Why should you critically evaluate information? Because of situations like this …

A key part of information evaluation is to understand the context in which the information was created. What is the motivation? Why was the information presented in that particular way? It could be use of certain words, specific images, formatting, color, etc.? Putting or displaying the information in a particular place? Why is it being done that way? What emotion do they want you to…

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Revisiting: Politics and Fear

Whipping up fear is a common tactic in politics. Providing stark, seemingly life or death choices, us versus them, scapegoating, creating a false bogeyman to distract from real problems, using lies and disinformation … fear is used because it often works. The invoked fear is often based on racism and bias. It’s those “other people”–with a different skin color, from another place, who follow a…

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There is a much greater flood risk in the United States

Across much of the United States, the flood risk is greater (in some cases, far greater) than what government estimates and maps currently show. As a result, millions of homes and properties and many millions of people are facing a threat they have not thought they faced and may not have known about when they purchased or rented a property–a flooding threat that will only…

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Revisiting: Scapegoats and self-blame

Scapegoating is “the act of blaming and often punishing a person or a group for a negative outcome that is due, in large part, to other causes.” Scapegoating is alive and well in the United States and many other countries. It’s not a new phenomenon.  Scapegoating has been going on for centuries–think of the witch hysteria and trials in Europe and America that lasted into…

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Essential workers: economic and health vulnerability

We live in a very unequal society in the United States. Many have pointed this out for years and the COVID-19 pandemic has starkly illustrated this inequality. The poor, the sick, the old, the young, those who are “different”, those with little political power, and on and on … these people have borne the brunt for decades. These people have seen little benefit from economic…

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Physical distancing, face masks, and eye protection to prevent person-to-person transmission of SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19

Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) causes COVID-19 and is spread person-to-person through close contact. This review investigated the effects of physical distance, face masks, and eye protection on virus transmission in health-care and non-health-care settings. The review covered “172 observational studies in health-care and non-health-care settings across 16 countries and six continents; 44 comparative studies were included in a meta-analysis, including 25 697 patients…

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