Editorial: Pay attention to the news, even if it’s frustrating

With the barrage of COVID-19 information in the media, it is difficult to not be frustrated by conflicting data and projections.

Illustration by Sarah Mai

Sarah Mai

Illustration by Sarah Mai

It is hard to look at any news outlet today and not be scared. Despite it being over a month since coronavirus has swept across the United States, there seems to be a low number of positive news stories. The death toll keeps rising. The front pages and websites of mainstream news outlets are flooded with frightening headlines and scientific data from experts that make the future look progressively more grim.

There is no doubt that news outlets are playing a vital role in ensuring that the public is up to date on information pertaining to COVID-19. This virus is a mystery to civilians and experts alike, and ensuring that accurate, important facts are made accessible is paramount during this time of uncertainty. 

However, the amount of conflicting information being released makes it hard to decipher what information should be taken seriously.

Many people are turning to mainstream news as their source of information. This pandemic is beyond frightening, and people tend to feel safer when they know as much as they can about what is happening. But discrepancies between news organizations’ publishing of different scientific findings by experts, along with news outlets’ coverage of these findings, makes trying to stay up to date on information frustrating.

Possibly the most infuriating conflict of information regards when it is safe for society to return to the way it was before the pandemic emerged. People are itching to return to work and school and to see loved ones, and it is disheartening to see some projections that we may be social distancing for the next two years. 

While some of the most recent studies suggest that we may not be able to stop social distancing until 2022, there are also those who say that cases of COVID-19 could begin to dwindle this summer with the return of warmer weather.

Despite all of these studies, it is impossible to say what is going to happen within these next few months. Experts are working tirelessly to find a cure for this virus, but that does not make our current reality any less daunting. 

Since new information is being released every day, it is incredibly important to continue to read the news. While the information can be very confusing and frustrating with the amount of information being published, that does not mean that the findings shouldn’t be listened to or taken seriously. Staying informed is difficult, but it is paramount in grappling with our current reality.