After seeing an alarming amount of anti-mask & pseudoscience posts from folks in my hometown, I announced an #AMA on my fbook to answer questions about #SARS_CoV_2 & #COVID19. Disclaimed that I am NOT an expert, but could help point them in the right direction of credible sources
Ppl who genuinely asked for support generally had the same ?s:
1. Is it made in a lab?
2. Stuff about testing - why/what?
3. Why do I have to wear a mask/ what does it mean for daily life? (can I see so & sos new baby, etc)
4. Will it mutate into HIV?
5. What's next? Vaccines?
Maybe, as I did initially, you raised some eyebrows at these questions. Are these answers obvious to you? The reality is most Americans receive their info solely from TV/fbook circulating the same actual fake news over&over. & I'm sure it's only worse now with sheltering-in-place
I see this discourse of 'us' vs them, or even the diff of here vs there... it's nearly impossible to explain to my European colleagues how wearing a mask in the USA is now a political statement. Or why I doubt a majority of the ppl I grew up with would willingly take a vaccine.
I try to make sense of why. The main differences? To start - access to affordable healthcare, education, food & job security. French were complaining that they were BORED during the confinement. Back home they had to choose rent/food/pills/bills facing unemployment. NOT the same!
Aside from the gov's response (or lack thereof), ppl aren't equipped w/the capacity/know-how to empower themselves with other information or make choices otherwise. So many are in survival mode... And the overall shame I see coming from the science community doesn't help...
Communicating the consequences of the pandemic or arguing the personal responsibility to Americans w/out recognizing the overall landscape (especially the lack of scientific or health literacy) is irresponsible. While some may be beyond reason, I think we can do better. #scicomm
You can follow @saramckw.
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