Coronavirus Misinformation

Madie McPherson, Opinion Writer

When it comes to the flu, common cold, stomach bug, etc, we need to do what makes us feel better and (hopefully) receive the vaccines or antibiotics necessary. We go on with our lives, doing our best to not feel like crap. 


However, with the most recent health scare, the coronavirus, seems to be a different story altogether. I’ll admit, at first knowledge of this virus I was freaking out internally. Externally, I did not show my fear but internally I was screaming. Regardless, I did my best to control that fear and research more information about the virus. However, as this virus has spread and mutated (only once), the sensationalization it has received in the global media is problematic.


Reports began circulating about the deaths in China from the virus in February. From there, it seems that panic has ensued. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention explains that washing one’s hands for as long as you can sing “Happy Birthday” twice and not touching your face- aka practicing general everyday hygiene- are some of the best ways to keep oneself safe from the virus. Some people are beginning to buy masks and prepare for this like it is going to be the end of all times, even though there is information released explaining how to protect yourself from the virus. 


There is also factual information about the rate of mortality of the virus being lower than the flu, and that it affects people 75 and older with a compromised immune system or general overall health problems. If a person is in their 20’s and does everything that is recommended to prevent contracting the coronavirus and they still contract it, it is not a death sentence. They simply need to take the necessary precautions and be smart about their situation in order to not spread the illness to anyone else.


With all of this being said, the coronavirus itself is scary. I agree with that, but the sensationalization of it in the media and the misinformation that seems to be spreading like wildfire is not helping. The social media and fake news that many believe to be true does not mean human beings can be ignorant or pretend they do not know there is factual information that has been released to the public. Can someone totally prevent themselves from getting coronavirus? No, because as with any major illness, no one can prevent contracting it. All we can do is understand it and figure out the best ways to protect ourselves and those around us.