I skim-read multiple news aggregators daily, and for weeks now, every single day, 75% or more of the news is specifically about Covid-19. By comparison, it is worth reminding younger readers that...
I skim-read multiple news aggregators daily, and for weeks now, every single day, 75% or more of the news is specifically about Covid-19.
By comparison, it is worth reminding younger readers that we didn't even know about the Spanish Flu until ~30 years ago. During WWI, we (humans) suffered the deadliest pandemic of the modern era, and it took 60-70 years before anyone even noticed.
If you didn't grow up before the Spanish Flu became common knowledge, that may be a hard thing to grasp ... but during the late-80s and into the '90s, there was this slow, years-long trickle of news from medical researchers, historians and (FFS) archeologists (?!!?) about how there might actually have been a massive global pandemic during WWI that no one knew about.
Today in Wikipedia, there is just one little tidbit about how various things like (intentional) under-reporting and co-mingling of flu deaths with war casualties, led to it being nicknamed "the forgotten pandemic" ... which doesn't really capture that sense of "Holy Fuck"-ness when you discover that up to 100 million people died of the flu one year, and no one even noticed.
Okay ... at any rate .... you get my point. In 1919, the news intentionally under-reported it worldwide (except in Spain ... hence the name), in part to help prevent panic.
Today, the news media coverage is just incredible. Nothing on Earth happens any more, except Covid-19. A few thousand people die (I'm sorry, but yeah, more people die in car accidents), and the Media loses its mind.
OTOH, honestly, it's mostly been pretty good, accurate, up-to-the-second coverage (as best I can tell), really driving home the message of "we know it sounds lame, but wash your hands, dammit ... a lot", and etc.
So ... thoughts? This constant in-your-face media coverage ... good or bad? How much is media causing the panic vs just reporting on it?17 votes