Social media for a journalist like me is both a blessing and a curse.
I can’t take a break from social media because so much information and story ideas flow through Twitter and Facebook. Slogging through all of this means having to see people in Burnaby and beyond pushing some seriously dangerous ideas about “treatments” and “cures” for COVID-19.
It’s all quackery. Listen to the experts.
The College of Pharmacists of British Columbia are raising the alarm about unproven treatments for COVID-19, saying that health professionals are becoming increasingly aware of online and social media-driven conversations about the use of antibiotics and antiviral therapies that are prescribed to treat Malaria, HIV/AIDS and other conditions to treat COVID-19 patients.
At this time, a proven treatment for COVID-19 does not exist so stop listening to your brother’s friend’s sister’s boss on Facebook about this stuff.
“It is important to understand that there are potential harms to the patient, risks to our understanding of what is truly a beneficial treatment or not, and depleting access to therapies known to be helpful or essential in other disease states,” says a statement from the BC Centre for Disease Control. “For these reasons, the use of unproven therapies for COVID 19 is not recommended outside clinical trials.”
These unproven treatment claims may include, but are not limited to, the following drugs: hydroxychloroquine, chloroquine, azithromycin, lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra) and colchicine.
Too many people - like anti-vaxxers - like to think they are smarter than health professionals so they push this stuff and use conspiracy theories about "big pharma" and "big doctor" to make them sound more credible.
So enjoy social media, but take a moment and think about the source of this information and the motives behind it.
It could save your life.
Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.