Cuyamaca College Masks and Disease Discussion

Assignment 1: Supporting Opinions in Public Health


Public health, especially in the media and on the internet, is full of opinions, some true, some false, some contradictory (1). “Masks don’t work to stop Covid”, “Vaccines cause autism”, “Gun violence relates to mental health”. True? False? We can only confirm/refute these opinions by using research. 

Read below ( or this CNN article (Links to an external site.) link) on what the Surgeon General feels is the biggest Covid-19 vaccination threat. (Remember, this is your textbook! This all counts as reading. )

Surgeon General warns misinformation is the greatest threat to Covid-19 vaccination efforts

Madeline Holcombe

By Madeline Holcombe, CNN

Updated 1:35 PM ET, Fri June 25, 2021 

(CNN)With a dangerous Covid-19 variant on the rise, health experts are urging people who are still hesitant to get their vaccinations. But the US surgeon general warns a big obstacle stands in their way: Misinformation.

“There is so much misinformation out there about the vaccine, coming through so many channels — a lot of it being spread on social media,” Dr. Vivek Murthy told CNN’s Erin Burnett. “It’s inducing a lot of fear among people.”

These are the two key groups now being hit hardest by Covid-19

(Links to an external site.)These are the two key groups now being hit hardest by Covid-19

“Two-thirds of those who are unvaccinated in polls say that they either believe the myths about Covid-19 or think that they might be true,” he added.Experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, have estimated that (Links to an external site.)70 to 85% of people in the US will need to become immune to the virus through vaccination or infection in order to control community spread. But after initial surges, vaccination rates have slowed, and only 53.7% of the population has received at least one dose.

In addition, more than 1 in 10 people who have received one dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech or Moderna vaccine have missed their second dose, according to data shared with CNN by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

That statistic is especially concerning to experts because studies have shown that the vaccines are much more effective against the Delta variant after the two-dose series is completed.

And the Delta variant is believed to be more transmissible and cause more severe disease than other strains.

Murthy said he is worried for those who are unvaccinated as the variant spreads.

In Los Angeles County, the impact is already clear. Nearly all of the Covid-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in Los Angeles County are occurring among people who are unvaccinated, county health officials said Thursday.

Out of nearly 437,000 positive coronavirus cases reported in L.A. County since December 2020, 99.6% of those were among individuals who were unvaccinated, health officials said in a press release.

“The virus is still with us,” Los Angeles County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said at a press conference. “Even now, we need to be careful to mask and maintain distance from people outside of our households, especially if they’re not yet vaccinated.”



This article reinforces that it is important to be able to support your opinions, viewpoints and positions with research and then clearly communicate your findings. This can be accomplished by using literature to support your viewpoint. This will help you to challenge biases you may have as well as prove that your point is not just an opinion. This assignment will help you to learn to PROVE your opinions (or change your mind) by using research and literature.

**This assignment is meant to show you how all other discussions should be constructed. From this assignment forward, you will be expected to have a source to support any health facts or conclusions.


For this discussion, prepare first by reading the following document, watching the video and reading my post

WRITTEN: How to Support a Thesis Statement HED BROOKS


We are only going to do a short version of this handout. 

SHORT VIDEO. This this simple and silly video really does a good job of how to write a topic sentence and how to support it. Its 6 minutes but a good review! Link to Writing a Supporting Paragraph with a Topic Sentence (Links to an external site.)

EXAMPLE: READ my post below!! Yours should resemble it. I am researching the claim that “recreational” or gateway drugs contribute to more drug use. Many think this is true, many think it is false. I am picking a side and using literature to support my argument:

My Post:

Gateway drugs contribute to more powerful drugs but other factors may be involved. Marijuana, a gateway recreational drug, is legal but can serve to sensitize the developing brain to dopamine receptors and cravings (Panlilio et al). Interestingly, research shows that early adolescent drug use contributes to increased later adolescent drug use but, in adulthood, the correlation can adjust. At that point, mental health issues cloud the relationship (Nkansah-Amankra). Research shows that gateway drugs do contribute to later drug use but it is only one factor in the complex relationships in addiction.

1.Panlilio LV, Zanettini C, Barnes C, Solinas M, Goldberg SR. Prior exposure to THC increases the addictive effects of nicotine in rats. Neuropsychopharmacol Off Publ Am Coll Neuropsychopharmacol

2.Nkansah-Amankra, Stephen, and Mark Minelli. “”Gateway hypothesis” and early drug use: Additional findings from tracking a population-based sample of adolescents to adulthood.” Preventive medicine reports vol. 4 134-41. 28 May. 2016,

Assignment Instructions

Summary: Write a paragraph using the prompts below. It must have a topic sentence, two (2) supporting facts with references and then one closing sentence. There should be 4-6 sentences total. More is not always better.


  • Pick ONE of the following topics to write a sentence about. An opinion on one of these topicsMUST be part of your first sentence.
    • Do gateway drugs contribute to the use of more powerful drugs?
    • Do vaccines cause autism?
    • Is Covid really worse than the flu?
    • Are eggs bad for you?
    • Does the California “one year” rule not allowing teens to drive with friends until they have their license for one year have any benefit?
    • Does sugar cause hyperactivity in children?
    • Do masks really help stop the spread of disease?
    • D seatbelts really matter?

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