While the internet and social media have generally been a good thing in our lives, they can also foster the rapid spread of disinformation. This disinformation can often be harmful to your well-being - especially in the current environment. As you probably know, social media is overflowing with distorted claims and downright incorrect information about the coronavirus outbreak. It is so widespread that it's being dubbed an "infodemic." And it's causing plenty of its own damage.
You may be wondering where to turn to separate fact from fiction about COVID-19. I wanted to share my research with you about three trustworthy, online resources that I have found that provide the most current information - and shoot down the most current myths. Please save the following links so that the next time you hear something new about the coronavirus, you can verify its voracity. I sincerely feel that the hysteria being caused by the media needs to stop. I know that sensationalized headlines sell magazines and newspapers, but what we need now is truthful information about what is going on and what we need to do to be prepared.
1. COVID-19 Facts
The aim of the well-designed and consumer-friendly website, COVID-19 Facts is to "provide accurate and credible information to counter myths that are gaining traction on social media platforms." It is a public health information campaign brought to you by the maker of Lysol (and U.K. brand Dettol) and draws on such trusted international resources as The Economist, Johns Hopkins University, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and many others.
2. World Health Organization
You can get straight talk from the original source at the World Health Organization (WHO). The WHO provides evidence-based information on the outbreak with daily updates, advice for the public, myth-busting, and much more.
3. Federation of American Scientists
The Coronavirus Project of the Federation of American Scientists aims "to debunk misinformation circulating the web on matters of public health and safety, as well as provide clear and sourced information for policymakers. We cut through the noise to present clear information and advice for the public, policymakers, and reporters looking for scientist-led and evidence-based analysis. We want to make science accessible, so we are taking on the task of translating scientific papers full of jargon and shoptalk into plain language for anyone who wants to be in the know."
4. Mapping 2019-nCoV
In response to this ongoing public health emergency, Johns Hopkins University has developed an interactive web-based dashboard, to visualize and track reported cases in real-time. "The dashboard, first shared publicly on January 22, illustrates the location and number of confirmed COVID-19 cases, deaths, and recoveries for all affected countries. It was developed to provide researchers, public health authorities, and the general public with a user-friendly tool to track the outbreak as it unfolds. Further, all the data collected and displayed is made freely available." The dashboard reports cases at the province level in China, city level in the US, Australia and Canada, and at the country level otherwise.