As a physician epidemiologist and former public health official, I’m constantly struck by the sheer amount of disinformation that spreads related to COVID-19. I’ll routinely encounter myths about how masks actually cause viral spread. Or I’ll be told that drinking alcohol or raw, unpasteurized milk combats the virus or that putting hot pepper in food wards off viral illnesses. Meanwhile, conspiracy theories about 5G networks ...

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It was the fall of 2009.  I was a medical epidemiologist at the largest local health department in the state of Colorado, in charge of coordinating the area’s H1N1 pandemic vaccination efforts.  The CDC was distributing vaccine to state and local health departments, and we were in turn responsible for getting it out to our citizens.  It was a daunting task - we were exhausted from months of dealing with ...

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As a physician epidemiologist and former public health official, I find myself confused by people's perceptions of risk related to coronavirus, particularly as we struggle to reopen our economy amidst a surge of cases. I'll meet an older adult with diabetes who could care less about distancing or masks, but then a healthy person in their 30's too afraid to walk outside. I'll encounter a mother who is too ...

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I barely remember walking out of the hospital that day. After a nearly 30-hour residency shift, I was in a bit of a daze. I trudged across the main parking lot, staring absently at the coffee-colored snow beneath my boots. I have no memory of reaching the crosswalk to the main road or even stepping on to it. What I do recall is the loud, startling screech of brakes. “Did you ...

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