I’m writing to all newspapers to request a stop to news of the coronavirus being completely blown out of all proportion by the media.
As I read headlines in UK tabloids, more ‘serious’ newspapers, papers here in Spain (always out to scare by putting dead bodies all over the pages) and online reports from other countries, I honestly believe the less-informed readers – those who take such reports as gospel and don’t do a little investigating themselves – are now convinced we are up against an illness, worse than Ebola, that will eliminate the human race within a few weeks.
Its absolute madness, and scaremongering. Instead of coronavirus we are up against panic-virus with people already stockpiling non-perishable goods and (useless) masks, self-imposing quarantines and practically ordering everyone else to do so.
As an example, I have just met with friends who have returned from northern Italy (please bear in mind that around 300 flights from Italy arrive in Spain daily).
On their last day there, their elderly mother called them in tears because she had been reading that Italy was the epicentre of this plague and ‘dozens’ had already died and ‘thousands’ had contracted the ‘deadly disease’.
The poor girls did all they could to calm their mother down over the phone before she suffered a heart attack and once they arrived in Valencia on Monday they decided to self-quarantine themselves because many of their other friends had warned them to come nowhere near them!
I believe health authorities here in Spain and the UK have warned against all this madness, but those reports seem to be tucked away on inside pages, on small columns or just tagged-on to the end of news reports.
I appeal to your professional ethics to stop contributing to this pandemonium and tell people the truth: It’s a flu-type virus that is just a lethal as seasonal influenza, or in other words, it will only kill you if you are already ill or weak because of some other life-threatening condition.
No need to buy mask that will not prevent anything and just do what your mothers always told you to do when you were kids: Wash your hands!
Yes, we want to be informed. Yes, we want to know the facts and the results of the research, but we DO NOT need to be scared and told we are all going to die…which we will eventually.
I honestly hope your editorial group adheres to the ethics of its profession and keeps readers and viewers informed, not petrified, although it sells more papers or gets better audiences.