(Unsplash photo)

“Are you printing the truth yet?”

Right from my first days in the editor’s chair, I have had a handful of locals tell me they know the secrets to solving COVID-19 — but fail to provide support.

A man walked into the office the other day and asked if we’re printing the truth yet or if we’re paid by the Federal government.

He then proceeded to purchase a paper. Clearly, whether he believes it’s contents to be the truth or some Federal propaganda, there must be something in there he likes reading.

The news industry has long been questioned about where their bias lies, or who they support, should journalists be allowed to vote, etc. Despite their underlying biases (we all have them) journalistic ethics say we are to be objective — this means despite our bias, we are to publish the facts.

The Times has received a handful of letters to the editor, a few phone calls and tips that focus on alternative ways to either stave off COVID-19 or cure those infected and concerns about masks or the new mRNA vaccines.

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We live in a time of uncertainty. It feels almost weekly, there are new studies, new restrictions, new strains and new treatments. This uncertainty can lead us to want to find answers, many of which, the folks in government and our public health officials may not have, which in turn can further lead some to find answers elsewhere.

Colloidal silver water and natural teas have been suggested to be “proven” ways to help cure those who have COVID-19 and stave off the virus for others.

Masks have been suggested to cause respiratory infections just by wearing and breathing through them.

A lot are concerned about the new vaccine and that it changes our DNA.

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These are all baseless notions. Why? Not only is it fairly easy to do a quick Google search on any one of those topics, those that have put forward these suggestions have failed to provide their own research and support.

What was found reveals that Health Canada published a study that showed the human body doesn’t absorb enough silver to make products like silver water effective, unless taken in exorbitant doses (i.e., 1000 mg, 50 times the level of that found in the silver water sold at “natural” food stores).

In addition, wearing masks will not cause respiratory infections, but improperly handling or failing to regularly wash reusable masks can be problematic. Lastly, the new mRNA vaccines do not rewrite or change a person’s DNA, they teach our cells how to make the protein that will trigger the immune response.

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Every article, news tip, letter and freelance piece that lands upon an editor’s desk is thoroughly edited for clarity, but they’re also fact-checked — everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but no one is entitled to their own facts. It is vitally important that those two terms don’t cross paths.

If a request for supporting evidence goes unanswered or is dismissed, and the editor can’t find the information on their own, or finds evidence to dispute it, the article, letter, tip or freelance piece is effectively thrown out.

Continue to send letters, opinion pieces and tips. A community paper thrives when the community takes part.


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