How Not to Fall for Coronavirus BS

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This may be one of the single best articles I’ve read online in a while.

It lists the 7 deadly sins of thought, as follows:

1. The sin of gullibility.

I heard coronavirus particles can stay in the air for up to five days!

2. The sin of cynicism.

I’d better stock up on toilet paper before everyone else buys it.

3. The sin of pride.

I know what’s best for my family!

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Do you think you know better than everyone else?

4. The sin of close-mindedness.

I won’t accept that.

5. The sin of prejudice.

I’ve stopped buying Chinese food — just in case.

6. The sin of negligence.

SARS was more deadly than COVID-19 and that wasn’t that big a deal

7. The sin of wishful thinking.

This will all be over in a week or two and it’ll be business as usual.

A pandemic like COVID-19 shows our way of life is fragile and can change at any moment. Wishful thinking ignores the stark realities and can set us up for disappointment.

There are some questions we can ask ourselves to help improve our intellectual character traits:

What would change my mind?

It’s a red flag for sin of pride if nothing will change your mind.

What is the strongest argument the other side has?

We often hold each piece of the truth in our own perspective. It’s worth keeping in mind that unless there’s wanton cruelty involved, chances are differing arguments will have some good points.

What groups would gain or lose the most if we keep thinking this way?

Sometimes we fail to consider the practical outcomes of our thoughts for people who aren’t like us. We’ve seen in the last few weeks that the people who have a lot to lose (such as casual workers) matter when it comes to the way we respond to the pandemic.

It’s worth taking a moment to consider their perspectives.

How much do you actually know about an issue? Who is an expert?

The experts always have something to say. If they agree on it, it’s a good indication we should believe them. If there isn’t general consensus, we should be dubious of one-sided claims to truth.

And remember the person’s actual expertise — it’s too easy to mistake a political leader or famous person with an expert.

In challenging days like these, we may be able to help ensure a better outcome for everyone if we start by asking ourselves a few simple questions.

This article is republished from LLRX, which republished it from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

PS: These questions should be asked in many situations other than news about coronavirus.

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New York Times bestselling author of seven novels, including the Sam McRae Mystery series. Screenwriter, podcaster, and blogger. My website:

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