Ever since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared Covid-19 a pandemic on March 11, 2020, the “nervous tension” of the populous has gotten worse. Shelves have been emptied of medical supplies and cleaning products, water is being bought by the dozens, and Bath & Bodyworks has run out of hand sanitizer. This drastic change in life has led many to do questionable actions for their survival. With that, it’s important to identify what the media is exaggerating and how it affects the spread of false information.
If you need the context for what Covid-19 is checking out our own explanation of the situation here.
In an article written by the CNBC, “Dr. Brian Monahan, the attending physician of Congress and the U.S. Supreme Court, said he expects 70 million to 150 million people in the U.S. will become infected with COVID-19, NBC News reported Wednesday.” Mind you, the American population is comprised of 327.2 million people. This being as it as, the information has led to some people to take extreme measures to ensure that they are stocked up before disaster hits.
The physical effects are happening to stores like Costco, Target, Samsclub, or any other big box stores that are being flooded with wary people who are buy anything from medical supplies to toilet paper. Fights have been recorded online of people fighting for these supplies or armed robberies sent to collect what’s left of the dwindling supplies. If someone didn’t manage to buy anything before the initial shock will stand in ques that can stretch from storefront to parking lots.
Large events like concerts, festivals, conferences, movie premieres, live tv shows, and theater groups are all canceled due to the danger of having a high concentration of people in a close space. For a full list of canceled or postponed events click here for an article written by the Vulture.
Another home hitting problem is many school programs and competitions are canceled or postponed for months. School plays that have been in production for months are canceled, any competition that requires students to go out of state or even in-state travel have been canceled, and clubs of any type are canceled. Dances like prom and graduation are canceled despite the disappointment of students. Senior athletes will not be able to finish their last year of competition leading to an emotional and heartbreaking time for them as well.
The mental effects are worldwide and ever-changing, it’s on the minds of everyone because of all the changes and restrictions placed. With new social media outlets, things like TikTok are showing the thoughts of Gen-Zs as many are capitalizing on DIY mask-making or dancing to the different news they hear. Twitter feeds are full of prominent figures and celebrities to chime their two sense of how their own lives are changing. Traditional outlets like CNN or Fox News are having field days as they follow every minute detail about the cases coming out. This constant frenzy of information has caused false information t obe taken from each statement or story.
I am so disappointed to not be there, but I have to do what is right to protect the health and safety of my band and crew. I will still be making a donation to help the victims of the Australian bush fire. I’m sorry to miss everyone in Australia, but I will be back soon.
— Miley Ray Cyrus (@MileyCyrus) March 10, 2020
In one case, the French government had to inform its people that snorting cocaine is not a way to cure Corvid-19 after some of its people inquired about it. Another case is that fake CDC emails were found in inboxes spreading false information about the situation surrounding Covid-19.
Umm..So apparently France had to tell their citizens that cocaine does not cure coronavirus. Is there seriously that much Panic rn? & Did anyone actually believe this or was this harm reduction? What am I even reading right now? #coronavirushttps://t.co/nYH1eGU9FG pic.twitter.com/oNa2IXlQHx
— Max (@drawd3lle) March 11, 2020
So, that brings us to ask, how can we stop these unusual situations and still make sure we stay safe in this historical event?
Researching claims is a good way of avoiding fake cures and misinformation; If you see something that isn’t supported by facts or by a credible source—try to research different websites and search all possible takes on a situation. If you see reposts online on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter know that although the post is by someone you trust it’s most likely posts are made out of fear more than truth.
For more ways to say safe check out the CDC website.