Media is all about getting the ratings. How else does a news outlet survive otherwise? I’m just as guilty reading the alluring headlines and then clicking on the piece only to read —
One , the headline is hyped to get people to read information that is already well know with but the writer put just a slightly different spin on it.
Two, the article is falsely reported or twisted from the original intention in order to hook readers into emotionally charged behavior.
Three, the article guides me to buy something in order to solve my COVID problem.
Don’t get me wrong, there are intelligent articles and great reporters but the myriad of lurid news pieces catch more eyes and attention than the facts sometimes– sad but true.
I’ve learned a few lessons about my brain’s information addiction during my forced hibernation:
One, check to see if other news sources are reporting similar news.
I read stories posted on Facebook that seem too good to be true. When I double-checked its validity by typing in the article title or keywords, I would either find other sites that verified the article or said it was false news.
Two, seek out other news sources closer to the action.
When our news media and scientists floundered with what to do, I turned to Asia and listened to the doctors and scientist that regularly dealt with animal virus transmissions to humans for the last thirty years. The Coronavirus was not their first “rodeo” with a virus. They knew what to do where other countries were still guessing. This interview with the leading COVID-19 expert from South Korea is one of my favorite information pieces and is filled with important advice. I especially listened to his concern that the United States said wearing masks during this COVID outbreak would be optional.
Three, look at both sides of the political media spectrum.
I watch a CNN report and then I watch a FOX news report. I feel the truth is somewhere in the middle. I avoid the reports that do not use science but instead offer a personal opinion to convince people one way or another.
Four, look for the closest to objective reporting. The science and data speak to me in a way that gives me the information without raising my blood pressure.
I like the COVID journals posted for doctors to access. It offers a more medical perspective of the COVID pandemic and is directed toward internists and not the general public.
What did I get from all my information binges?
I learned the character of the people around me.
I still have friends tell me this virus is all made up by the Democrats. I have other friends tell me the Republicans made this far worse because the president did not act soon enough. I don’t see how the “blame game” will help solve the pandemic. It does, however, show me a person’s character in times of stress and strife.
I learned we will get through this pandemic.
I can see what I need and my family needs to do to not get the Coronavirus. I have more faith now that a vaccine will be developed and knowing that calms me down. It will take time, but I know how to act in the meantime and I follow the experts’ guidelines. Scientists in the United States and around the world are now starting to say the same thing and work together except for a few outlier countries.
Times like these I feel like fighting this virus is like “building a plane while we fly it.” We all learn as we go along. That’s okay. I like where we are heading, and I’m confident it will get through this. Hopefully, we will build one well enough that this never happens, again.
Peace, Joy, Love