The impact of the coronavirus is undeniable. Across the world, tourist hotspots are like ghost towns. The same can be said for businesses like bars and restaurants — many of which have been shuttered by government officials.
But it’s not just the real world that’s feeling the impact of COVID-19. Social media is buzzing with updates and information on the virus, although not all of it is reliable. Tap or click here to see the most common social media virus rumors.
But for the people who are quarantined or stuck in impacted areas, social media provides a way to show the world just what to expect as events unfold. Here are some of the most poignant examples of how this epidemic has changed our lives.
Each day matters: A heartbreaking portrait of the outbreak from Italy
Of all the nations outside of China experiencing a COVID-19 outbreak, Italy has been hit the hardest. Over a few short weeks, the number of cases has grown exponentially.
Outside of China, Italy has the largest number of casualties, making this one of the deadliest pandemics to hit the European nation. Tap or click here to see a map showing the current numbers around the world.
But hearing reports about the pandemic is a world apart from seeing how it directly affects people. This viral video was originally posted by an unknown source on Facebook before sweeping the web with its powerful imagery.
At the beginning of the clip, the person filming shows the obituary section of an Italian newspaper on February 9th, at which point the outbreak was only beginning to grow.
Bergamo daily newspaper pic.twitter.com/N3ECABz8dr— David Carretta (@davcarretta) March 14, 2020
Then, he pulls up a newspaper dated March 13, which now contains a 10-page long obituary section. The massive jump in obituaries illustrates the massive toll this virus is taking on Italy.
The social media climate: Prayer, hope, outrage and gallows humor
There is no one-size-fits-all reaction on social media to this world-shaping pandemic. Responses from individual people run the gamut from hopeful optimism to disgust at lackluster responses from authority figures.
More than anything, though, people seem to be coping with isolation and fear the same way humans have for millions of years: with humor.
First Coachella is cancelled and now Thanksgiving smh https://t.co/KP5mo47m65— Will (@Schwendipity) March 11, 2020
One man in Italy even took to singing out loud on his balcony for two nights in a row to bring some joy to his quarantined neighbors.
For the second night in a row, Italian tenor Maurizio Marchini went out to his balcony in Florence – a town under complete lockdown – and serenaded the entire town.— Rex Chapman🏇🏼 (@RexChapman) March 15, 2020
As he put it: “Same stage, different song.”
Not all heroes wear capes…❤️🌎 pic.twitter.com/FWHtfZQS51
The human spirit is truly a powerful thing.
Don’t forget: Always consider the source
With so much information circulating on social media, it’s important that netizens pay close attention to where they’re getting their information. Anecdotes and posts from other users (like the ones we linked above) are fine for entertainment, but should not be looked at as news updates.
Malign actors have been working to take advantage of fear and panic sparked by coronavirus. As an example, a mass text message went out to hundreds of people on March 15 with claims that lockdowns and martial law were imminent.
This was proven to be nothing more than a hoax. The National Security Council even took to Twitter to condemn the false alarm.
If you want to stay informed about the ongoing epidemic, make sure you’re following valid sources that emphasize science and readiness over sensationalism. Tap or click here to see our list of trusted sources to follow.
And, of course, make sure to stay tuned to Komando.com for our ongoing coronavirus coverage.