We are not posting this because we have any answers or because we know anything more than you do. But our mission, after all, is to encourage everyone to slow down and take the time to question, analyze, and verify the news and social media they encounter. And yeah, there is a significant need for media literacy and critical thinking skills right now, but full disclosure, we feel just like you right now.
All of us are feeling confused and overwhelmed as we look for leadership and feel somewhat desperate for a unified voice from experts and decision-makers. That hasn’t happened, and we have seen contradicting information from the people and organizations whose job it is to keep us safe.
Without broad action and transparent and honest data, each and every news update (and we sure do get a lot of them) makes our heads spin a little bit faster. An information gap is causing panic and misinformation to spread like wildfire.
We’ve been told to wash our hands, stay home if sick, not to attend large gatherings, and work from home if you can. All of these are important and should be done.
But have you been told to think critically?
- Look at a variety of sources. Not just media sources. Check state and local government websites. Check credible health organizations. Make decisions that are good for not only you and your family but your community.
- Do not rely solely on the CDC for numbers. As noted on their Coronavirus summary page, their figures will may not be congruent with state testing and results.
- Check the credentials of people offering up information.
- Read past headlines.
- Counter misinformation/disinformation with facts and sources.
- Do your best to remain level headed, take breaks from the news when it feels like too much to handle, and be supportive of friends, family, and even strangers on the internet.
We are indeed facing a serious health challenge that requires leadership, community understanding, and individual action. We can not allow ourselves to be distracted from our responsibility as citizens to support one another and to help keep each other safe.
Things have been changing very quickly and will likely continue to change. In addition to being safe, please be curious, be skeptical, and be aware.
What has been most helpful for you while navigating Covid-19 in the news and your communities?