Here’s Where to Find Trusted Information on COVID-19
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, the ever-changing nature of the news stories surrounding it can make it difficult to keep track of which reports are real, and which are outdated, unreliable, and even fake.
There have already been many instances of outlets and influencers unintentionally issuing information that is wrong and/or harmful, as well as cases of fraud as bad actors seek to take advantage of fears over the situation.
At Zignal, we know how important it is to be able to identify and rely on sources of truthful and accurate information in uncertain situations – this belief forms the basis of everything that we do. In a situation of this gravity, it is imperative that everyone has access to accurate and reliable information: only when we’re fully informed can we truly come together as a society to take the steps necessary to protect us all.
With that in mind, we have composed this list of trusted resources for information related to the current outbreak – we want everyone to know where to find the most accurate information to keep themselves, their families, their communities – and beyond – safe and healthy. We urge you to use these sources to stay up-to-date on information about the virus, and to follow the advice they offer about preventing its spread and – hopefully – curing it.
Virus Information and Spread
The following organizations and government entities are the best sources for accurate and up-to-date information on a range of matters, including the characteristics of the virus (including how it spreads and what symptoms to look for), advice on how to stay safe, and data related to the numbers and locations of new cases.
- Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
- The World Health Organization (WHO)
- National Institutes of Health (NIH)
- Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center
- Stanford Health Care
- Harvard Medical School
While COVID-19 is a global pandemic, the majority of people want to know how it is affecting the communities closest to them – both in terms of the virus’ spread and for recommendations or specific actions that have been or should be taken to combat it, such as school closings or event cancellations.
While there are lots of local news organizations that are doing an admirable job of covering these stories as they arise, ultimately the best source of information in the majority of states is your State Department of Health. To find the site for your local department simply search “State Department of Health” or click here to go to a search page. (Keep in mind that you may need to provide location information if you have disabled this in your search preferences.)
For healthcare-specific information – including symptoms and up-to-date information on treatment – in addition to contacting your Primary Care Provider or other local healthcare professionals, the following sites can all be trusted to deliver information that is accurate and based on thoroughly vetted scientific research.
When it comes to news sources, we are hard-pressed to recommend any source unreservedly. Put simply: all news organizations are flawed. Unlike the sites listed above, they tend not to be staffed exclusively with people with deep backgrounds in medicine and science. And, in our hyper-partisan world, any source we recommend can be discounted by those who disagree with its perceived political bias.
With that said, we understand that news sources tend to be where most of us find our information when stories are rapidly evolving. As such, rather than recommending a specific site, we would urge you instead to view any information you may read or see through the following lenses:
- Is the publication reputable?
- Are any claims – especially those related to the prevention and cure of the virus – backed up by experts with a deep background in epidemiology in general, and coronavirus in particular?
- Do any of the claims seem to recommend specific products or purchases?
- Can any claims – particularly those related to preventative measures or cures – be backed up by other trusted sources, such as those listed above?
Social Media Platforms, Politicians and Celebrities
In terms of your risk of exposure to misinformation, social media, politicians, and celebrities all fall into the same camp: feel free to listen to what they have to say but, as with news sources, take everything they say with a grain of salt and please verify any claims they are making before choosing to share, amplify, or act on them.
While there are undoubtedly individual accounts that are trustworthy, a situation as serious as the current pandemic demands a level of expertise, insight, and consistency of information that it is all too easy for a bad actor to undercut.
Case in point: as we were researching this post, we clicked a link for a Twitter account that purportedly belonged to Dr. Anthony Fauci, who is heading the U.S. government’s response to coronavirus. That link turned out to be for a fake account that has since been suspended by Twitter.
However you choose to get news and information related to this outbreak, please stay safe, and remember: we’re all in this together.
Stay tuned for additional coverage on the far-reaching impacts of COVID-19. We’re monitoring the situation in real time and will be providing data-driven updates, insights and analyses on an ongoing basis.
Need a break from reading about COVID-19? Visit our Resource Center and read our analysis of how The Witcher impacted Netflix’s brand, as well as learn some key marketing takeaways you can use in your own work.