COVID-19 was recently raised to a worldwide pandemic by the World’s Health Organization (WHO) and as such, many countries have begun closing borders, canceling events, closing businesses and encouraging social distancing.
There are a lot of pictures showing grocery store shelves empty of toilet paper, bread, and Lysol wipes. And hospitals with long line-ups to receive COVID-19 testing.
Social media is consumed with what people are doing in their social isolation, cures for COVID-19, and stories of those who have died because of the virus. These are the images that are dominating media attention on this virus.
Canada’s internet providers have offered no-charge unlimited internet so Canadians can stay up-to-date on important COVID-19 updates. Prime Minister Trudeau holds daily press conferences. Major news stations stream 24-hours live for constant coverage of breaking news.
With all the information out there, it is hard to figure out what is fake, what is factual and how we should be feeling about COVID-19.
The information that is being circulated ranges between fear-mongering to soothing words as to not cause panic. The reactions from viewers are equally as wide from anxious and panic-buying to calm and unbothered.
What is clear is the world is concerned about COVID-19 and the consequences it might have on us as citizens and our country. But, the question remains: should you be scared?
I believe we should be concerned but not to the point that we are panic-buying all the toilet paper nor should we be complacent to the point where we disregard government regulations of staying socially isolated.
We needed to be worried about those who are the most vulnerable to the virus, to the families who can not afford to stockpile, or those who are forced to work to keep the economy going.
We must work together to ensure our safety and we can do this by following legitimate news media channels and staying less focused on the information being disseminated on social media.
If we look at countries that are dealing with more severe outbreaks like Italy, South Korea and France, we know that we are in the midst of this outbreak and it will get worse before it gets better. These countries are examples of what the future of this outbreak holds for Canada.
We need to be prepared for what is to come. We can do this by being kind to one another, washing our hands, participating in social distancing, and listening to our government. If we prepare properly, I believe that we don’t need to be as scared as we might think.