‘Heard’ mentality

Published August 10, 2021, 12:12 AM

by Jullie Y. Daza

Medium Rare

Jullie Y. Daza

As the tunnel grows longer and darker, the desperately longed-for herd immunity seems to be going farther away.

At the same time, the herd mentality that is highly vulnerable to trolls bent on virally spreading fake news and easily believable but incredibly wrong information is losing out to “heard” mentality. People “heard” friends and strangers say something and immediately believed them, then spread the disinformation/misinformation by repeating that something as fact or as a question, which could sound like the truth.

Maliciously or innocently? Manila Mayor Isko Moreno has proof that “agitators” were out to “sabotage” the city’s highly popular vaccination program by bringing in vans loaded with pretend vaccinees. Yorme is sure he’s got the goods on the puppeteers. This is the same Yorme who was almost served a “show cause order” for an audit anomaly that happened in 2018, before he became mayor. Honestly? When was the last time you heard that certain types of government employees couldn’t count? At PhilHealth they could count up to billions.

In Quezon City, a barangay worker was a “victim” or spreader of fake news, or both. She was videoed telling residents applying for quarantine passes, “No vaccination card, no pass.” Did she mishear the information in her head?

What did a bunch of legislators from HOR hear about OCTA Research that they’re now prepared to conduct a congressional investigation? They want to know what methodologies are being used by the scientists to collect, analyze, and interpret data about COVID-19 transmissions, sounding the alarm at  the researchers’ “alarmist” projections. They may not have heard that OCTA’s trends and trajectories have been spot on — some of them closely jibe with DOH pronouncements.

For doing their job and sharing their knowledge, the researchers are being doubted by officials who  despite their brilliance as politicians are new to the language of data analytics. Is this the time to pick on scientists and nitpick on their obsession with numbers, percentage points, graphs and charts? One of them, Fr. Nicanor Austriaco, OP, who’s developing an oral vaccine for Filipinos, has cautioned the lawmakers, “OCTA is not the enemy.”

We’ve been in lockdown for so long it’s easy to forget that COVID-19 is the one to beat.