“When the pandemic struck, none of us were quite prepared or equipped enough to handle it. It flew in out of the blue and took us all in one fell swoop. But what was even more appalling about the entire situation more than the pandemic itself was the crazy amount of misinformation going around on the internet about the virus and such.
As a virologist, who had specialised in the novel Coronavirus, this baffled me beyond measure. To give a brief leeway into my history, I had completed my graduation in Biotechnology and flew to the US to do my Ph.D.
Having spent several years researching the virus, I moved back to India to setup a diagnostic centre with my husband who also happens to be a scientist. So when these false claims surrounding the virus’s origin and the symptoms came my way, it made me aware of the level of misinformation surrounding this topic. So as someone who had first hand information about the virus, I decided that I would help in whatever way I can in disbursing proper and accurate information.
I started by offering small talks in the forums I was part of. It slowly spread into social media where I opened an account to talk about the virus and all the related information on it. The word of this spread fast and I was approached by different channels to offer information on the virus and the various safety measures we could take.
With this, I started receiving questions from different people and I would answer all of those in short videos and other content forms for the audience.
We are living in an age which has an abundance of information. Everything can be looked up or googled but one must understand that the accuracy levels often vary. I have had people ask me weird questions based on the forwards they saw on whatsapp or through some other unreliable sources.
This can prove to be extremely dangerous and sometimes even fatal in dire situations like a pandemic. It has been a true honour however to be a point of logic for so many out there who came to me with their questions and to dispel some of the commonly associated myths with the virus.
To everyone reading this, I would just say that with great power comes great responsibility. So before we choose to act on or forward something to someone, it would go a long way if we can take a moment to assess the accuracy of the information. It will always serve us all well to go with trusted sources like the official pages of health organisations. Let’s vouch to be a little more responsible with information and it’s transmission.”