Increased media spotlight surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic causes heightened panic

Editorials

Photo courtesy of wearetv.com 

Breaking News. Pandemic. Global Crisis. These ae just some of the few words that are being plastered across all social media flatforms and public media outlets surrounding the current Coronavirus Pandemic that has struck across the globe. Now, we aren’t stating that the public shouldn’t take the necessary precautions to stay as healthy as possible, we are merely pointing out how the media spotlighting the virus is causing more worry and panic than necessary.

Both mainstream and social media outlets are guilty of publishing stories on the outbreak of COVID-19 without links to official coronavirus information, which easily leads to posts that cite sketchy sources or linking to unverified claims and making bold — often misleading — claims that too often rely on fear-mongering to get the message across.

Rather than trying to calm the public, we are seeing headlines that are causing increased levels of anxiety and frustration. What’s even worse in the contribution our American government is making to the chaos. With the government so unable to stop pointing their bipartisan fingers at one another, the American people are almost left to defend for themselves.

What does this mean? Well, apparently it either means people mass buying toilet paper and being really worried to people thinking that this pandemic is a ploy by a political party.

It’s good to be worried about the health of you and others during this time, but also think about how those cases of toilet paper could be put to better use. With more people getting sick, it’s likely the media will not stop covering it until it has completely blown over.

Moreover, this is saying nothing short of the fact that the media likes to play this “number game,” where they continuously update infection and mortality rates for any illness, any violent atrocity or any natural disaster. This invokes negative feelings upon viewers such as hopelessness, vulnerability and pessimism. What they show very little of during times like these is the good that everyday people are capable of doing.

For example, some young adults are organizing a volunteer program where they collect a shopping list and groceries for the elderly to lower their exposure to the Coronavirus.

In addition, the media also seems to enjoy playing ‘judge’ and assigning blame to who they believe is responsible for the situation, rather than acknowledging that action has been taken by that politician, work field and so on.

It’s important to remember that it’s not about what should be done, but what instead what needs to be done to protect the health of our people and our economy.

With so much going on with so little concrete guidance from the American government, all we can say is to follow the guidelines that have been posted at the end of every news story and every public service announcement:

  • Wash your hands constantly, lasting at least 20 seconds using soap and water if available. If soap and water are unavailable then use hand sanitizer containing at least 60 percent alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face, especially the nose and eyes.
  • Sneeze or cough into you arm or tissue. Discarding used tissue and immediately wash your hands.
  • Abide by the guidelines for social distancing, remaining at least 6 feet away from the person next to you.
  • Avoid close contact with those who are ill and stay home when you are sick.
  • Finally, clean and disinfect frequently used surfaces often.

For further information about COVID-19 and prevention, please visit .cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html or schoolcraft.edu/coronavirus for verified sources.

Stay Healthy,

The Schoolcraft Connection Editorial Team