Perspective on the policy of disinformation in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic

(Credit: Unsplash)

This article was exclusively written for The European Sting by Mr. Diego Martins Sanson, a 2nd year student of medical school, academic at Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (UFJF) – MG, Brazil. He is affiliated with the International Federation of Medical Students Associations (IFMSA), cordial partner of The Sting. The opinions expressed in this piece belong strictly to the writer and do not necessarily reflect IFMSA’s view on the topic, nor The European Sting’s one.


The disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus led the World Health Organization (WHO) to declare a pandemic on March 11, 2020. This situation impacted all sectors of society worldwide. Faced with disorganization, the most diverse health systems faced a new situation that today leads to the death of thousands of people daily, regardless of social class, gender and even age.

However, the speed with which the disease spread, the lack of knowledge of the virus’s behavior by researchers, health professionals, the population in general, and the lack of vaccines added to the difficulties in coping with the situation. However, the exchange of experiences between countries quickly led to the creation of emergency measures to control the spread of the virus, such as the use of a mask, social distance and hand hygiene.

Furthermore, even in the face of a shocking new context surrounded by deaths, sadness and the collapse of countless hospitals across continents, many individuals have been resistant to following the guidelines of international entities, resulting in more dissemination and more system overload. These attitudes overflowed the individual sphere and began to gain a voice in public representatives, those who, even in the face of the terrible scenario, advocated early treatment without scientific evidence and denied social isolation at any cost.

In addition to that, science does not stop, and for those who believe in the power of knowledge, vaccines have started to be developed and have passed through the testing phases. Some countries, such as Brazil, did not take advantage of this moment to partner with laboratories and invest in the only solution that can take the world out of this situation. Worst of all, even with the test phases showing positive results, the results from scientific studies were put in check, disbelief that today we have as a result of the difficulty of vaccinating the population.

More recently, some vaccine options approved by Organs responsible agencies of each country were placed on the market, in Brazil, it was the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa). Thus, the vaccination race began, strategies were created from the logistics of resource distribution, target populations of each moment and application in the population. But, as everyone should know, some vaccine options available require a second dose, that is, the person must vaccinate again within a specific period of time so that the immunization is complete. However, what has been shown recently is that many of those who took the first dose are not coming to the vaccination stations to complete the process with the second dose.

Therefore, even though we know everything that has happened in the past, the countless deaths, families being destroyed by an unfair disease, overload on health systems, defending early treatments without scientific evidence and difficulty in acquiring vaccines, we move on to the third wave in a country that has little desire to control the disease.

References

1. AQUINO, Estela ML et al. Medidas de distanciamento social no controle da pandemia de COVID-19: potenciais impactos e desafios no Brasil. Ciência & Saúde Coletiva, v. 25, p. 2423-2446, 2020.

2. CLINIO, Anne et al. Segura a Onda: experiência brasileira de mapeamento de iniciativas cidadãs no enfrentamento da pandemia da Covid-19. Liinc em Revista, v. 16, n. 2, p. e5386-e5386, 2020.

3. FARO, André et al. COVID-19 e saúde mental: a emergência do cuidado. Estudos de Psicologia (Campinas), v. 37, 2020.

About the author

Diego Martins Sanson, 20 years old, 2nd year of medical school, academic at Universidade Federal de Juiz de Fora (UFJF) – MG, Brazil. Member of the International Federation of Medical Student Associations of Brazil (IFMSA BRAZIL) and local directress of the Standing Committee on Public Health (SCOPH) of local committee IFMSA BRAZIL – UFJF. Member of the Academic League of Tissue and Organ Transplantation at UFJF (LATTO UFJF).

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