October 24, 2021

Acqua NYC

Fit And Go Forward

Why it’s hard to get people to take COVID seriously

As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, associate professor Holley Wilkin discusses the importance of effective public health messaging and why it’s been largely ineffective at flattening the curve.

Slowing the spread of COVID-19, a disease that has so far killed more than 250,000 Americans, requires mass-scale shifts in behavior.

Persuading the public to stay home, practice social distancing, wear a mask, or eventually get a vaccine is largely reliant on effective communications, says Holley Wilkin, associate professor of communication at Georgia State.

“First, you have to convince people that the virus is a threat that needs to be taken seriously,” says Wilkin. “Then you have to convince them that these changes will work to protect themselves and other people in their family or community.”

That has proven difficult, at least in America, where conspiracy theories about COVID-19 abound and public response to the pandemic has become deeply polarized among partisan lines.

Here, Wilkin explains what the events of 2020 have revealed about the importance of health education and communication:

Source: Georgia State University

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