The COVID-19 virus has been on headlines for months, and it is unlikely this will change in the near future. The information around the pandemic is exponentially increasing every single day, but how can we determine which portion of these reports is fake, sensationalist and meant to provoke collective hysteria? In this episode, Dr. Rosie Sendher and Dr. Erica Fisk sit down with Dr. Mohit Bhandari to chat about a concerning issue for both the scientific community and the world’s population: the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Mohit Bhandari serves as professor and academic chair of the Division of Orthopedic Surgery at McMaster University. Passionate about orthopedic research and evidence-based surgery, he has become a leader of his field and a proud member of the Order of Canada for his research and advocacy both nationally and abroad.
The global health crisis has created a rich space for collaboration, resulting in the scientific community’s tireless efforts to reach a much needed cure. Due to the nature of the pandemic, there is an overwhelming amount of reports out there, which makes us question: can conventional and social media be trusted as reliable sources? Listen now to learn how to filter, distill and dissect both the data and articles you may bump into as you navigate sources. Remember: awareness and skepticism are key.
In this episode we chat about:
- (02:26) - The relevance and execution of Randomized Control Trials in the medical field — “Bias is a deviation from the truth, we’re trying to limit that in research to the extent we can.”
- (11:43) - On the irregular spreading of information around COVID-19 research, testing and data — “That virus didn’t exist in December, so these were new COVID-related papers, so the medium time from submission to publication was 10 days.”
- (15:23) - How awareness helps navigate through the possible “noise” reports on the pandemic — “We can all quote data, but you’ve gotta get to what’s meaningful at that period of time, and it’s really hard as information is evolving.”
- (23:25) - On the need for scientific research platforms and how the pandemic has boosted global collaboration — “As much as it seems that everything is so competitive, there has been a really impressive degree of sharing.”
- (26:38) - Will the resulting COVID-19 vaccine be truly available for everyone? — “You cannot have a stable, functional world economy if you don’t have all members of that world economy healthy, safe and productive.”
- (30:19) - On the application of Randomized Control Trials for COVID-19 research and the dangerous accessibility of false news and information surrounding the virus — “We cannot celebrate too early because we just don’t have enough information and knowledge. At this point, it’s evolving.”
- (44:44) - How to filter sensationalist news and inaccurate information around the virus’s evolution, data, and the imposed safety policies — “The way to get rid of that first wave of nonsensical and not evidence-based opinions is to get high quality evidence out there rapidly.”
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