False Rumors

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False Rumors

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In Alexis Akwagyiram’s Reuters article named “African governments team up with tech giants to fights coronavirus lies”, she details how African countries are partnering with tech companies like Facebook, Twitter, and WhatsApp to ensure citizens are up to date with news on the coronavirus and prevent false rumors from spreading through these channels and eventually causing a spike in cases. In the article, Akwagyiram mentions how “false claims that garlic, beetroot, and lemons are an effective alternative to antiretroviral drugs' ' continued to spread in most African countries. However, those claims reached the African community here in the United States. My mom, a Ghanaian woman, trying to find ways to prevent herself from catching the virus, especially since she had to work during the height of the pandemic, found herself believing these said rumors. I remember entering the kitchen every morning to see her making a mixture of garlic, hibiscus herb, and ginger boiling on the stove and pouring them in cups for the family to drink. This daily routine took a toll on her health as she began to experience symptoms such as trouble swallowing, difficulty sleeping, and irritability after eating which her doctor later diagnosed as acid reflux. With my mom already having an underlying disease and being immuno-compromised, she had to start taking new medications to prevent the reflux from affecting her blood pressure. What was supposed to alleviate stress and prevent us from catching the virus, just brought more trouble to my family with us now having to worry about the effect of this new diagnosis on my mom’s well-being.

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This item was submitted on September 16, 2021 by Crystal Frimpong using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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