During the current COVID-19 pandemic in Canada, there are many instances of science and health misinformation and disinformation. There are many impacts to the increase in misinformation, such as education, poverty, racism, and mental health services. With adequate policy and practical support there is a chance of improving misinformation.
A large part of the misinformation is due to inadequate ability to teach critical thinking skills in public school. While this sounds critical, improvements can always be made. We at PCE have a great respect and admiration for teachers and educators. We are grateful that they teach and inspire our children. Teaching critical thinking skills could begin in the early years, in kindergarten. These changes cannot occur with any effect without the support of teachers, principals, and school division. This would involve education on how political parties use misinformation to achieve support, in terms of voting and financial support. This would involve policy and support from administration to be effective.
Another impact to misinformation is poverty within Canada. Poverty within Canada could be improved with the adoption of a universal income. A universal income would benefit those who don’t have the ability or means to have full-time employment. With the adoption of CERB of a monthly income of $2,000 during the pandemic, Canada showed that it can provide such a universal income. This would again need political will and adequate policy to ensure success.
Racism in Canada also has an impact on misinformation within Canada. With recent attacks on religious and cultural minorities, racism is strong in Canada. With adequate education and monetary support, views of race superiority could be a thing of the past. Removing racism would also need to remove the ideas of superiority among all citizens. For instance, considering doctors better than teachers or teachers better than truck drivers. This ladder of superiority should end to give equality and inclusion a chance.
Improvements to mental health services would also reduce the instances of misinformation and disinformation. With the COVID-19 pandemic, more people have shown a need for mental health services. These services should be available to all regardless of situation. No one should wait until they complete a set of challenges in order to receive help. These services should be free for all Canadians, along with dental, vision, and prescription services. We strongly value our health care systems and these other health services play an equally strong role in individual health.
Improvement to education, poverty, racism, and mental health services could reduce the instances of science misinformation and disinformation. This has been especially evident during the current COVID-19 pandemic in Canada. Preventative strategies will ensure misinformation is stopped at the start rather than trying to deal with a large population who have believed the misinformation. If the discussed strategies had been in place, there may have been more people to get a COVID-19 vaccine without hesitation. Reducing misinformation and disinformation must require adequate policy and practical support.
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