I am a NEWSAHOLIC. In this crazy world of Covid, isolation, racial unrest, and flagrant political hyperbole, this is a dangerous. It is not recommended for the feint of heart. I am distressed by what I hear going on around me. Watching multiple channels, even those I know are not good sources, creates insight into understanding various perspectives. Try to ferret out the truth. I learn daily

I refuse to engage on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. It really frustrates my children, grandchildren and friends. Any news coming from a platform that is based on financial gain should be suspect. I know the major networks make money as well, but they aren’t likely to sell my personal info for their gain.

The conspiracy theorists abound on these platforms . For example, One recent theory that unfortunately found space on Twitter, created an uproar. It touted a 6% death rate for those Covid positive individuals. The other 94% were attributed to comorbidities such as diabetes, pneumonia, cancer and heart disease.

The death rates of Covid are hard to interpret. One cannot say that Covid alone causes death because Covid causes and exacerbates comorbidities. If you have asthma and get Covid and perhaps die, was your death a Covid death? Your asthma may not be lethal lethal, Covid made it so. Viruses invade at the cellular level and can damage organ systems. So this death was recorded as a Covid death.

Recording of these vital statistic may not be uniform. Death certificates are signed by a range of officials, all of whom may be functioning under different protocols. My mother died of non-small cell lung cancer at home on hospice. Her death certificate cause of death was “heart failure”. Well duh!

My point is that you must be discerning. Check your sources, the veracity of the individuals and look at the statistics. The death rate in this country is significantly higher this year than last year. The inference is that this disparity has a cause. According the Dr. Fauci on Friday in an interview on MSNBC, 1000 deaths per day are occurring right now among Covid positive patients, either caused by Covid or perhaps exacerbated by Covid. Still dead.

Statistics that I prefer are based on past history per day and year as reported at places such as MIT and Johns Hopkins centers for statistics

Reading statistics can be a herculean task. So choose your sources carefully.

Relying on conspiracy theories that say only 6% of these current deaths are strictly defined as Covid deaths may be comforting. But they are false. Even Twitter agrees and took the post down. Unfortunately it was read and perpetuated for days before being removed.

My purpose in writing this stems from concern and frustration. We exist within a maelstrom of information. It’s estimated that the person from the middle ages only accessed as much news in his life as can be found in ONE NYTimes newspaper. Wouldn’t that be nice. No input overload. Plenty of time to process.

Be careful what you read and believe. Research sources and sites and editorials like this. In the meantime, wear a mask, stay safe and please VOTE.

Marlys McCurdy, M.Ed.,