Since the first outbreak of the Noval Corona Virus (COVID-19), it has caused over 5000 deaths within three months and infected more than a hundred thousand people worldwide. It has spread to over 110 countries and many cities in China, Italy & Iran and some other countries are locked down to contain the virus infection in the community.
All the above information is repeatedly being reported by the Media, causing havoc and fear among the people.
Irresponsible News Channels
Many news channels, including both regional and international, are showing the news of this outbreak daily for the last 2-3 months and trying to make it a more sensational topic. Spreading awareness about any new infectious disease is good, however, the way this news is being broadcasted is terrorizing people about this outbreak. News channels, not just broadcasting sensationalized news about COVID-19, but many of them are misleading. Below are a few examples,
- Alcohol or weed consumption can prevent or even cures COVID-19 infection.
- Eating ginger can prevent Corona infection.
- 40-70% of the world population is going to be infected with COVID-19.
In the real world, if we compare the COVID-19 outbreak with other causes of deaths worldwide, this recent outbreak stands nowhere.
Leading Causes of Death
As per the CDC below are the top 5 reasons for human deaths in the US alone.
- Heart disease: 647,457
- Cancer: 599,108
- Accidents (unintentional injuries): 169,936
- Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 160,201
- Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 146,383
Even though the above reasons causing far more deaths than the COVID-19, we rarely see any news on these topics over any news channel.
Role of Social Media
In today’s world, all the information about any topic, including COVID-19 is readily available over the internet and various social media platforms act as an amplifier for any such bad or sensational news. Social media platforms also give rise to many rumors as everyone is seeking attention and try to post something new and different from the others. The same thing applies to mainstream media as well.
The world was never so scared when SARS, MERS, Ebola or even HIV outbreak happened. In fact, these diseases have more mortality rate than COVID-19, which has a mortality rate of about just 3%.
Do not panic!
In the current situation, we are not required to panic for COVID-19, however, it is the duty of each individual to support government authorities and follow their guidelines to contain the spread of this virus. Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions should take more precautions.
Which protective measures should be taken against COVID-19 infection?
- Wash your hands frequently
- Maintain social distancing in affected areas
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Practice respiratory hygiene by covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze.
- If you have fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical care at the earliest.
- Stay informed and follow the advice given by your healthcare provider.
WHO has published special advisories for healthcare professionals, dealing with COVID-19 infected patients, schools, companies, and offices.