Why are we so misinformed?


    When REO Speedwagon “heard it from a friend who, heard it from a friend who…” they illustrated a common phenomena: the passing of information OR rather the passing of misinformation.

     So let’s set the record straight.  

     The first reported COVID-19 death in China was not until May 12, 2020.  And even after that, only 10,000 people have actually died from COVID-19.  People freak out but there are such easy remedies, such as gargling bleach (obviously don’t swallow it), hydroxychloroquine, essential oils, and of course PRAYER.  Instead, they want you to get the vaccine that they made in a week, and not be able to have kids one day.  

     In the midst of this pandemic was the 2020 Presidential election, an election in which there were thousands of cases of voter fraud that were swept under the rug, including many, many dead people who somehow voted for Joe Biden.  And mail-in ballots shouldn’t even count. Donald Trump is still the president.  

     It’s crystal clear to me, but probably a bit more foggy to some others, that none of this is actually true.  

     The first reported COVID-19 death in China was actually on January 11, 2020, and it marked the beginning of a pandemic that rocked the world.  More so than any other nation, the United States was crippled by the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.  With 765,000 (and counting) deaths caused by COVID-19 in the United States, one would think that the nation would finally be able to unite behind one cause, fighting COVID-19 and preventing the loss of more life.  

     But unfortunately this has not been the case thus far.  

     What began as an infectious disease has become an epidemic of misinformation, led by misinformation about the disease itself, the vaccine, and the presidential election that found itself in the middle of it.  

     Living through this epidemic of misinformation has posed the question, why are we so misinformed?

     Some may jump on this question with the popular term “fake news.”  But let’s say, hypothetically, that the news ISN’T fake, and the answer to this question rears its ugly head.  We are misinformed because every day of our lives we make the decision to be.

     To fully understand the root of this issue, we must first understand the history of misinformation. 

A comparison of two different news outlet’s headlines on the topic of vaccines and the military.

     The earliest form of writing appeared about 5,500 years ago in Mesopotamia, but even after then, many long form works were not able to be written down, and there was obviously no method of communication beyond speaking to one another, so all information was passed by word of mouth.  Ancient Greeks, Incans, Anglosaxons, Romans, Mayans, some of the most famous ancient civilizations, had no way to tell stories to each other besides literally opening their mouths and saying it, and then passing it on to the next person, who told the next person, who then tells the next and the next and the next.  Think of the game telephone, with each person passing on a story with slightly different details.  This didn’t stop ancient civilizations from sharing information, as famous stories such as Beowulf, the Iliad, and the Odyssey were first passed by word of mouth.  No one can trace the origin of these stories and know what they truly were first about, and the stories have certainly changed in many ways since they were first told.  Seems oddly familiar not just to the aforementioned REO Speedwagon tune “Take It On The Run,” but also to the current climate to the United States, with the passing of misinformation through social media posts, tweets, texts, and reposts.  

     Much later, in 15th century Germany, the printing press was invented by Johannes Gutenberg, and the world was forever changed.  The oldest weekly news sheets can be traced back to 16th century Italy, where information became no longer a matter of word of mouth, but now became something accessible to everyone.  

     The printing press had its limitations, but then the telegraph came along in 1840, and soon came the telephone, radio, television, computers, cell phones, the internet, and basically every resource imaginable that could supply information. 

A comparison of two different news outlet’s headlines about Kyle Rittenhouse. (Knight Krier Staff)

     So now that it’s not 5,500 years ago in Mesopotamia, and we live in an age where information is accessible at the click of a button, this ignorance has become a choice.  Information is more easily accessible than ever.  

     While print newspapers are dying, internet news is doing better than ever, giving people access to news any time of the day.  This seems like this may alleviate some of the burdens that misinformation poses, but now people can really access any news they want.  Look hard enough, you’ll find the slant that satisfies your opinions, and the misinformation only continues to grow.  

     People are certainly allowed to think what they want to, but when it crosses the line from personal beliefs to passing off false information as true, it poses a problem.  

     Back on the topic of the pandemic, vaccine hesitancy is the biggest roadblock on the path back to normalcy, all because a group of people have chosen to not educate themselves on the whole truth about vaccines.  


A comparison of two different news outlet’s headlines about the impact of COVID-19 on Thanksgiving. (Knight Krier Staff)

 A common reason for this hesitancy is the claim that the vaccine was made too fast for it to be safe.  A quick Google search could immediately relieve the worries of those who have these thoughts, informing them that since this is not the first coronavirus, the building blocks for the vaccine were already in place, allowing for the speedy development.  This information is EASILY accessible, but people choose to not do a simple google search because they will only believe what they want to.  

     The same goes for the claim that vaccines cause infertility.  A quick Google search disproves this.  Google was actually able to pull up 1,770,000 results in 0.54 seconds on this topic.  So why do I have friends and family, teachers and peers, telling me that they will get the vaccine after they are done having kids?  It’s because I have friends, and family, and teachers, and peers, making the decision to be misinformed.  

      Common misconceptions — the Great Wall of China is visible from space, Napoleon was short, cracking knuckles leads to arthritis, are harmless.  But now the coronavirus pandemic and the misinformation pandemic appear to be in a heated battle of who can cause more damage. 

     Sadly, this fight has no winner, only losers, as more and more people continue to die not just because of COVID-19, but because of the willfully ignorant people who make the choice every day to ignore the facts: people are dying.  More and more each day.  And it won’t stop until each and every person mans up, starts to believe science, and decides within his or herself that they are done believing what they want to believe, and will now believe what is true.

     Something tells me this won’t be happening anytime soon.