“Nervous people tend to overreact,” says Toba Beta, author of the Master of Stupidity.
The news about the 2019 Novel Coronavirus has driven people nuts that pharmacies have made a killing by selling face masks at prohibitive prices. The panic-buying is driven not by official, scientific statements from experts, but from speculations on the spread of the virus.
Health expert say the very weapon against the spread of the virus is hygiene, although putting face masks on may help.
Media reports, both in social media and the traditional ones, have driven the scare to unprecedented heights. The situation has been compounded by the overflowing of pieces of information, including those whose veracity could not even be verified.
The problem with the situation is that it has caused unfounded fear and, usually, people take actions that sometimes are beyond comprehension. Sometimes people forget that entertaining fear will not only impede their daily lives, but will also bring them to the brink of bigger problems because they could not think properly.
The government, instead of broadcasting confusing statements, must make it a point that its pronouncements are science-based as well to ensure that these will not lead the public to make uneducated actions.
People may say that staying calm is better said than done. However, is there any other way?