Misinformation clouding your judgement? Health professionals discuss COVID-19 truths

Doctors dismantle dangerous COVID-19 vaccine rumors and address concerns about how the virus spreads.

Shalika Oza

Doctors dismantle dangerous COVID-19 vaccine rumors and address concerns about how the virus spreads.

by Cheryl Akpenyi, Contributor

On Wednesday, Sept. 22  The San Diego Association of Black Journalists organization hosted an event called “Myth Busting Covid: Fact or Fiction?” The event was open to the public and was about stopping the spread of misinformation surrounding COVID-19. 

It was held via Zoom and consisted of SDABJ members, journalists and guest African American doctors with expertise on COVID-19. They said they are leading the way in San Diego to help stop the spread of dangerous beliefs that has plagued many communities especially the Black and Brown communities.

The beginning of the event was focused on the positive impacts of COVID-19, and their effects on communities. COVID-19 case rates are declining in San Diego county compared to when the state first opened up. But the case rate for those who are not fully vaccinated is four times higher, experts at the event said.

The guest doctors expressed how they are concerned about the fellow Black and Brown communities that are impacted by COVID-19.  Data from the national level cases indicates black folks have been most heavily impacted,  However, in San Diego, they are not experiencing the highest death rates. Still, the reason why the Black community is one of the hardest hit groups is due to a historic lack of adequate conditions, according to Dr. Robert Gillespie.

“Black people are more at risk because of pre-existing conditions,” Gillespie said. “Things like high blood pressure, diabetes and pre-existing conditions.”

The event showed these conditions can be mitigated, with diet and eating healthy as a lifestyle. After seeing what negatively affects African Americans, the best thing to do to lessen the pain is by eating healthy and exercising to better the community.  

The doctors were also asked questions about those who are not vaccinated due to certain beliefs and distrust of the vaccine.

This distrust has caused so many to end up on the hospital beds and has led to so many deaths even though it could have been prevented.

“The ones who have not been vaccinated are the ones taking up hospital beds,” Dr. Suzanne Afflalo said.  

The doctors said getting vaccinated is vital to save our own lives and the people we love around us.

Dr. Wlima Wooten also expressed the danger of not getting the vaccine and getting COVID-19 can be more painful than already getting the vaccine and getting diagnosed with COVID-19. 

“Vaccines are meant to keep us from dying and in the hospitals,” Gillespie said. 

This event was held to inform people about how the vaccine is not only fighting COVID-19 but the Delta variant too, despite the misinformation spreading around. 

The panelists said the most important thing to do is wash your hands and keep your distance since it is hard to determine who is vaccinated and who is not. Although the Black community has done much better in San Diego, those who hosted the event strive for the national data to be the same or even better as more are informed about the pre-existing conditions that have impacted many.

The event’s experts said taking down the threat of misinformation on COVID-19 is labeled as a health crisis.