This editorial argues for empowering the public with better critical health literacy skills to strengthen community capabilities against COVID-19.
With the prevalence of inaccurate information circulating online, it is imperative that individuals improve their health literacy skills, particularly eHealth literacy. Beyond health literacy, individuals need media literacy skills to make sense of the massive amounts of information easily accessible online. It is recommended that health literacy “universal precautions” occur that assumes the public has difficulty comprehending information. At a minimum, health care providers should check patients understanding of their own health. However, because so many people are turning to digital communication before health care providers for information, public health authorities, researchers, and academic institutions should consider eHealth literacy and provide information that encourages more health-literate publics.