Katrine Wallace, an epidemiologist and adjunct assistant professor at the University of Illinois Chicago, joined TikTok at the start of the pandemic for the same reason we all did: She was bored and got sucked into the app’s endless scroll of funny dog and cat videos and viral trends.
Unfortunately, in between clips of people’s feta pasta and dance challenges, she saw a ton of COVID-19 misinformation.
“As an epidemiologist who is trained on how to read the scientific literature and data, I just couldn’t let it go unchecked without trying to set the record straight,” said Wallace, who goes by @epidemiologistkat on TikTok.
She started debunking the wildest claims, and soon, her follower count and the number of views on her videos began to grow massively. She currently has over 194,000 followers and counting.
“I think it showed that people have a real thirst for evidence-based information,” she told HuffPost. “Now the misinformation has largely moved from COVID-19 itself to the vaccines, so the need to counter misinformation is still present, if not even greater than before.”