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False narratives about Covid left us with millions of deaths – will we challenge them now? | Debora MacKenzie

To stop another, more severe, pandemic, those misleading stories like thinking the virus would burn itself out can’t be forgotten

All big experiences in our lives have two realities. There is what really happened. And there is the narrative, the story we tell ourselves and each other about what happened. Of the two, psychologists say it’s the narrative that matters most. Creating coherent stories about events allows us to make sense of them. It is the narrative that determines our reactions, and what we do next.

Two years after the World Health Organization (WHO) finally used the word “pandemic” in its own story about the deadly new virus from Wuhan, narratives have multiplied and changed around the big questions. How bad is it? What should we do about it? When will it be over? The stories we embraced have sometimes been correct, but others have sown division, even caused needless deaths. Those stories aren’t finished – and neither is the pandemic.

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Read the original article at The Guardian

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