I wasn't planning to post about this article despite the fact that is very good, since it did not seem likely to have much overlap with topics here on Ovarit. That is what I thought until I got to this bit:

In 2011, an epidemic broke out among a dozen kids at a school in Le Roy, New York. The children were suddenly overtaken by speech impediments, Tourette’s, and muscular twitches. Health officials quickly suspected the symptoms were the result of psychological contagion, but the local Fox News channel stoked the outbreak by amplifying one doctor’s diagnosis that the kids were suffering from a “PANDAS-like” strep infection. Outraged parents formed an advocacy group, and Erin Brockovich showed up demanding an investigation that would discover the “real” cause. Fake news fueled a real illness, and scientific evidence was rejected in favor of pre-determined beliefs. Eventually the Fox rage subsided, and the symptoms went away.

The Le Roy outbreak was intensified by texts and tweets, fanning the fear and ramping up the number of kids who reported symptoms. Social media has a toxic way of creating tight, sealed-off, le Carré spy dens everywhere. Since 2000, Bartholomew says, there have been more events of mass psychogenic illness than there were in the entire previous century. The prescribed treatment for psychological contagion—avoiding inflammatory rhetoric and letting everyone calm down—will be increasingly difficult in the age of the Twitter Presidency, when the populace is regularly needled into fits of panic.

Alas, merely getting Trump out of the Oval Office won't solve this sort of thing, and immediately I found myself thinking about the way "transing" is being driven on by inflammatory media stories and social media postings, and how the author of the article provided the explanation of what was going on in a compassionate way. Our minds can help us with the placebo effect, and under the right conditions hurt us with real symptoms.