What to Read whilst The Internet Is Flooded with Epidemic News

There’s news worth your read. Others are NOT.

In a similar stake, you should take time to consider the events all too often, getting on your nerves.

Whilst you’re still dubious of whether a situation could exert any devastating impacts, your psyche has already been.

Indeed, a recent study has proved that human psyche is under adverse impacts of tragic news [1], and woman more regularly jogs this unpleasant memory, thus, are more severely stressed out [2]. In a world where one’s attention is what earns others a living, had you better save it for more worth-the-read things?

Given that learning news itself is always welcome, the identifying-must-reads skill seems somewhat vital amid the media tornado these days. You have every reason to bypass news, for they’re either fake, nugatory news, or intelligence-deteriorating.

Fake News:

Any news failing to affirm its arguments would all too often be considered “fake.” Target audiences are free of proving reliability since it’s none of their business. It IS the responsibility of those who spread the news.

This way, any news/declaration without reliable sources, witnesses, documentary evidence, picture, and video is, for the most part, fake news. Your precious time should never be splurged on those, and rather, you’re always recommended to skip.

Fake news can be gloomy (“London authority is concealing the real figures, there must have been over 100,000,000 active cases”), uplifting (“isolated in an environment cooler than 5-star resort”), “unscrupulous” (“Dog meat helps prevent coronavirus”), or nonsensical (“America is dying”).

That said, no matter what it ends up, it could never uphold the unscrupulous motives. Fake is fake, and crap is always crap.

Nonsensical news

It’s the “pick-out-for-hostile-criticism” characteristics of modern media that I violently hate. Before the pandemic, I all too often came across the so-called articles of “the tragic scene at the funeral of a road accident victim.” It makes no difference from feasting on others’ deaths, let alone the fact that they’re hard of any help to the society.

During the time of this pandemic, there have popped out a considerable number of articles picking out the private lives for hostile criticism. Either “the luxury lifestyle of №17” or “Celebrities are apoplectic with rage since №34 fabricated”, what is its goal, except for provoking soapiness and bitterness? And why on earth should one read those?

“Half-the-truth” news

Every whole truth has two halves of it. Skimming through some articles on the pandemic would hardly bring you any closer to the real situation. Instead, for it’s labyrinthine, you have to study it voraciously. For the most part, what the Internet has recently been flooded with — terse, effortlessly comprehensible, digestible news, which seemingly offers the so-called “truth,” is only distorting the target audiences’ perceptions.

To demonstrate, a breaking news providing (real) figures on “the elderly are more likely to die of Covid-19” might trap one’s mind into interpreting it as “the virus is not that deadly to the majority of the population,” or “the death toll isn’t as tragic as during the time of seasonal flu”, thus taking it for granted.

That said, OurWorldInData has pinpointed that Covid-19 might get way graver than seasonal flu [3]. And it has so far got this fatal since (1) we severely lack knowledge, (2) the vaccine has not yet been developed and lastly, (3) it has only been a few months the outbreak, thus, is too soon to declare anything.

Then, upon stumbling upon the declarant on, it would help if you first considered the ulterior motives. Whilst Trump’s tweets serve as the saving graces for the current political, social, and economic situations, any statement coexisting on it is mainly to provoke hostility.

“Nationalism” articles

It’s a no-brainer that we Vietnamese have every reason to take pride in how we’re fighting the pandemic. Given that, pride should never go hand in hand with overlooking the disaster.

A considerable number of Vietnamese have been cocky for this country, while Europe, Korea, and China are bitterly struggling against the pandemic. It seems bewildering to me. Should the situation get more grave, can Vietnam comfortably stay away? The fact has it that new cases recently discovered within this country are, for the most part, from international disaster zones.

Stubborn patriotism might as well breed selfish attitudes. Considering “we” overwhelming “them” not only turns one aloof from others’ sufferings but also distorts his perception towards “nominating” infected patient treason. Given the current labyrinthine world, traveling, carrying the pathogens is “no ifs and or buts.”

Whether Koreans, British, Americans, or Vietnamese fleeing from disaster zones are as human as you. No matter what they’ve so far done, their lives are no inferior to yours. Those kindling the dazed and stubborn national pride, are not of any help but to indulge and seethe you with rage.

The Internet has recently been flooded with those intoxicated [fake] news to gain reputation, pick out for hostile criticism, or coercively compare the situations among countries to stir up such dazed patriotism. They’re not worth your read since you could hardly (1) gain any knowledge from them, (2) do anything to the situation. You would most likely yourselves evoke only toxic emotions and thoughts.

What I recommend reading are as follows:

- Narratives of those engaged (doctors, medical staff, or citizens within the disaster zones), which offers you new perspectives, as well as sympathetic attitudes towards those.

- Descriptive statistics: figures on infected cases, new vaccine trials, government policies, and how countries step up to gain more insights.

- Articles that tear the problem into pieces and analyze: international journals’ renowned topics on how the economy, society, culture are struck by the pandemic, or how countries are handling it.

- Professional and trustworthy organizations: advice during the epidemic time from the Ministry of Health, CDC, or WHO …

Tedious as they might sound, they’re thought-provoking and practical.

Should you crave conspiracy thriller, hilarious or cynical things, had you better turn to books, stories, or movies, hadn’t you? At least, you know for sure those are fictional, instead of reading hoaxes, gaining self-deceived knowledge.

Neither studying news nor following dramas are capable of getting you more prudent. Instead, they would all too often turn you into the prattling one all your life have violently hated. They’re not getting you any closer to “civilized,” they’re instead getting you gossipy.

Remember that your attention, fear, and bitterness are what earn others a living. Since those are not at all prolific, had you better “set them aside” for what seems more practical, hadn’t you?

References:

[1]: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/14149927_The_psychological_impact_of_negative_TV_news_bulletins_The_catastrophizing_of_personal_worries

[2]: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23071755?

[3]: https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus

Always be nice to anybody who has access to my toothbrush.

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