* Ethan Colbert at the Herald-Whig…
There is almost an infodemic of misinformation surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic on social media and circulating in public, local physicians and public health experts say.
The myths cause health officials to worry that as Illinois reopens, the public will disregard the experts’ advice and instead believe what they read on social media sites, including information that is not vetted by medical professionals or reported from credible sources.
“I think it is very hard for lay people to know what to believe, especially since there is still a lot we don’t know about the virus, so when they see someone speaking with some degree of confidence they want to believe that person,” said Dr. Mary Frances Barthel, Blessing Health System’s chief quality and safety officer, who also is one of the health care system’s COVID-19 response team members.
“Everyone needs to know that most of what is out there can always be clarified and explained with science.”
The article goes on to list several myths, including one about how face coverings “decrease the body’s oxygen levels or lead to carbon dioxide intoxication,” another about how “COVID-19 is not a serious threat to public health due to most people recovering from the virus,” another about how the virus “is comparable to influenza,” a bogus test “if someone can hold their breath for 10 seconds or longer without coughing or feeling discomfort, they do not have the virus,” and the whopper about how “staying indoors in isolation lowers your immune system and that wearing a mask lowers your immune system.”
* The Question: What COVID-19 myths have you been seeing and how did you deal with them, if at all?