Virus outbreak means (mis)information overload: How to cope
The coronavirus pandemic is leading to information overload for many people, often making it difficult to separate fact from fiction and rumor from deliberate efforts to misleadBy BARBARA ORTUTAY and DAVID KLEPPER Associated PressMarch 22, 2020, 1:31 PM6 min read The coronavirus pandemic is leading to information overload for many people, often making it difficult to separate fact from fiction and rumor from deliberate efforts to mislead. Already, text messages predicting a nationwide lockdown have circulated, along with social media posts telling people that one way to get tested for the virus is by donating blood or warning that mosquitoes can carry it. All are untrue. Such falsehoods can endanger public health, sow confusion and fear, and prevent important information from reaching people during a crisis. The Associated Press has debunked many such claims, including one about bananas supposedly preventing people from catching the virus and another on “Harry Potter” actor Daniel Radcliffe testing positive. COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, has stricken thousands across the globe but usually presents only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For older adults and people with other health problems, it can cause complications or sometimes death. Most people recover.