Early on, it was easy to understand why there was so much confusion about COVID-19, after all, it took some time before we even got a real name for the new or novel virus that is causing this pandemic.
While there is still a lot more research to do, we have already learned a lot about the best ways to help prevent and treat COVID-19 infections.
Too many people don’t seem to understand that though…
Why There is Still So Much COVID-19 Confusion
Many people also don’t understand that advice and recommendations often shift and change as we get new information.
“It is irrational to hold any view so tightly that you aren’t willing to admit the possibility that you might be wrong.”What would it take to convince you that you were wrong?
And of course, you have to expect that to happen when you are dealing with a brand new disease!
So what are people confused about?
Surprisingly, some people are still confused about just how deadly COVID-19 infections really are.
Why are so many people still confused?
“Compared with other Americans, adults who “often” use social media to get news about COVID-19 report higher levels of exposure to the conspiracy theory that the pandemic was intentionally planned.”Three Months In, Many Americans See Exaggeration, Conspiracy Theories and Partisanship in COVID-19 News
Where are they getting their information???
I’m guessing it isn’t from experts…
Who to Trust About COVID-19
Adding to a lot of the confusion we are dealing with are folks pushing misinformation.
As you learn who to trust for information about COVID-19, you will hopefully develop the skills you need to be more skeptical about all of the things you see and read.
“Although my main message is that awareness of cognitive biases can lead to more effective messages and measures to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, where cognitive bias is regarded as harmful, it may be helpful to take steps to reduce such bias. Education and awareness of cognitive biases are key, so that individuals and organisations question flawed or traditional thinking habits and try to promote evidence based thinking. At an individual level, the additional advice is to slow down in your thinking, pause and reflect, and seek external views.”Covid-19 and cognitive bias
And you will hopefully turn to sources that many of us use, including:
- World Health Organization
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center
- IDSA COVID-19 Resource Center
- CIDRAP Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Resource Center
- FDA – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
- NIH – COVID-19
- National Foundation for Infectious Diseases
- AMA COVID-19 News and Articles
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control
- Pediatric Infectious Disease Society
- JAMA COVID-19 Resource Center
- COVID-19 SARS-CoV-2 preprints from medRxiv and bioRxiv
Check your biases.
Don’t let them get in your way of following the advice from the experts that could protect you and your family from getting and spreading the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
What does that mean?
Well, if you don’t think anyone should tell you to wear a mask, then you will likely look for information and advice that says masks don’t work and aren’t necessary (confirmation bias).
You will also likely not believe any information and advice that says COVID-19 is deadly.
Well, if you believed it was deadly, then you would work to avoid it and try to keep those around you safe, including doing things like wearing a mask. Instead, cognitive dissonance, the anxiety you get from believing in two things that contradict each other, will push you towards believing things that reinforce your idea that you don’t have to wear a mask.
What to Know About COVID-19 Confusion
Tired of being confused about COVID-19 and other things?
“It’s sobering to note all the ways in which human brains distort decision processes; perhaps it’s a wonder that any good decision is ever made.”How to Make Better Decisions About Coronavirus
Be more skeptical and look for new sources of information and advice and understand how cognitive biases, heuristics, and logical fallacies affect our decision making.
More on COVID-19 Confusion
- Follow These Social Media Doctors Fighting Medical Misinformation
- What to Do if You Have Been Exposed to COVID-19
- 5 Things You Need to Know About COVID-19
- Who Supports Funding the World Health Organization?
- Cognitive Bias and Vaccine Education
- 10 Reasons You Aren’t Vaccinating Your Kids
- More Questions to Help You Become a Vaccine Skeptic
- Ask 8 Questions Before You Skip a Vaccine
- Who to Trust About Vaccines
- CDC Experts Need More Involvement in COVID-19, Not Less
- Covid-19 and cognitive bias
- Cognitive Bias and Public Health Policy During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Why so many people are biased to ignore the risks of COVID-19, according to a psychology professor
- Covid-19 Reality Has a Liberal Bias
- Covid-19 — A Reminder to Reason
- Human biases and the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic
- Why the Coronavirus Is So Confusing
- How to Make Better Decisions About Coronavirus
- Coronavirus Fact Check
- Study – Misinformation During a Pandemic
- Three Months In, Many Americans See Exaggeration, Conspiracy Theories and Partisanship in COVID-19 News
- Fact check: CDC did not add flu and pneumonia cases to its COVID-19 death count
- Amid confusion, WHO clarifies that COVID-19 can be spread without symptoms
- Still Confused About Masks? Here’s the Science Behind How Face Masks Prevent Coronavirus
- 10 steps for evaluating scientific papers
- Working out what’s reliable evidence
- Finding Reliable Health Information Online
- Evaluating Health Information
- Tips for Searching the Internet for Health Information
- Combating Bias and Stigma Related to COVID-19
- What would it take to convince you that you were wrong?
- “We need to catch that cold!”: Antivaxxers and COVID-19 deniers vs. public health
- COVID-19 Mythbusting
- Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) advice for the public: Mythbusters
Last Updated on August 22, 2020 by Vincent Iannelli, MD