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Discern facts from opinions 

I believe it is time to get away from hearsay and start listening to what the facts say. The COVID-19 response has been confusing in part because we have become unable to discern fact from opinion. I spent the last four years studying communication at Boston University. I grew up in Los Osos. Boston University provided me an amazing education. Growing up, I did not receive a wholistic view of the world from within SLO.

I just presented two facts, and then two opinions. The difference between them is nuanced, yet essential to communication. The first cannot be debated or argued. They are facts. The latter may be discussed, agreed with, or refuted. They are opinion.

Essential information must be properly understood. By learning how to separate facts and opinions, we can appropriately focus our energy while discussing pandemic response.

Whether or not we should wear masks, as a community, is an opinion, clearly. San Luis Obispo debates over where and who should wear a mask. If everyone wore a mask, we would save lives. That is fact. The difference lies in the implementation of information. Saving human life is a pro to wearing a mask. Communication issues created by wearing masks are a con. Facts can be implemented into debates over opinions.

The best opinion, in my opinion, rests on a bedrock of facts, not on a bedrock of opinions. Use facts to inform your opinions. Assert facts, discuss opinions.

Robby Saligman

Los Osos

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