Avoid Coronavirus Misinformation

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A Doctor's Tips for Spotting Fake COVID-19 News

As we all try to stay safe from COVID-19, arming yourself with accurate news information has never been more important – but it’s not always easy. Fake news can be challenging to recognize because there’s often a little truth mixed in with misinformation. Some of the articles I’m seeing about coronavirus and COVID-19 are only slightly inaccurate (or aren’t updated), but others are just plain false speculation and conspiracy theories.

With today’s social media platforms, false information can go viral, being shared countless times across the globe quickly. I get it. It's easy to partially read an article, assume it’s accurate, and hit “share.”

What concerns me is that the chatter of fake news drowns out the credible health information that we all need right now. One false news article can do double harm by leading you down a dangerous path and keeping you from valuable, helpful information.

Here are some tips to avoid fake news and recognize accurate, useful information.

  • Is there a date? With COVID-19, information is changing rapidly. So, it’s important to know when the article was published and last updated so you can be sure you’re getting the most current data.
  • Who is the author? If you’re reading about the latest medical advances for COVID-19, make sure the author is qualified. Or, look for a medical review by a doctor or other health professional. You should be able to easily find a bio that shares the author’s or reviewer’s professional qualifications.
  • Are sources listed?
    • If an article refers to a study from China, you should be able to get information about the study. Some sites will directly link to a scientific journal article. For others, you may have to scroll down to click on a source list. Beware of vague references to research that you can’t easily validate.
    • If an expert is referenced, check their qualifications online as well. Do they have the education and expertise to give their opinion?
  • Is the website legitimate?
    • If it feels like you’re reading an advertisement, you probably are. Check the website’s ‘about’ page to find out who supports the organization and what their mission and values are. Are they committed to educating the public about a health issue or are they raising awareness about a product?
    • Sometimes a fake site will try to match its logo or URL to a legitimate website. Look closely to make sure you’re at the right place.
  • Is the information available on other websites? COVID-19-related news trends are typically consistent across legitimate websites. If you’re reading something that sounds different or contrary to what you’re seeing elsewhere, start digging. If someone is making a recommendation you’re not sure of, look to sites like the CDC, WHO, or your state’s Department of Public Health for guidance. And of course, call your doctor.

It is challenging to sort through true and false information, especially since our knowledge and experience with COVID-19 is evolving day by day. But, with your health at stake, the accuracy of news information is more important than ever. So, double and triple check content before you trust it – and before you share it on your social media pages. Do your part to stop the spread of false information.

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    I have been lucky enough to be one of Dr. Kibler's first patients and have stayed with him ever since!  He is extremely talented - he is a true artist - not only with his gentle, caring dentistry - but when you visit his office, notice the beautiful paintings of various golf course holes - all painted by Dr. Kibler - they make you think you're there on the course!  He brings that same talent to caring for each of his patients.  He treats you as if you are the only person in his office and always takes the time to ask how you are and answer any questions you have.  Recently, he needed to refer me to a specialist and after trusting only Dr. Kibler all of these years, I was concerned, so I asked him if he could recommend someone he trusted as much as I trust him and, as usual, he didn't let me down.  Dr. Kibler is a wonderful person and friend who cares about his patients and their needs and I am honored to be one of his first patients!  Dr. Kibler always has the neatest folks for his staff, too!  They are all wonderful, caring people who, like Dr. Kibler, will make you feel right at home and comfortable from the minute you walk into their office (and they are animal lovers - and we all know how special folks like that are!)  Come visit Dr. Kibler and his staff  and you will see why he has been my dentisit for over 20 years!

    S.D.

    Yes, you are in need of a dentist.  Allow me to help with your decision, as I know a terrific one, Dr. J. Christopher Kibler!!! First though, let me tell you how I found him and most importantly why I have stayed his patient for 19 years. My prior dentist was retiring and sold his practice to Dr. Kibler.  My immediate reaction was probably what your're experiencing now, dread of picking the wrong "new" dentist. Courageously, I ventured into my first appointment with him.  After all, I had to start somewhere. Safe, was my first reaction to meeting Dr. Kibler,  His whole demeanor put me at ease.  And, more than ease, I felt secure.  He has a humor that was disarming.  Looking back on it now, as I write this little piece, it wasn't that he told jokes, he had a wit about him that is clearly based on wisdom, and his joy in life. However, the most important reason that I have stayed his patient, is his skill level.  He and his staff upgrade their education frequently.  I witness the improvements each time I need his help.  There is either a new piece of state of the art equipment or a newer technique that he's mastered.  He is not only a gifted artist giving great attention to detail, he has never hurt me. In fact, when I needed to see an oral surgeon for a skin grafting procedure, I went to Dr. Kibler for my first numbing injection.  He has an absolutely pain free method of giving injections.  I repeat, he has NEVER hurt me. In closing, let me add that I have a high standard for my appearance, and having a beautiful healthy mouth is very important to me.  I have always worked in the beauty and fashion industry, so of course the veeers that Dr. Kibler created for me were beyond pretty, they are believably natural. Last, let me say that although there are many good dentists around my dentist is terrific.

    Terry S.

    For nearly TWO decades Dr. Kibler and his awesome staff have taken care of my, as well as my wife's teeth.  Cleanings, repair, filling replacements, bridges, etc..  This  man has done it, done it right and done it well.  We run a small business of 35 people,  many of them and some of our family also use Dr. K and crew.  Put it simply, they get it and they will treat you with care and compassion.  Nothing to lose, everything to gain.  #Dr.Kibler

    Greg C.