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  • Writer's pictureSamar Saleem

Media Coverage of COVID-19

Updated: Jul 1, 2020

Naturally, it is in our human nature to fear the unknown. The reality is that we don’t know much about the increasingly prominent Coronavirus, however, our fear of catching the virus causes us to accept much false information displayed by the media. As the number of cases rises, many go into a panic and it is important to take the right preventative measures.

With all the media coverage on Coronavirus, it is hard to differentiate what’s real and what’s not. Although there is much useful information, we are also subject to being misinformed. Thus it is crucial that we are properly informed in order to take the right preventative measures.

According to Harvard Health Publishing, misinformation is rampant. Conspiracy theories and baseless claims have spread, especially on social media applications such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and even TikTok. For instance, there have been rumors about the virus being made by humans in a lab or how the US government created a vaccine for the virus years ago. However, these claims are not supported by evidence and are simply just a hoax. It is critical that we thoroughly research an unfounded claim instead of just believing it blindly. Social media sites have also taken steps to limit misinformation. In fact, Facebook has been fact-checking posts, labeling ones that are clearly false, and decreasing their ranking. Still, it is impossible to restrict all inaccurate material.

In order to be properly informed, it is important to get information only from reliable sources. This includes sites that rely on experts who publish their work in scientific journals and use respected scientific analyses, sites whose goal is to inform the public such as the CDC and WHO, and sites that are not promoting a product related to the issue. It is also imperative to contact your doctor if you have any further questions or concerns, or are experiencing some of the symptoms including a fever, cough, or shortness of breath.

The reality is that the media has blown the issue at hand to be more than it is. It is much more likely to die from the common flu than it is to die from Coronavirus. As stated by the Center of Disease Control, there have been 26 million cases of the flu this season, thousands of hospital admission, and around 25,000 deaths. Hence, it is important to recognize that Coronavirus is not the most impending threat in the country.

All in all, the Coronavirus has revealed that humans tend to let fear overcome the reality of a situation. The bottom line is that Coronavirus is an ongoing threat and in order to maintain the safety of you and your loved ones, one must take preventative measures found in reliable sources. And of course, it is important to stay up to date with what is happening, as long as you are not being misinformed.

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