Public Health

The Bizarre Spread of the COVID/5G conspiracy theory: cartoon of a train pulling a coronavirus particle and 5G symbol

The Bizarre Spread of the COVID/5G Conspiracy Theory

The COVID/5G conspiracy theory has been around since the early days of the pandemic. How did such an out-there idea become so widely known? The dumpster fire that is social media has a fair bit to do with it, with a combination of misinformation (wrong information spread without manipulative/deceptive intent) and disinformation (intentionally spreading wrong …

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Tips on how to spot fake news

Separating Reality from Fake Health News

During this global pandemic, there’s a lot of wild and wacky news out there in the world. This infographic from the International Federation of Library Association and Institutions gives some handy tips for separating the facts from the crap.  In this post, I’ll go through those tips with respect to spotting fake health news. Consider …

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Just Say No poster with two marijuana joints

The Failure of the War on Drugs

If you were around in the 80’s, you are probably very familiar with the message to “just say no” that was part of the overall war on drugs. In 1991, Saved By The Bell got on board with an episode that told viewers “there’s no hope with dope.” There was also the classic egg in …

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Tree diagram showing effects of social inquities

Why Social Determinants of Health Matter

Social determinants of health represent those factors that, whether we have control over them or not, can significantly influence both physical and mental health outcomes. Differences produced by social injustice can (and does) produce systemic health inequities between rich and poor, with a “social gradient” in between. The social determinants of health The Government of …

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Vaccines & autism: the link that doesn't exist

Vaccines & Autism: The Link That Doesn’t Exist

Chances are, you’ve heard the idea that vaccines can cause autism. This notion is championed by various organizations and individuals; one of the most prominent is actress Jenny McCarthy, whose son was diagnosed with autism at age 2. She has an autism-related organization called Generation Rescue, and on its website is a guide to vaccine safety. …

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