Skip to Main Content

CIST Student Sandbox

IST 605: Misinformation and COVID-19

An exploration of misinformation as it pertains to the spread, severity, and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Misinformation and COVID-19

Misinformation had a significant negative impact on the COVID-19 pandemic in a multitude of ways:

  1. Public Health Response and Compliance: Misinformation often led to distrust in public health guidelines. This decreased participation in critical measures like as mask-wearing, social distancing, and lockdown protocols. 

  2. Vaccine Hesitancy and Resistance: One of the most significant impacts was on vaccine acceptance. Myths about the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines contributed to vaccine hesitancy, disrupting efforts to achieve herd immunity.

  3. Overburdening Healthcare Systems: Misinformation about treatments and preventative measures led some people to utilize drugs like Ivermectin, in some cases leading to health complications that further burdened healthcare systems.

  4. Impact on Mental Health: The spread of misinformation contributed to increased anxiety and stress among the public. Unfounded claims about the pandemic's severity or duration exacerbated feelings of uncertainty and helplessness.

  5. Discrimination: During the pandemic, misinformation led to xenophobic attitudes and incidents against people of Asian descent, wrongly associating them with the virus. Many attributed this movement to Former US President Trump's "China Virus" comments.