Katrine Wallace, an epidemiologist and adjunct assistant professor at the University of Illinois Chicago, joined TikTok at the commence of the pandemic for the similar cause we all did: She was bored and received sucked into the app’s unlimited scroll of humorous pet and cat videos and viral developments.
However, in amongst clips of people’s feta pasta and dance problems, she noticed a ton of COVID-19 misinformation.
“As an epidemiologist who is qualified on how to browse the scientific literature and facts, I just couldn’t permit it go unchecked without the need of attempting to set the report straight,” mentioned Wallace, who goes by @epidemiologistkat on TikTok.
She started out debunking the wildest promises, and quickly, her follower count and the selection of sights on her video clips commenced to expand massively. She at present has about 194,000 followers and counting.
“I think it confirmed that persons have a real thirst for evidence-primarily based info,” she told HuffPost. “Now the misinformation has largely moved from COVID-19 alone to the vaccines, so the require to counter misinformation is however current, if not even larger than in advance of.”
Wallace is one particular of quite a few medical experts and experts applying TikTok to unpack vaccine news and debunk myths (which are abundant on the platform). Occasionally this is finished by means of straight simple fact-examining movies, at times via trending TikTok dances and lip-syncs.
For Wallace, the videos are a way to do her aspect to demystify the vaccine ― although she admits that sometimes being a health-related content material creator is like getting a 2nd work.
Nevertheless, she said, it is truly worth all the work when she hears from people declaring they confirmed just one of her films to a co-worker or a liked 1 who then made a decision to get vaccinated.
“I’ll get a message from someone who life in a compact city where no a person wears a mask, and they will tell me that I’m the only human being that can make them truly feel sane,” she reported. “The people who allow me know I’m generating a change mean the earth to me, and inspire me to preserve going.”
HuffPost chatted with Wallace and quite a few other professional medical practitioners and experts who are working with TikTok to educate the basic community.
Industry experts are nevertheless discovering about COVID-19. The info in this tale is what was identified or readily available as of publication, but guidance can modify as researchers discover extra about the virus. You should check out the Centers for Ailment Command and Avoidance for the most updated tips.