Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a respiratory illness caused by a new virus.
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.
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.
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.’
Twitter could have caused a coronavirus panic in New York. It's not doing a lot about it
Tweets falsely claiming that New York City was going into lockdown as a result of the coronavirus swirled around…
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.