It is undeniable that we live in a world with many “alternative facts”, where misleading news stories are the new norm, as such it’s not always easy to discern factually inaccurate news stories. Furthermore, when people are overloaded with new information, they tend to rely on less-than-ideal coping mechanisms to distinguish good from bad and end up privileging popularity over quality.

This is the case of the anti-vaxxers movement spreading globally. Vaccines are one of the safest and most effective health interventions for infectious diseases. They have had a staggering impact on reducing the burden of infectious cases worldwide. However, a minority of people oppose their use, strongly influenced by the spread of misinformation about the safety and effectiveness of vaccines.

The impact of fake news can be as dangerous as pushing those who believe in them into committing acts of violence. In Germany, the Anti covid measures protests are becoming increasingly violent. German police said last Wednesday, December 15, 2021, that they had foiled a plot by anti-vaccine activists in Saxony to assassinate the Prime Minister of that region.

The death threats against Michael Kretschmer, the Prime Minister of a region with one of the highest rates of Covid-19 infection in Germany and the lowest vaccination rate, had been issued in a group on the Telegram messaging platform, police said. Messages from group members suggest they may be in possession of firearms and crossbows, it said on Twitter.

Not only Germany, but France and many other EU countries have also witnessed numerous attacks against doctors, medical staff, politicians, police, and journalists since the implementation of the Anti-covid measures. This is happening in times when our doctors and medical staff are working over the clock to take care of the Covid-19 patients, out of which over 80% are unvaccinated patients or anti-vaxxers.

HOW FAR FAKE NEWS CAN TAKE YOU?

In Italy, an anti-vaxxer man, originally from Piedmont, wanted to get his Covid pass without actually getting vaccinated, by presenting himself with a false arm in front of the medical staff. He got pinched by the nurse, who spotted the prosthesis before the shot. The man went to a vaccination center in Biella, in northwestern Italy. His prosthetic arm was very well made, but the color and feel of it immediately aroused the suspicions of the nurse administering the vaccine. She asked him to remove his shirt, to discover his subterfuge!

If only this anti-vaxxer put in as much effort and as much energy to fact-check his sources instead of outsmarting science!


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