The 2019-nCOV outbreak: things we did not think much about

1. Be sensitive not to victimize Wuhan people further on social media. We are equally vulnerable in the face of the coronavirus. It does more good to empathize with and support all Wuhanese who are bearing majority of the pains for the rest of us, than to alienate them.

This principle applies both nationally and globally. To stop this epidemic from festering into a pandemic, we need to rise up to the challenge as global citizens. Partisanship, be it intentional or not, would only spawn terror and worse, terrorized acts.

2.Think twice before you post an update. Consider the validity of its content, the legitimacy of its source, and the intention of its broadcasters. Even if the news is all truth, would the message aggravate the general populace or certain social groups simply by the way it’s conveyed?

In this day and age of information boom, this is a habit we all need to practice, for every message we intend to spread and especially at times of national emergencies. Remember, memes are not at the service of humans; they propagate as they wish, in whatever way that accelerate the propagation. The moment you press the “post” button, you become responsible for spreading words of wisdom and faith, or hoaxes and inflammatory nonsense.

3.Take care of yourself, both physically and mentally. If you feel overwhelmed by the newly-diagnosed cases in your vicinity, or start to fall down the update rabbit hole, stop, breathe and put down your phone. Now that everyone is either compelled or obliged to be quarantined, spend time with your family in the comfort of your own home. It’s okay if your grandma resist wearing a surgical mask: find a compromise that makes both of you content and happy. Chinese New Year celebration is all about rapport and harmony with your loved ones.

4.Wearing of masks is as much an act of social responsibility as one of personal protection. Worn masks carry germs and virions too. Fold or pour boiled water on them before disposing of them. Do it for the uncles and aunties that keep our environment clean.

My utmost gratitude goes to all healthcare personnel and social workers fighting at the frontlines against the virus. Wish you health and happiness in the year of the Mouse!

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