The Abstract Podcast

How to navigate Covid-19's “infodemic” and stay sane

In this episode, we discuss where the latest science stands on the mind and body’s best defense against Covid-19.

Since December, round the clock news coverage, conspiracy theories, and lightning fast scientific discoveries have given people Covid-19 “news overload.”

It got so bad, that in February of 2020, the World Health Organization declared an “infodemic”: “An overabundance of information – some accurate and some not – that makes it hard for people to find trustworthy sources and reliable guidance when they need it.”

As our heads were already flooded with too much true and false information, scientists also confirmed the first case of Covid-19 reinfection. But what exactly does it mean to get infected with Covid-19 twice? And how does this finding fit into the sea of coronavirus news?

It turns out, the same takeaway from the first coronavirus reinfection applies to the infodemic: It will likely remain as long as the pandemic continues. But with the right protection, we can better weather the storm.

Just as our immune system learns to guard itself with antibodies, we can teach our minds to ward off misinformation and embrace uncertainty.

In this episode of The Abstract, we discuss where the latest science stands on the mind and body’s best defense against Covid-19.

Our first story is about the first case of coronavirus reinfection and what it tells us about our body’s defense against Covid-19. Offering promising signs that the immune system is wise to the virus, researchers are hopeful the latest information is a step toward making a better vaccine and hastening the end of the pandemic.

Our second story is about the Covid-19 “infodemic.” Faced with “information overload,” people often fall into “black and white” thinking as they try to make sense of so many confusing — and ever-changing — details. Fortunately, key strategies can help people overcome Covid-19’s most common mental traps and stay sane along the way.

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Right now, facts and science matter more than ever. That's part of the reason for The Abstract, this all-new podcast from the Inverse staff that focuses exclusively on science and innovation. Three new episodes are released a week, and each covers one theme via two related stories. Each features audio of original Inverse reporting, where the facts and context take center stage. It's hosted by the Tanya Bustos of WSJ Podcasts. Because we're Inverse, it's all true but slightly off-kilter. It's made for people who want to know the whole story. Nick Lucchesi, executive editor, Inverse

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