A stark contrast to the beginnings of the spread of the new coronavirus, currently COVID-19 has garnered considerable attention, causing widespread panic and myths to propagate across the general population. Despite its rapid spread and perceived danger, it is crucial to stay calm rather than contribute to the spread of fear.
With media and modern technology, the rate at which we receive information is rapid, and especially in cases such as the virus, misinformation can spread easily. Constant exposure, accompanied with meticulous monitoring of new cases, particularly in the local, creates the perception that the virus is spreading quickly, with the possibility that many more infections will appear under the radar. The subsequent anxiety about contracting the virus can lead to stigmas against certain groups of people and places associated with COVID-19, which can result in violence, ostracization, and denial of healthcare and other opportunities. Myths such as that packages from countries with cases of coronavirus will carry COVID-19 or that eating garlic will prevent the coronavirus can be harmful; believing claims of miracle treatments or foods can discourage one from going to medical professionals.
Another trend is bulk-buying supplies, which have caused stores to station security guards over certain products such as toilet paper, and prices for facemasks have skyrocketed. Instead of scrambling to clear out as many aisles as possible, being informed about COVID-19 is more important; knowing about the virus and how to prevent it can prevent wasteful consumption and allow others access to those products as well.
The apprehension surrounding the virus is not unwarranted, however. About 1 in every 5 people who have COVID-19 need hospital care, according to the World Health Organization (WHO), and it is a valid reason for people to be worried. But most cases are mild, and the death rate is around 1%. Furthermore, there are not enough cases tested, leading researchers to believe that the death rate may be less than 1%. When the general public is informed and is updated on the disease through reputable sources, widespread panic can be avoided.