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Misinformation and fake News: An epidemic more dangerous than the pandemic Covid-19

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Pandemic like Covid-19 always become a theme of discussion between the people of India. Being a highly populated and badly educated country controlling a pandemic like Covid-19 becomes a tough job for its government.

In the worst scenario, like India is currently going through, some people don’t stop talking about religious pseudoism. It affects the already uncontrolled situation of handling the pandemic. People who are illiterate or who belong to remote areas such as poor depend mostly on the government, Television, and their relatives for any kind of information. In such condition misinformation, may become more dangerous than the pandemic itself.

India is a county of political and religious biases. Here, you can do anything in the name of your political party and religion. You can talk about the pseudoscience of your religion and also if someone doesn’t agree upon you, you can call them anti-national and anti-liberal. These people including some who control the religious practices in the country and also the administration hijack the minds of the people and the people with hijacked mind become vulnerable for the society in a scenario like today. The worst part of it is that people with the highest administrational posts and educational degrees tend to believe in these pseudosciences.

Today I’ll only discuss this misinformation and their effects-

Producing noise can kill Coronavirus: On March 20, 2020, Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a press conference to the people of India announced the implementation of “Janta Curfew” that took place on 22 March only to practice “social distancing” to curb the epidemic Covid-19. In addition to this, he requested people to come out of their balconies to ring bells and clap for the people such as doctors, nurses, pathologists, etc. to applaud and appreciate their work for the country in this crucial time. People including some politicians twisted this concept by adding it to religious pseudoism that the wavelength produced by this act can kill Coronavirus. This misinformation became a blunder in some places and people broke the protocol and started gathering on the roads to ring bells and other kinds of stuff. This act was criticized by many people including Prime minister himself. But the important thing to notice here is that the misinformation spread by some people of has already done its job. Social gathering had become a reason for social rejoice.

Cow dung and cow urine can save us from Coronavirus: This news was being spread on the social media platforms that drinking cow urine can cure  Covid-19 and bathing in water lodged cow dung can save from Covid-19. Even a party of drinking cow urine was organized by some social groups and the worst part of it was that more than a thousand people joined it.

Sitting in the sun for 15 minutes and taking vitamin C tablets can save from Covid-19: A minister of the ruling party has claimed that sitting in the sun for 15 minutes can cure the pandemic and taking vitamin C tablets can enhance the human immunity that can help in tackling the effects of Coronavirus. Both the claims were dismissed by the government authorities and health superintendents.

Vegetarians are less affected from Coronavirus: This misinformation was being spread on all across the internet in the light of another misinformation that Coronavirus has spread from animals and non-vegetarian people are more prone to catch this virus. This claim was later ridiculed by the WHO and Indian government. This misinformation has already affected the non-veg market.

Wearing masks and using hand sanitizer is necessary for everyone: As soon as people heard this news that masks and sanitizers are essential to save them from Coronavirus, the rush to buy these items increased fiercely. This response resulted in high demand for these items and slowly became out of stock or very costly. The effect of this rush was so negative that people who needed it were not able to buy it or bought it on a very high price. In the response, the government issued an advisory about who should use masks.

Many misinformation and fake news are being spread all over the internet that cannot be traced. And this misinformation and fake news are only affecting the lives of the common people and especially of the poor and needy. In such a time of the disaster, we should only collectively be aware and stay away from these kinds of people and stop them from spreading these biases and misinformation so that we can save people from doing any wrong act that can affect their life.

The medical facilities of India are already in very worst condition. People must acknowledge that a country that cannot handle diseases like encephalitis, how it’s going to handle a pandemic like Covid-19. Last year in Bihar itself more than thousands of infants died due to the lack of proper medical treatment. Indian economy is already dooming and it cannot handle the expenses of the current disaster if people won’t co-operate with the government. To diagnose Coronavirus states with greater population have lesser number of test centres. For example, Mumbai and Bihar have only 2 test centres whereas UP has only 3.

It’s advised to the people of India to stay indoors as a safety measure. The reason is that pandemic Covid-19 is very contagious. It only can be controlled through social distancing. That’s why world leaders in their country are advising and requesting people to isolate them and stay indoors.

Till afternoon, March 23, 2020, there were 425 affected cases and 8 deaths from Coronavirus.

Believing and acting on misinformation may become a disaster that no one would be able to control.

Stay indoors to stay safe and healthy.

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