Updated: Dec 4, 2020
Original author: UofTMed
Published: Summer 2020
During the COVID-19 pandemic, confusion over what is scientific fact — and what is fiction — is leading to a proliferation of misinformation.
Even with misinformation causing tangible harm, experts say the pandemic is showing the irrefutable value of good science and the importance of combatting misinformation with clear, well-defined communication.
“We need scientific voices out there. Counter [misinformation] with good science, counter it with scientific consensus,” says Timothy Caulfield, a professor in the Faculty of Law and School of Public Health at the University of Alberta.
Experts say the key to battling misinformation about COVID-19 is consulting reliable sources that are reporting responsibly on health and science. They also recommend avoiding information based on testimonials or a single study.
“We don’t want science to be politicized. So, do your best to cut through that noise,” Caulfield added.
We asked internal medicine physicians about some of the misconceptions about COVID-19:
Angela Cheung KY and Betty Ho Chair in Integrative Medicine Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto
Lauren Lapointe-Shaw (PGME ’13, PhD ’19) Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto
Amol Verma (MD ’09, PGME ’12, ’13 & ’18) Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto