The Estonian American National Council (EANC) and the Estonian Central Council in Canada (EKN) have issued a joint statement on fake news and misinformation related to the COVID-19 coronavirus. The statement is primarily aimed at Estonian communities in North America, and its text is reproduced below.
The COVID-19 virus, also known as the corona virus, has caused great disruptions in all of our lives. Businesses have closed, many have lost jobs, major cities are still, while we are staying at home to prevent the spread of the virus. The numbers of people infected, and the rate of deaths are increasing daily. Burdens on hospitals and health care providers exceed anything seen before. During such a critical and unprecedented time, rumors and disinformation can quickly arise and be disseminated.
The EANC and The EKN therefore advise all Estonians living in North America and beyond, to follow the instructions of government health officials and experts with regards to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Disinformation about treatments for COVID-19 is being widely disseminated, possibly including in our Estonian communities, which could lead to serious health consequences and could put our communities at risk should these be thought of as credible.
Any claims about alternative treatments, miracle cures or any other methods to cure or prevent COVID-19, other than those officially published by your governments, should be viewed skeptically, as they could pose a serious risk to your health.
Please follow the instructions of your local government, and practice physical distancing. But most of all, avoid non-essential travel and stay home as much as possible. Information is changing constantly, so please check frequently for the latest updates. For instance, the White House has just announced that it advises the wearing of face masks in high density locations.
In Canada, please visit the Government of Canada's COVID-19 website.
To volunteer in Canada to help deliver critical items, food and prescriptions to individuals affected by COVID-19 here.
We Estonians have lived through tough and difficult times before, and will do so again. Please keep safe!
Editor: Andrew Whyte