When it comes to the media, they have a certain responsibility to ensure that the public have the necessary information to stay informed. However, it's just as important not to stoke the flames of hysteria by creating a culture of fear.
Amidst the coronavirus outbreak, stores have seen a mass clearance of shelves due to people panic shopping ahead of quarantine. Unfortunately, this has led to several cases of extortionary tactics on sites like eBay for basic necessities priced with ridiculous mark-ups. That's capitalism for you.
During an early morning live news report in America, a reporter was standing outside of a HEB supermarket when a man approached the camera and interrupted. Despite the reporter's best efforts to drown out the main, he succeeded in calling out the media for being the reason why the very panic shopping phenomenon is occurring.
'This is no worse than the flu'
While the man does raise some interesting points, there is one statement he says during his rant that raises alarms: 'this is no worse than the flu'. It's a misconception used to minimalise the disease that has been making the rounds since talks of the coronavirus first started at the end of 2019. PM Boris Johnson wasn't very worried about coronavirus and look where he is now.
The fact of the matter is simple: the coronavirus is not 'merely just a flu'. Even by just glancing at the statistics, it's evident that the coronavirus is more contagious and more deadly than the regular flu. The flu that we're familiar with has a fatality rate of 0.1%, whereas scientists have put coronavirus anywhere between 2-2.5%.
Yes, there's a very good chance that if you're young and healthy, you won't be greatly affected should you contract COVID-19. However, for those who are at risk, the coronavirus presents a very real threat. Rule of thumb: even if you're certain you don't have the coronavirus, act as though you do. The precautions that you may take assuming you could infect anyone will have a positive impact on the containment of the pandemic.