Be Careful of Your Sources

person holding a burning news paper close up photography
Photo by Connor Danylenko on Pexels.com

Last Friday, we got a bit of an alarming inquiry from my wife’s sister.

“I heard there were positive cases from tests where your husband works?”

Hold up. What?!

Last week, I was off from work. We were on a rotating shift schedule, so I was blissfully unaware of the events.

To be clear, I work in the paper-pushing side of the local government. Of course we have to work despite the pandemic. Quarantine rules were also slowly being lifted. So, the news we heard was a bit of a shock and surprise.

I asked my wife to check the common sources – the government page, the mayor’s profile, and even the Information Officer of the City. They’re the ones who usually break the news of these things as primary sources.

There were no updates whatsoever. Interesting.

Another friend of my wife’s asked us the same question. We asked for a source.

It was from a Facebook page that has “[City Name] TV” as its name, and the primary content are news. However, upon closer inspection these “news posts” were nothing more than headlines, and there were no details whatsoever regarding the said “positive case.”

All it says was that there were “Three employees who tested positive in the Rapid Testing for NCov-19.”

Suspicious.

I told my wife that the news source was not considered a credible source of information. This does not seem like a news source. It was neither citing its sources, and at the very least it sounded like hearsay. It seemed like a page curated by an individual that pulls off news from other “news sources.” It felt like a blog. Furthermore, they were only headlines. Clicking on the headlines lead to nowhere, but an enlarged photo of the headline photo.

I concluded that it was possible that the “news” either was leaked by the testers themselves, or by employees who heard about it. As far as journalism is concerned, those are not considered to be reliable.

The possibility that the news is true is there. Yet, we cannot confirm the truth of it. The source is not credible. The most it was creating is fear.

It was working. I was afraid.

I told my wife to tell these people that we should wait for official announcements.

So, I did some digging.

First of all, the rapid testing was not a guaranteed test for Coronavirus. The most it was testing for was antibodies. It was another method of elimination for possible infection. If you tested positive for the rapid tests, it just means you have antibodies in your body. If you have antibodies, you have an infection. I repeat, it just means you have an infection – it could be a bacterial infection, or it could be viral, but it does not mean it is the corona.

In the end, we just stopped assaulting the credibility of the so-called “news source” and just let it be.

The next day, the City, in it’s regular press briefing addressed the matter, citing and confirming my research on the Rapid Test. It is not indicative of corona. Those who tested positive in the rapid test was then required to take the Swab Test for corona. We still have to wait for the result. As of today, we are still waiting for one or two results. The rest were confirmed negative for Corona.

While I am relieved that the initial panic was gone and had not much basis, I had to admit that I felt dumb for initially believing the news. Also, trying for defend my stand for credible news source was also tough. Like I said, it may be true, but it may also be false. That is the case with news source that lacks credibility.

I hope you have a nice day!

Author: jomz

Web Designer and Developer, Graphic Artist. Writer.