Who do we believe?

As I talked with customers with the Fort Frances Times, I regularly recommended that the best form of advertising was with word of mouth. A great recommendation friend to friend was the best form of advertising one could receive. It was based on customer care, delivering more than one promised and good follow-up.

We have learned a lot from word-of-mouth information. Our parents told us about the day we were born. Our parents told us not to put our hands-on hot stove elements. Our mothers told us to dress warmly to walk to school on cold January mornings and then checked to make sure we had our toques and mitts on. Our teachers taught us our numbers verbally and we learned to sing the alphabet before we could read. We have always depended on verbal learning and have learned to trust what others are telling us.

But should we today? Social media has given us the ability to choose what we read and learn. We are directed to many sites on the recommendations of friends and we begin to follow what we read, and it is reinforced to us as web sites direct us to other sights with similar ideas and opinions. Where did our friends get their information? Can it be trusted? Can I trust their recommendation?

A recent survey of Canadians found that 78 per cent were concerned about getting the virus and 86 per cent were concerned about a family member getting COVID. The survey found that a great many Canadians did not know where to become tested and treated. They were aware of the symptoms. They believed that CBC, CTV, Global and Canada’s daily newspapers were providing them with solid information about COVID-19 testing in their communities. Canadians were less trusting of their provincial and federal politicians.


On the contrary, Canadians were not trusting at all of US television media or US politicians.

Over the weekend we have seen some of the same divisions in Canada that exist in the US and anti maskers have protested in cities across Canada even though the virus and hospitalizations are on the rise. Even with the best evidence that wearing masks, social distancing in public and family isolating is in all our best interests, there remain some who are sceptics.

Our next battle to keep our families and friends safe across Canada will be to encourage everyone to vaccinate when the vaccine is available in our communities. There are already divisions across Canada about whether one should get the vaccine. I have witnessed it in our community. Who should we trust? I believe that we should look to the scientists and virologists who have a great understanding of vaccines and rely on their expertise, just as we would go to a dentist to have a tooth repaired instead of a carpenter. We must trust our sources and look to make sure that there is evidence to support the information we are receiving.