The Diagnosed Cause of Panic for COVID-19 — Analysis on Social Media’s Impact on Society.

Shelves all across stores in Australia have been swiped clean as people raise concerns regarding supplies due to the COVID-19 outbreak. (from: The West Australian, https://thewest.com.au/news/health/coronavirus-crisis-australians-told-to-stop-bulk-buying-toilet-paper-from-supermarkets-ng-b881480058z)

All across Australia, thousands of consumers have started to panic and purchase necessities, such as toilet paper and hand sanitiser due to the COVID-19 outbreak. While this panic shopping by consumers is unnecessary, there is one key aspect to blame people’s decision to bulk buy these items.

Taken from: https://marketingland.com/library/channel/social-media-marketing
Social media has become a vital part of everyone’s lives.

In the past decade, social media has become a vital part of everyone’s lives. News and politics have all transitioned to platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, accessible to millions and millions of people across the world.

While this transition to social media has had its benefits, it also comes with its negatives, those of which are starting to become apparent now.

Looking back at the relative levels of panic when the SARS virus was around back in 2002, the level of panic was relatively low. Of course, there was a lower chance of contracting the virus, and the symptoms were milder, but nevertheless, it was still a worldwide pandemic.

Statistics from: https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/03/dont-panic-the-comprehensive-ars-technica-guide-to-the-coronavirus/. (NOTE: These statistics are from mainland China only and do NOT incorporate data from other countries.)

Apart from the severity and number of deaths from SARS, the only difference between SARS and COVID-19 is that in 2002 social media wasn’t present, or as large of a presence in people’s lives.

Jump to 2020, and everywhere on Facebook and Instagram are coronavirus related posts.

While it is definitely useful to easily find information on the novel coronavirus outbreak, it has also catalysed widespread panic across the globe.

This panic has not only caused people to bulk buy toilet paper and other items but has caused people to use their fear of contracting COVID-19 as an excuse to exhibit xenophobia towards members of the Chinese community.

The panic over the novel coronavirus has caused people to use their fear of contracting COVID-19 as an excuse to exhibit xenophobia towards members of the Chinese community.

Just recently, ‘tweets falsely claiming that New York City was going into lockdown as a result of the coronavirus swirled around Twitter Thursday evening. A “citywide quarantine” was about to come into place, one user falsely claimed.’

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-02-25/coronavirus-of-pandemic-potential-says-world-health-organisation/11997590 — Thousands of people have resorted to wearing masks in order to protect themselves from succumbing to COVID-19.

With social media becoming an increasingly large part of our day to day lives, it is important that during this time of cancelled events and an increasing death toll, we must support everyone in the community and most importantly, show the same respect to all people, regardless of their race.

Although in this article social media is held in quite a negative light, social media can spread positivity as well, proven by Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews last month.

“So let me say this, as clearly as I can: Chinese communities are safe. Chinese restaurants are safe. Get out this weekend and have a meal. And don’t let fear ruin what’s great about our state.” — Daniel Andrews (15/02/2020).

A Facebook post from the Victorian premier, Daniel Andrews.

A casual writer and fan of literature, medicine and music.

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