Vol. 4 No. 10 October 2020 Digital - Page 4



Stranger than fiction

The truth , according to author

Mitch Albom , is at the bottom of the pile , the first victim of the Covid-19 pandemic .
Indeed . The truth tries to fence itself against assaults as it struggles to find a safe refuge .
In these increasingly bizarre times , people have different versions of truth glutting the social media and every space on the web , where everyone participates in what seems like a contest of information . Some truths are untold , while others are distorted to fit one ’ s purpose . Even rumors , speculations and conspiracy theories masquerade as truth .
“ The opening blow came from the Chinese government , who clearly lied about what they were seeing when the virus hit . That cover-up cost the world precious time , and knocked over the first domino ,” Albom writes .
Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic , people have been perplexed , unsure what to believe and whom to trust . The social network has become a factory of all sorts of information , operating at full speed .
Guam is part of this game . During the early part of the pandemic , unconfirmed information so abounded on social media that it became part of the Office of Press Secretary ’ s job to issue “ false alerts .”
At the political level , no cord of trust exists between the leaders and the people . It has been always that way pretty much . But the coronavirus pandemic has taken public distrust to epic proportions . Doubts and resistance have become the default public response
to government announcements and actions .
Even the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention has become the boy who cried wolf given its inconsistent guidance . You have to wear a face mask . You don ’ t need to wear a face mask .
Most recently , CDC issued a new guidance stating it was not necessary to test people with no symptoms of Covid-19 . It counters its own previous recommendation to test all people who have had close contact with anyone diagnosed with the coronavirus . Scientists have advised CDC against its new guidance . Clashing opinions among medical authorities we thought we should believe only heightened our confusion .
Even the media ’ s credibility is becoming a casualty of this chaos .
During these uncertain times , newsrooms have prioritized pandemic coverage while we race for information against the social media . But the fast-changing and sometimes raw Covid-19 data leaves journalists with challenges in providing updated and accurate information to the public .
Clearly , we are in uncharted territory
Uncertainties often leave the public wondering — or debating — why certain public health measures are or are not being taken . On the home front , we have seen how the lockdown policy polarizes the community in a seemingly ideological fashion .
The Guam economy is again slowly reopening . However , we are not really sure where we are now in the pandemic stage . We thought we were out of the woods when Guam moved to PCOR3 in May . But obviously , even the coronavirus ’ temper is unpredictable . Its resurgence has been more ruthless . Covid casualties are still mounting and huge numbers of positive cases are still coming .
We are still grappling with information , and anyone who claims they know what is likely to happen next in the coming years is lying .
By early next year , Covid-19 may be a dwindling memory of a nightmare . Or it may still be part of our reality .
At this juncture , the only truth we are sure of is that the life that we used to know will be history .

Some truths are untold , while others are distorted to fit one ’ s purpose . Even rumors , speculations and conspiracy theories masquerade as truth .

Publisher / Editor-in-Chief Mar-Vic Cagurangan publisher @ pacificislandtimes . com
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