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Be careful about your news sources

By Becky Barnes

What do you see as your respected news source?
We’ve heard a lot recently about fake news and have even been shown instances where it has spread.
One thing that comes to mind is the young woman who claimed she became incapacitated after having had a flu shot.
Many of us watched the video of her struggling to walk forward. She could walk backwards or she could run. However, she demonstrated -- for the camera -- that her ability to advance was impaired, as was her speech.
That has since been proven false after a camera crew followed her for a couple of days.
That single video was likely responsible for any number of people not getting a flu shot this season. And for the flu shot naysayers, it validated their claims that nothing good comes from a flu shot.
Is this why the flu has reached epidemic proportions in Kentucky this season as reported by the Center for Disease Control?
The Kentucky Department for Public Health reported in  mid-January that there had been 36 flu-related deaths in the state.  Two of those deaths were pediatric.
For four weeks, the CDC described Kentucky’s flu as “widespread.” Last week it was elevated to “epidemic.”
Obviously, the decision to have or not to have the flu shot is a personal choice. Some people have never had a flu shot and never had the flu.
That’s awesome!
I, on the other hand, catch every virus, cold and any other ailment that presents itself to family, co-workers and friends.
I have had the flu shot for years and the only reaction I have ever experienced was a sore arm.
However, that’s not to discount others’ claims that they had reactions.
My point is that these sources who are presenting fake news are going so far as to endanger the public.
The original fake news maker was Chicken Little.
As Chicken Little walked through the woods an acorn fell on her head. She ran from one friend to the next yelling that the sky is falling.
Chicken Little tells Ducky Lucky who tells Henny Penny and the trio set out to find the lion. Along the way they meet Foxey Loxey who claims to know where the lion lives. He invites the unsuspecting and naive fowl into his den and they are never seen again.
Chicken Little created the fake news and it was perpetuated by her friends, all of who met their demise.
The whole idea of fake news and people believing unsubstantiated rumors is scary.
Facebook is the latest engine that drives all of that.
Take last week’s threats at the high school for example. Facebook had parents stirred up because they believed there was a suspected shooter on the school campus on the Hilltop.
The threats were real. However, in the two separate incidents, never was there a suspect at any of the schools.
Both suspects were arrested off campus.
Had there been an active shooting suspect on the Hilltop, things would have gone down in a completely different manner.
The Cynthiana Democrat updated information from the school administration, police and sheriff’s department as soon as it was made available. It was on our Facebook page as well as our website.
The information was coming directly from the people in the know.
Even as late as Sunday, I was still hearing that the high school was on lock down because there was a shooter at school.
The high school was on lock down because officials were not made aware of a second threat until 8:30 a.m. Students were already in their classrooms.
The suspect was apprehended without incident at his home and the lock down was lifted.
Had my child been at school Friday morning would I have been scared?
Of course. It was definitely scary for everyone. But with the information in the right hands, things calmed down.
My appeal is that everyone find a reliable news source and follow their reports. Rumors and wrong information can only create havoc. That information could lead you straight to the fox’s den.