Amidst the pandemic, there are still several people who are curating fake or sensationalized COVID-19 news. But doing so can also cause panic and harm. In the Philippines, the authorities have already arrested those who spread COVID-19 fake news. These people are now facing “Unlawful Use of Means of Publication and Unlawful Utterances” under Article 154 of the Revised Penal Code.
Worst COVID-19 Fake News
Let’s have a quick list of the worst fake information about COVID-19 that circulated globally.
- It’s just a regular flu
- Only Asians could get infected by the Coronavirus
- Garlic can also cure the COVID-19
- You only have the virus if you experience symptoms (many people have been diagnosed as asymptomatic)
- You shouldn’t order anything from China
- Vaccines for pneumonia can do the trick
- Children are safe from virus
- COVID-19 can be transmitted through food
- Warmer countries are safe from the disease
- All you need is to drink hot water to cure the virus
- 5G Network was used to spread the virus
Protect yourself from the ‘infodemic’
What is infodemic to begin with? According to experts, this means that there is excessive information about a specific problem, and that the solution is made more challenging. Simply put, information + epidemic. And yes, we can all be infected by this. So how can we protect ourselves?
Scientific studies show…
Ok, remember this. COVID-19 is a relatively new virus and it was just late last year that it was identified. Science, in general, is not a fast approach. So basically, it can take time before researchers and scientists will be able to find a solution. So if you see a headline saying that a solution has been found, do not believe it right away. These are mostly clickbait. But yes, we do hope that sooner or later, WHO and other trusted organizations will release similar headlines.
Check the sources
This leads us to our next tip. Please always check your source. There are a lot of people who will take advantage of the situation to increase website traffic. They will create fake news just to be more intriguing. But the safest way to do it is to only rely on trusted organizations such as WHO and CDC. They have complete information that we all need.
Limit your social media usage
If possible, try to limit your social media usage. It can actually be a breeding ground for fake news. Plus, there are people who are very vocal about their feelings on social media. If they feel fear or if they have anxiety, they will post it on their feed. You might think this is not harmful to you but if you keep on seeing these things, it might take a toll on your mental health. So just do something productive instead, like reading a book, building your vegetable garden, or just simply rest.
We understand that some people are sharing information to help. But without careful validation, it can even cause more harm. So, the next time that you see COVID-19 news, make sure that you check the source first. And if doubtful, do not share it.