We’re in a serious pandemic, a virus dangerous enough to present a global threat, but not threatening enough to inspire universal caution. Therefore, we face a dual hazard, from the illness itself and from our reaction to it. Some people believe that shutdowns and other mitigation efforts are over-reactions. Others warn of the danger of downplaying or dismissing the threat. Mitigation efforts are a way to reduce the impact of the virus; rejecting mitigation measures, a way to increase that impact.

How do we decide what actions to take? It depends on what we think we know. And that, in turn, depends on where and how we get our information and how we assess its validity.

Samantha Pearson is a volunteer with the HUB for Progress and Active Community Training.

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