#coronavirus is trending. The Netherlands is turned upside-down. People rush to the supermarkets to stock toilet paper (?). I see videos and images on social media and think to myself, just act normal people. There is no nuclear war and we don’t have to go into hiding. But why do people react this way? Is this a reflection of fear?
Social media creates fears
It is 2:50 PM, Thursday afternoon on March 12, 2020. I have just left university and am in bed because I can’t keep my eyes open any longer. My phone rings and I see the following: “Schools are closing due to corona. There will soon be a press conference.” My heart rate goes from resting to intensive. I had a conversation with a fellow student about the closing of schools an hour ago. We came to the conclusion that this will probably not happen. But the news is full of it and there will soon be a press conference. At 15:15 the time has come for the press conference to begin. I wait with bated breath until the man from RIVM has finished talking. Then the regulations. I can hardly breathe. After five minutes, the measures are listed and my heart rate has dropped. Okay, so this was it? In my head I had expected much worse. I grab my phone and text my mom: “Gosh mom, they scare us so unnecessarily.” And that’s what happened. The media puts everything under a magnifying glass. Social media is full of posts about corona and people seem to believe everything. There is panic and people are dragged into this, including myself.
Fear is not necessary
Fear makes you ready for flight or fight. I think the corona virus also causes anxiety in people. They are afraid of getting infected or running out of things, like toilet paper. On the one hand, it is a logical reaction, but I think the fear will go over in this case. If you look on a (reliable) website with information about the corona virus, there are clearly identified risk groups and there are general precautions that people should follow. That should be enough.
My advice: take care of each other
It is important that we keep thinking about each other and not go through life as a group of antisocial people. I understand very well that people are guided by fear. It is scary. There is a virus that is contagious and there is a chance that complications arise. But try to reassure yourself by looking at the situation realistically. Corona has come, but will also disappear again.