to these basic prophylactic measures propagates increased SARS-CoV-2 acquisition and transmission; and leads to substantially worse outcomes, including a multi-fold increased risk of death.

Concurrently, many continue to try to counteract the falling dominoes. Physicians, nurses, pharmacists and other allied health continue to wade through rapidly evolving evidence to bring the most effective interventions to the bedside and provide care to patients. The call for health-care leaders to keep up with policies that respond to the changing demands – both health-related and others – with COVID-19 continues. Moreover, individuals and families continue to be called forward to join what is perhaps the biggest contribution: rolling up a sleeve to get vaccinated, keeping masked-up, maintaining social distancing, and propagating evidence-based information in response to misinformation.

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  • Gilbert Brown says:

    Very true. I don’t trust the CDC any more and it is a total confusion about mask wearing and it n 95 or maybe one more is the only save ones to wear . Most people just wear cloth mask. I am immune compromised and have sever emphysema along with Ny7asthenia Graves and take Cellcept. to lower my immune system.There is not much told about the Millions like me and it is hard to know what guidelines for us . Thanks for hearing me out . Gilbert Brown

Authors

Arnav Agarwal

Contributor

Arnav Agarwal is an internal medicine resident physician at the University of Toronto and an incoming fellow in general internal medicine at McMaster University. He has parallel interests in clinical epidemiology, narrative writing, medical education and health advocacy.

Pooja Gandhi

Contributor

Pooja Gandhi is a speech and language pathologist and PhD candidate at the University of Toronto. Passionate about graphic medicine and an artist by her second calling, Pooja is co-developer of the Health Care in Hues series, focused on bringing narratives and perspectives from the pandemic to life through graphic medicine.

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