Research on the COVID-19 “Infodemic” in BC

6/3/2020   By: Lux Insights

The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly been a unique and new experience for people around the world, affecting how we behave, think, and act as individuals. With quarantine and physical distancing measures still in place for much of the world, the true magnitude of the COVID-19 pandemic remains unknown.

This magnitude has been exacerbated by the pandemic occurring in the digital age – with an easy click or tap, we are able to find a wide range of information about COVID-19, such as the number of cases, how it’s spread, prevention methods, and even treatment methods if you believe you are diagnosed with the virus. The accessibility of information online has allowed a significant amount of misinformation to pervade the pandemic – “infodemic”.

To better inform this “infodemic” surrounding COVID-19, Lux and the BC Centre for Disease Control recently collaborated on a quantitative study to assess the level of misinformation in BC. Funded by the Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, this culturally safe and inclusive study surveyed a diverse range of British Columbians, including Two-Spirit and LGBTQIA+ communities.

Some key findings from this study include:

  • How there is a belief that the virus is airborne and can be treated with antibiotics.
  • How non-white British Columbians have observed bad treatment due to race and a perceived association with COVID-19 in far greater numbers than white British Columbians; and
  • How there is a greater mental health impact on young adults (18-34 years old) than any other age groups.

These findings demonstrate the importance of staying properly informed during this period of time. To learn more about verified prevention measures and the status of COVID-19 in your area, please consult the following sources.