It’s fair to say that when we became fully aware of Coronavirus (COVID-19) at the beginning of the year, we did not expect to be in the current situation that we, and the World, are in. But, here we are!
As I was writing my monthly thought for March it because very apparent that this topic would be another long blog, as there were different areas that I wanted to talk about. So, I have decided that I am going to split this into a serial of articles on the subject of Coronavirus. It also means that I can start getting stuff out quicker…like you all care about that. I’m just thinking of something for you to do while on lockdown. Honest! 😉
Before I start I just want to point out that this blog series isn’t going to contain stats or scientific evidence, unless it comes from a reliable source.
I’m also not going to pretend that I have any answers or know someone who does. Because I don’t!
The media has played a major part in keeping everyone informed about what is happening about Coronavirus, however, are we being oversaturated by this news?
When it was first announced, and no-one really understood the enormity of the virus, people felt that the whole thing was being blown out of proportion. And as the weeks/months progress we are steering more towards it’s all doom and gloom.
But is there a way to get the information out there, and get a happy medium of both the severity and the presentation of the news?
Fact is, bad news is good viewing figures/money. It’s what sells better. For the majority of the time, we know more about the murderers than we do about the victims. So the way the story is told about Coronavirus would be no different.
Until it is on our doorsteps we don’t care how severe it is going to be. We can watch as the numbers increase both in infection and deaths, and realise that this is serious, but people will still squash facts as an over-reaction!
But at the same time, it also causes panic. As people started to realise that shit is about to get real, what is the first thing they think about? Oh yeah, toilet roll! I’m not sure what everyone was going to do with stocking up of toilet rolls that they were buying, because there wasn’t any proved symptoms that you would require tissue paper during this pandemic. So the only two things that I can think of, is that people were literally shitting themselves or they were going to spend their time in lockdown, by wanking themselves silly.
I feel that the media (and social media) fed people’s panic, and continuously showing how people were panic buying made others join in. However, if it wasn’t for things like this, we could not have a laugh at things like shit roll grabber machines.
It was clear that anything that was related to this virus was going to create news, and the media didn’t care that it also fed into the hysteria that it was created…because it gave them more ammunition for their reporting.
However, as the weeks have gone on, they generally become more reliable. They’re starting to provide facts and guidelines on what we as a country should be doing to prevent/minimise the spread of Coronavirus.
Don’t get me wrong, the sensationalist press such as The Scum and Daily Fail will continue to feed on these type of stories. There is always going to be press like this feeding off disasters to make money. I go back to my original statement, bad news is good financial gain.
Another thing that I have seen a lot more of is, people wanting to see more good news from this situation. I’m seeing that people are spreading stats showing how many people have recovered from the illness. This is great!
Yes, more people do survive, but I can get why neither the government and press are reporting this. If the population start to see them promote that the death rate is low, then they will be more blasé about the situation and ignore guidelines that are set in place, and let’s be honest, there are enough fuckwits out there doing it as it is. While you may be at a lower risk, there will be people that you come into contact with who won’t. It’s not just about putting yourself at risk, but it’s the more vulnerable within society.
People are sharing World Meters as a reliable source of stats, but it is only as good as the information that it is being provided. Using the UK as an example, we can’t actually say how much of the population has recovered for Coronavirus, because we aren’t testing everyone; just those that are in a more serious condition. So our result of 135 (as of 6th April) being fully recovered is mainly from those that needed medical support. Our true figures won’t materialise until the anti-body test is available.
I’d also point out, that there is a lot of positive news coming out of this situation. Just that good news doesn’t have the same impact as bad. Look at how kids are placing rainbows in windows to show their thanks to the NHS or how over ½ million people have stepped forward as volunteers to support the NHS. Plus there are many other volunteers doing their part for the community. Let’s applaud and celebrate that.
We have to be realistic, Coronavirus is going to be around for a while. It will be all over media for a long time coming. And it’s going to be a bad penny that is going nowhere. You know it’s bad when the UK is starting to miss Brexit
I shall stress, I’m not going to pretend that I have any answers or will share something from someone else who says they do.
I don’t have a friend, who’s aunt’s neighbour’s dog’s owner works at a hospital, and has this miracle cure. Quite frankly anything that starts like this is a load of bollocks, and if you share it, you’re a dickhead!
I’m only sharing this cockwomble’s false story, that appeared on my own timeline, for the nature of the article. I’ve decided to screenshot instead linking to the direct post, because even though Facebook as confirmed that it is fake, no doubt someone will still share it!
At times like this, you will always get pricks out there who will spread shit stating that it is fact. Instead of trying to help people, they’re putting people at risk!
If something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is. And if you’re not sure, then I’d say stick to reliable sources or use fact check websites to double-check the claim being posted.
Fact is, it is the social media user’s responsibility to stop the spread of misinformation. Not just in relation to this, but in general. Social media companies can only do so much to inform us when people are sharing crap. Trust me, I will call you out if you share misinformation…as some people are already aware.
Not all Social Media is bad
However, during a time of crisis, social media can be a lifesaver for many people. With us all in isolation, it gives us the ability to keep in contact with everyone.
During this time where we can’t see our friends and family, we’re turning to video calls to chat. I have used video chat, such as WhatsApp, more in the past few weeks than I have ever used since owning a smartphone that has the technology.
Facebook has seen a 70% increase in people using Messenger group video, and WhatsApp is reporting an average increase of 40%. We’ve also seen Zoom, a video conference tool, seen a surge in use for other things such as classrooms, religious sermons or our infamous ChippyTuesday™.
Social media is commonly used to share campaigns, some of which come viral successes such as the #NoMakeUpSelfie. And during this period of time, we have seen a simple gratitude campaign, just to say thank you to the NHS (and other key workers) for all the hard work they do.
But we’ve also been able to have a laugh and joke about the situation, and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s actually a good way to keep us sane and relieve us of all the doom and gloom that we see are currently seeing otherwise.
So, I am going to sign off by showing some of the funny things I have come across over the last few weeks:
Even I am starting to do TikToks to pass away the time
As I have said previously, social media, if used properly can be fun. It’s just a shame about all the other shit!
Coming next in my splurge on this topic…Britain’s Response.
I feel like I am writing an article for some of those shite websites where you need to continuously click next to see the next photo which could simply have been put on one page. But honestly…this subject has so much for me to talk about!