On Tuesday, the World Health Organisation stated that the coronavirus outbreak was not a pandemic.
Naturally, it is a virus to be concerned about, as over 400 people have died. However, we have also seen that it is containable. The media industry employs very talented journalists and editors, and after alerting us to the danger of the virus, it now seems that they are more concerned with web impressions and circulation numbers. They are drawing people in by magnifying something that is a danger, but highly unlikely to affect over 99% of the world's population.
There are 22,000 reported cases of the virus worldwide so far. If they were all in Wuhan alone, which they are not, then out of population of 11 million, only 0.2% are affected. Or, in other words, 99.8% are unaffected. More pedestrians will be hit by a car daily.
In an era where consumers want news for free, maybe we shouldn't blame publishers. They rely on advertising, and thus page impressions formed from sensationalising and magnification.Therefore, whilst we should be very aware of the threat of the coronavirus if we live in countries with confirmed cases by maintaining good hygiene, we must take the onslaught on fear-mongering in the media with a grain of salt.
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