It starts with a simple cough and before you know it, millions of people are infected. Wuhan’s Coronavirus news is the No.1 story in terms of its potential for devastation. You’ve probably seen many news, articles, and videos of sick people and heard about the approaching doom that the world will face if emergency measures are not taken for this grave threat coming from China. This deadly virus is getting more attention than its 2003 cousin, the SARS coronavirus (SARS-CoV). The hype is getting inevitable compared to other outbreaks like Ebola and Swine Flu, but why? Have you ever thought why we hear so much about such a virus, despite its affecting only a small number of people in another country? Who will benefit from such mass media hype around the Coronavirus? Fact: Fake news spreads more than coronavirus in humans.
The mass media hype
Flights are canceled, cities are quarantined, and hospitals are flooded with patients. Nearly every major news outlet from most of the countries is front-paging the news about the deadly virus. Many reports sound alarming on the quarantine of millions of people and thousands of confirmed deaths, but worldometer is reporting something alien. 70,527 deaths have been confirmed so far from the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak as of April 6, 2020, and there are currently 1,287,128 of total confirmed cases from all over the world. The good news is more people are being cured than the number of deaths from the virus. So there are more people recovered than dying but that didn’t stop the panic from spreading.
Back in 2005, the best case scenario occurred around the bird flu where headlines scared the U.S. was facing catastrophic extermination. Similarly, the same alarming tactics were used during the 2009 swine flu outbreak. Both pandemics turned out to be grossly exaggerated threats that benefited many corporatized media and medical companies. Yet why any new development is serious front-page news for novel coronavirus? Fact: Panic spreads faster than the disease.
Coronavirus In humans-Fake news dissemination
Lots of misinformation is being found scattered around coronavirus in the past few weeks. During this outbreak, the social media industry has infected people better than it’s gotten credit for. Fake news has gone into hyper-drive across platforms, such as the short-video sharing app, TikTok, particularly active in spreading misinformation. An MIT study found that false news is 70% more likely to be retweeted than true stories.
Every morning you can have some garlic because it is healthy. Cool, it may be. But the question here is; can garlic really help us deal with coronavirus? The answer is being spread like this;
“Good news, Wuhan’s coronavirus can be cured by one by one bowl of freshly boiled garlic water. An old Chinese doctor has proven it’s efficiency. Many patients have also proven this to be effective. Eight (8) cloves of chopped garlic add seven (7) cups of water and bring to boil. Eat and drink the boiled garlic water, overnight improvement, and healing.”
Can this really help us fight the virus? Well, garlic is a well-known home remedy for common colds. Now common cold in coronavirus is just one mere symptom. University of Gondar, Ethiopia has proven that common colds can be treated with garlic but not so for coronavirus. Source, prevention, and treatment for coronavirus in humans have not been deduced yet.
A video has gone viral where it is little distressing to see a woman suddenly fainted in a supermarket in Malaysia only because she contracted the coronavirus. Claim: A girl collapsed & died after being infected by a coronavirus.
After fact-checked the viral video claim found to be false. The incident is from Klang, Malaysia (January 26, 2020) and the girl has been identified as Nur Izzah Izzati. Her mother has come on record saying that she died not because of coronavirus but due to a heart failure she suffered in a supermarket.
“I deny my daughter died of coronavirus. That’s not true and my family is disappointed with the actions of the party who disseminated the information without any kind of inspection,” said Norazlan Mokhri, 47.
Fact: Only fake people value fake news
The bad news is good for business
Probably baby boomers have seen the egoistic news business since the digital era has started. Initially, media channels are meant to simply give information about the incidents, however, the increased competition turned them into wrestling each other, craving for TRPs, and setting agendas to benefit others. So, is media simply reporting on a virus that could potentially affect millions of people, or they have hidden motives?
In recent years we’ve seen many outrageous social controls by the media industry. It makes top dollar from reporting on medical fear stories. Media often practices Hypodermic Needle Theory to inject messages directly into the brains of a passive audience. Media executives know that reporting the fear of deadly coronavirus in humans that can sweep the globe will compel people to tune in to watch. Fact: more moola for the fat cats at major media houses.
The coronavirus will not affect you
It’s already known that when China sneezes, the world catches a cold. But chances are quite solid that you won’t even meet someone who was affected by the coronavirus. A worldwide pandemic like coronavirus is not new to the human race. It happened in 1918 and was known as Spanish flu. It infected about 1/3rd of the global population and killed an estimated 50 million people. So, before you start completely panicking about the end of the world, you might get comfort after knowing that this most likely doesn’t mean the end of civilization. The symptoms of coronavirus are things we’ve all experienced. Runny nose, fever, and headache are general cold symptoms. In other cases, influenza can also result in respiratory issues, kidney failure, or even death. But keep in mind those aren’t guaranteed to happen.
Virus-like this is the reality of human civilization, but that doesn’t mean a pandemic today is bad as Spanish flu. Although the disease might spread more efficiently than ever before, it also might be easier to cure it. Statistically, people who know the infected one personally and share daily routines are most likely to be affected by the coronavirus. Scientists have already identified that people are not dying from the virus, but rather from health complications resulting from having the virus and a compromised immune system. So, it makes no sense to worry about the virus and focusing all of your attention is actually illogical, especially when we live in a world of daily threats and dangers anyhow. This happens every few years and pushes important issues out of sight. It isn’t hard to find examples of medical crises in the past. Furthermore, media should run wall-to-wall coverage of how to naturally boost your immune system to fight coronavirus. Fact: Coronavirus in humans is an overhyped pandemic scare
How fake news surprises but threatens society?
When people talk about fake news, a lot of listeners react, roll their eyes and then spread that news like ‘Oh, you know, whatever.’ They think people will figure it out, but the truth is they often don’t. The moral here is, fake news is itself acts like a virus: it spreads. One unmatchable difference between real news and fake news is, you can’t have more types of fake news. That sadly allows public deception to go unchecked.
As discussed above, more than 70 percent of retweeted news are false. Social media sites have the potential to elevate human conscience, however, their use is blindly polluting and squeezing the freedom of speech. Now, they are shouldering the spread of counterproductive rumors. Check out how the top 5 global fake stories are “going viral” but unchecked.
Temperature was never a cure
You can catch COVID-19, no matter how sunny or hot the weather is. Exposing yourself to the sun or to temperatures higher than 25C degrees DOES NOT prevent the coronavirus disease. Countries with hot weather have reported cases of COVID-19.
Trump’s theories on COVID-19’s survival in high temperatures didn’t get the green flag. The scientific community also disapproved of the fact that hand dryers and UV lamps effectively guard against the virus.
Transmission via parcels from China
“In general, because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the Center for Disease Control’s Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.
Although their lifespan varies depending on the environment and temperature, pathogenic germs can only survive on objects such as parcels, coins and credit cards for a few hours.
Transmitted through mosquito bites
To date, there has been no information nor evidence to suggest that the new coronavirus could be transmitted by mosquitos. Although it’s always appropriate to keep a safe distance from mosquitos that spread dengue fever, respiratory viruses don’t seem to be transmitted by them.
Speaking of animals, no house pets seem to have been infected by the new coronavirus.
The fact that the 5G network was rolled out in the Chinese city of Wuhan just a few weeks before the coronavirus came attracted many conspiracy theorists to bang. The infected passengers on the Diamond Princess cruise ship had not been using the 5G technology.
Researchers started linking electromagnetic fields (EMF) emitted by wireless communications networks with previous viruses. Somehow, they even made sense that EMF may trigger the viruses to spread more easily based on past theories.
Some plausible but useless remedies
- Antibiotics work against bacteria, not viruses. Its consumption may reduce a person’s vigilance.
- Drinking alcohol DOES NOT protect you against COVID-19. It can increase your risk of health problems.
- Taking a hot bath DOES NOT prevent you from catching COVID-19. Your body temperature remains normal.
- Among many beliefs, people think they can protect themselves by washing their hands with children’s urine, applying sesame oil all over the body or consuming cannabis. Some have even gone too far by drinking sanitizer thinking as a method to kill the virus from inside forever.
All the technology companies need to create some tools that help diminish the volume of fake news. We should be aware of the conspiracy theories that are simply examples of false advertising or clickbait.
The good news: Facing pressure from the WHO, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube confirmed that they have taken measures to counter disinformation about the coronavirus.
You can also follow the myth busters published by WHO.