On 12th of January , World Health Organization confirmed that Coronavirus was the case of the respiratory illness on cluster of people in Wuhan city, Hubei province of China. Whereas, on 11th of February 2020 the disease's name was identified as SARS-COV-2 and was consequently announced by World Health Organization as COVID 19. The pandemic has led to severe global socio economic disruptions and widespread shortage of supplies exacerbated by panic buying.
The novel pandemic has impacted all spheres of life due to several factors including associated deaths, geographical expansion, stock exchange fall worldwide cancellation of sporting events, shortage of goods and many more of being scarcity. This has sparked worldwide fear, anxiety, depression and distress along with concerns for suicide, grief, traumatic stress, guilt and long term mental health disorders. Here comes, the role of media.
Media is the most powerful canon for any society. The advent of social media in the 21st century has removed communication channel and opened the doors for all to have a voice and participate. Media is the reflection of our society and it depicts what and how society works. Media either it is printed, electronic or digital, act as medium in making people well informed.
Especially now a days social media is under so much scrutiny and the spotlight for the way it has reported on the spread of deadly virus.It works as a bridge between the rural and urban places to inform the public about local issues by which democracy is strengthened. The way responsive media has covered the pandemic has changed siginificantly over a time though different countries have quite different media coverage.
Media been very positive role to encourage people to compile. Role in the dissemination of information on the COVID-19 pandemic response is crucial. However, the onus lies on the receiving end. The real impact depends on whether the population is receiving information calms down or panic.. Media has generated a lot of information coverage about the symptoms Covid-19 in turn perhaps saving lives. Moreover information on regulations and guidelines vis-à-vis lockdown social distancing and the importance of mask have a significant reach on the masses.
In additional media most have social responsibility to keep the population properly informed since the important elements for disease prevention and also promote adaptive responses to foster positive health attitudes and adherence to preventive measures. Media is a great way for individuals and communities to say connected even while physically separated. Social Media can and should be harnessed to support the public response via social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and many more as they have become primary sources of information, indeed.
During the massive community wide quarantine , it is particularly important to use social media as it provides an opportunity to communicate during quarantine, provide reassurance and practical advices which render important information to other masses. Digital technology can overcome the social distancing constraints during mass quarantine and provide mental health support resources and solidarity with those persons in a lockdown situation. A well planned analysis of global online conversation could provide a rapid assessment of the spread and possible change in public attitudes and behaviors.
For the current scenario of Covid-19 crisis , a final determination of social media platforms plays a very crucial role to disseminate information in multiple languages across the global diaspora. This will enhance the ability of public to understand the social dynamics of the increasingly fast and evolving spread of information about the coronavirus and the outbreak and control measures.
About the author: Haseena Nighat Khan is a research scholar from Rajouri district of Jammu and Kashmir