If there was any wonder about why the public has been confused by the pandemic guidance it receives from government agencies, a public service announcement provides a clue.
The video, released by The Southeast Michigan Council of Governments and entitled “Slow Down: Look for People,” gives tips on how pedestrians can protect themselves in public. About 24 seconds into the animated spot, the narrator says, “if you have to walk into the street, walk facing traffic.” While stating that, it shows the pedestrian on the sidewalk passing another pedestrian and then an arrow labeled “6 feet” (the distance recommended for social distancing) pointing towards the traffic.
“OMG,” wrote Chad Savage, M.D., an internist and policy advisor to The Heartland Institute, which co-publishes Health Care News, on Facebook. “This is the worst advice ever! You are FAR, FAR more likely to be killed by a car walking in the street than dying from COVID after passing someone momentarily outside, where COVID transmission almost does not occur.”
Polls suggest that risk perception of COVID-19 is widely off, with those under age 24 believing they had between a 7.7 to 8.7 percent chance of dying from the virus, while the real risk is 0.1 percent.