Those that know me are aware of my rants regarding the (ab)use of social media – – particularly the preoccupation of users to share mindless chatter. I’m thinking of buying these shoes. This is how I look this morning. This is me curling my hair. This is what I’m packing for my lunch. This is my dog. This is my dog’s breakfast …
Recent events are showcasing the magnitude of power that social media truly holds – – the ability to inform and educate. With COVID-19 (Coronavirus disease) spreading throughout the world, it is important, now more than ever, to stay informed – – to stay safe. During a crisis like this, we look to those in authority to react, and more importantly, not to overreact. At a press conference on March 11, it was announced that an Ottawa man, who recently travelled to Austria, tested positive for coronovirus, followed by Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson urging the public to remain calm. There are many reports of hoarding and food shortages, as some people panic and race to the stores to stock up on the necessities…like toilet paper? If you do need to be isolated for a couple of weeks, you’ll want to have some additional supplies, like water, medical prescriptions and non-perishable food, but seriously, how much toilet paper do you really need?
One of the best ways to stay informed is to follow trusted sources: news outlets like Global News, and Ottawa Citizen, and organizations like the World Health Organization or your local Public Health Unit which will post updates on their websites and social media feeds (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram). Information from these sources have been vetted for accuracy. If you don’t know the source, think twice before sharing or retweeting any content. Do post personal updates and check in regularly with family and close friends – – they’ll be glad to know that you’re okay. Share those chicken soup recipes and tips to keep kids entertained if they’re staying home from school.
The Canadian government is taking great measures to keep people informed of the facts and have recently announced a $1Billion support package to aid in the containment of the virus both domestically and globally. There is a section on their main website devoted to Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates. On this site, you’ll find information regarding symptoms, treatments and prevention. I suggest you bookmark this link and refer to it often. Take the necessary precautions to stop the spread of this virus, but also take precautions to stop the spread of misinformation.
Facebook World Health Organization @WHO upgrades #COVID19 to global pandemic. Stay calm. Stay safe. Stay informed via social media. https://bit.ly/3b1bPz5
Twitter #COVID19 upgraded to global #pandemic. Stay safe. Stay informed via social media. https://bit.ly/3b1bPz5