The Coronavirus has been sweeping the media for the past month. Many people are frightened to go outside because of the virus that is lurking around. Health and safety signs remind you of this fearful epidemic wherever you go. Convenience stores have run out of hand sanitizers, disinfectant soaps, and dried canned goods. I must say, it’s been hectic. It’s not only been the talk of the town but the talk of the globe. But should we really be going to extreme measures or is the population over-reacting?
It’s tough to say, so much information is being thrown in all directions and it’s difficult to digest it all. Media coverage is an essential tool for our day to day conversations and for keeping up with what’s happening in the world. But the media is also a huge influence on the thoughts and feelings of the entire population. And fear is the emotion that is being very heavily focused on at the moment. Just like our social media, fear can circulate quickly, affecting our day to day lives and routines.
COVID-19, the New Coronavirus
What exactly is a coronavirus? Coronaviruses were first discovered in the 1960s, and they are a group of viruses, named after their crown-like shape. They cause infection in the nose, sinuses, or upper respiratory tract. Cold or flu-like symptoms usually set in 2-4 days after contact with the virus, and symptoms are mild in most cases but can be fatal. COVID-19 is a new strain of virus from this category.
So, if these viruses been around since the ‘60s, and doctors are familiar with them, and most cases are mild, why all the commotion?
So, if these viruses been around since the ‘60s, and doctors are familiar with them, and most cases are mild, why all the commotion? Celebrity physician Dr. Drew blames it on the press. He states, “What I have a problem with is the panic and the fact that businesses are getting destroyed and people’s lives are being upended. Not by the virus, but by the panic,” he explained. “The panic must stop, and the press, they really, somehow, need to be held accountable, because they are hurting people.”
I personally have been experiencing the public’s panic. My friends and family members are not leaving their homes and are stressing out over the pandemic. They’re buying supplies to stock up, just in case things go horribly bad.
Major strides have been taken to curb the spread of COVID-19. Schools and college campuses have closed their doors until further notice. New York Mayor Bill De Blasio and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo have distributed 1.5 billion masks to healthcare workers. They’ve also agreed to not charge copay to their Medicaid patients for coronavirus testing.
The fear and social media hysteria about the coronavirus has postponed Coachella, a huge multi-million dollar music festival that usually happens in April.
Sports and music festivals have also been shut down due to the virus. The NBA has suspended its season after Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz has tested positive for COVID-19. Coachella, one of the biggest music festivals in the world has recently stated that they will be postponing their event until October. The fear and social media hysteria about the coronavirus has postponed this huge multi-million dollar music festival that usually happens in April for 6 months.
There are even safety precautions at the voting polls. Hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes are used frequently at the polling booths. Businesses of all kinds are predicting a major loss in revenue for months to come. Day in and day out updates from news channels closely document the epidemic and exploit information. When will this subside?
There is a saying, “There’s nothing to fear but fear itself.” Fear moves swiftly and is contagious. Before you know it, you’re engulfed and don’t even realize. I believe in a healthy amount of fear, but the media has been over-saturating this issue. Some type of balance needs to restore the livelihood of the population and ease peoples’ minds. My humble advice: be knowledgeable but don’t over-saturate yourself with information. Stay balanced, grounded, and centered. And lastly, stay safe.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (aka CDC) has posted a PDF on their website for everyone to read and take into consideration. Their website is updated daily about the coronavirus COVID-19 outbreak.