Social Media is a wonderful thing. It has never been easier to stay in contact with friends on the other side of the world. You can find cute cat pictures and the best sugar-free-gluten-free-vegan-keto recipes with just a few clicks. What you also find is wrong information regarding important topics: also known as Fake News. That can be deadly in a crisis situation like the one we are living now with the Coronavirus.
Covid-19 or, as most call it, Coronavirus. The virus that is taking over the world. I am not going to tell you what it is all about because frankly, there are many good articles (from trustworthy sources!) on the internet and I am not a doctor. Also, unless you live under a rock, by now you should already know what the hell Coronavirus is.
Governments are taking strong measures to contain the virus as much as possible and Social Media is a quick and (mostly) free way to get all of the information on the subject. However, it is also the quickest way to generate panic and a “pack mentality”. If on one hand, you have people storming the stores because someone posted pictures of sold-out toilet paper, on another you have a dangerously large number of people not taking the situation seriously.
The measures are here for a reason
It’s ok to share funny memes and bring some humor into the situation. What is not ok is blatantly ignoring not only what the experts are saying, but also the measures the government is putting in place. When I am writing this, Austria is on lockdown. This means people are only to leave their houses to go to work, get groceries or help someone in need.
But a large group of people aren’t doing what they’re told. Instead, they go out in groups or take strolls on a sunny day. The older generation is the worst, they don’t listen to anyone because they “went to war”. Then there’s the younger generation who throws “Corona parties” because they’re “too young to be at risk”. Social Media has a big impact on this! People will see others their age saying the virus isn’t as bad as the media is making it be and underestimate the situation.
What people fail to understand: what makes the virus so dangerous is the exponential rate at which it spreads!
The number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 is much higher compared to the number of deaths. According to John Hopkins University, at the moment I am writing this there are 263,071 confirmed cases, of which 87,351 are totally recovered and the total number of deaths is 11,113. A lot of people underestimate the severity of the virus because they simply look at the numbers instead of seeing the whole picture. Again, Social Media plays a huge role in this misinformation!
Picture this: a country has 500,000 people and only 1,000 hospital beds. Remember those hospital beds aren’t just for people infected with Covid-19! You have car accidents daily, women giving birth, cancer patients who need treatment….the list goes on. If too many people get sick at once – and require hospitalization – the system will collapse! That is what the governments are trying to prevent so that other countries won’t end up in the same situation as China and Italy.
And honestly, look at China: they were on total lockdown for 4 weeks and now have no new cases! Are 4 weeks really that hard for you to just stay the fuck home? This is the best time to have a lockdown – there’s the internet, Netflix and co, cellphones with FaceTime and all of the wonderful things technology has to offer! Imagine having to stay home in the 1920s and maybe you’ll see things differently.
“Don’t stay home to not get infected. Assume you already are infected and don’t want to infect those around you.”
The risk group can be your parents, grandparents, your friend who had cancer or your cousin who has asthma. Think about that and the next time you want to go out because the weather is good or you want to meet your friends, turn around and stay the fuck home!