Category Archives: Family

Misinformation Fatigue

Like many of you, my life has been impacted by misinformation, especially during Covid. Now, I come from a family of skeptics, we question everything. My wife’s family not so much. They belong to a number of interesting WhatsApp groups, mostly based around their church and faith.

Image by Stephan Fuchs from Pixabay

One member sent me a message about a miracle that had occurred, signalling the end of days. It appears, according to this message, that the Moon was visible in the sky at the same time as the Sun.

My first response was the Moon is visible in the same sky as the Sun every month. I included a link to Google images of it. “No the Moon outshone the Sun in the sky. This is miraculous and was visible all across the USA,” the reply concluded.

Me: So the country with the most astronomers in the world and the most evangelical Christians all saw this and it’s reported on no news sites, not anywhere on social media? Only a church in India knows about it?

“Oh, wait, it happened five years ago, never mind.”


Covid-related misinformation has been much worse, although fortunately most of the family eventually fell in line with science on this one.

Image by Alejandro Tuzzi from Pixabay

In the early days I was getting messages about a French doctor “debunking” the very existence of Covid. Oddly, the attached ‘proof’ was always a link to a “Wisconsin Lime Disease” website, never to any kind of medical authority. I had to debunk this one twice.

Of course the recent invasion of Ukraine by Russia has brought out. the end-of-days doomsayers again. That “BBC News” video from 2018 that apparently shows the beginning of WW3 has been all over my family’s WhatApps.

Whenever I debunk something like this, I ask my family member to pass along the correct information to whoever contacted them with this BS and also to pass the correction along to whoever else they’ve sent this too.

I doubt they’ve ever done it.

It gets tiring. Right now I’m having to debunk a “The dates add up to war” meme that only works if you don’t follow the meme’s rules consistently.

I’d decided a while ago that I wasn’t going to debunk anything that isn’t either dangerous (anti-vax, etc) or harming the well-being of my family members. BUT I let one go, and got a follow-on “So, you couldn’t disprove that, eh?”

So now apparently it’s my job to disprove every lie on the internet that my extended family chooses to believe… I’ve told them to ask questions before passing along, to look for any logical holes, or just Google it to see if it’s true. But apparently it’s just easier to send it to me and fight over it.


The Tail of Ludwig and Natasha

Ludwig had the tail. He was a Russian Blue mix. He had the double-layered grey fur of a Russian Blue, but he had yellow eyes, and a white patch on his chest. Also, we called him Wiggy. Natasha, you can call her Nat, was a tortoiseshell Manx, a breed that has no tail.

This is a story of personalities and places that have not been together for lo on twenty-five years now. It all started in a small apartment in the Canadian city of Guelph… Continue reading The Tail of Ludwig and Natasha