Ending the Pandemic of False Information: Mayo Clinic

For months, a message has been forced by the media and by vaccination officials: Getting the vaccine against COVID-19. And people of both sides are passionate about their own feelings and opinions.

Mayo Clinic’s leading infectious disease expert and general internal medicine doctor, Gregory Poland, in an interview by ABC 6 News said: “You get to choose what risk you want.”

When cases of the highly contagious Delta variant rose, this changed how health officials view the pandemic and Dr. Poland said that as we traverse around it, each one of us has a decision to make.

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“Either you will get infected and if you’re not vaccinated or previously infected, you will get infected. And if you do survive it, perhaps have some of the consequences,” Dr. Poland said.

And as hesitancy in getting the vaccine and misinformation about it continues to spread, Dr. Poland wants to get at the bottom of this.

“If you abandon science as a way to determine truth, you enter into a world of hurt,” Dr. Poland said. He also states that human behavior is a big part of how people view the pandemic. “We live in a culture that’s narcissistic.”

Although Dr. Poland knows that there is not an answer to solve all pandemic-related problems, he thinks of it like an onion. With each layer comes different levels of mitigation in keeping people safe such as getting the vaccine, using masks, and social distancing.

And as people get vaccinated, breakthrough cases can still happen – which is normal – but when you get the vaccine, you save yourself from the risk of getting a severe infection.

“Out of this number of people who get infected, you increase the number of people who are asymptomatic and you decrease the number of people that die, get hospitalized, and get a severe disease,” Dr. Poland said.

“We are now in a desperate, but unseen and barely noticed race of variant versus vaccine, of ignorance versus knowledge, of disease versus health and we are losing. To know science, to believe one knows absent data is simply ignorance,” he added.