Many people are spamming their friends’ social media with pictures and videos of adorable animals
pic by BLOOMBERG
I WOKE up yesterday morning to a news headline that read “China virus death toll rises to 490.”
The 2019 novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) has pretty taken over newspapers and online portals, both mainstream and alternative.
Or rather, it has taken over our lives. We are so engrossed with the issue that reading the headlines alone is enough as the details related to the outbreak are as vivid as yesterday.
News of H5N1 (bird flu) in China’s Hunan Province, near ground zero of the coronavirus with 18,000 chickens culled raised anxieties a few notches.
The 2019-nCoV had also stolen the limelight of the Philippines’ Taal Volcano eruption, which had left parts of the country in smog and ash. Volcanologists raised the alert level to four out of five and warned of a volcanic tsunami.
So devastating the coronavirus and far-reaching the outbreak that the flood in Jakarta, the avalanche in Kashmir and Australia’s wildfires would today fit into the news brief section.
Interestingly, in Malaysia, a man who insists that he is a woman and dressed as one in Makkah gets a bigger slice of the audience than any apocalyptic natural disaster.
It will be a very sad day when we are emotionless when we read about another disaster.
On Jan 29, after reading about the rising numbers of Toxorhynchites (elephant mosquitoes) in Australia which can spread an incurable disease called the Ross River virus, one can only sigh: “What now?”
Are there no good news left? Even the joy of rain in Australia was short-lived although some of the bushfires were extinguished and flash floods were expected in some areas.
What pains the heart is the spread of fake news. The Internet has become a very depressing place to visit.
Besides the unending despair, many kind souls are trying to spread some cheers. Many people are spamming their friends’ social media with pictures and videos of adorable animals. The Dodo is a highly recommended Facebook page.
One netizen in the Philippines went the extra mile to find some good news.
“Most articles on coronavirus only report the number of confirmed cases and deaths, and the numbers have grown exponentially.
Therefore, it is hard not to panic, match it with fake news,” she wrote on her Facebook page.
After a hard time finding sites or articles, she found “worldometer”, a website run by an international team of researchers whose goal is to make world statistics available in a time-relevant format to a global audience.
At press time, worldometer showed that 966 people have recovered from the Wuhan virus, while China’s National Health Commission reported a total of 892 patients had been discharged from hospital on Tuesday. These numbers, separately, are higher than the number of deaths, which is 493.
These news have brought so much hope, especially when the whole world believes there is no cure for the 2019-nCoV and death seems the inevitable outcome.
We need more good news; stories of rainbows after the storm and to go back to enjoying our lives to the fullest.
Farezza Hanum Rashid is the assistant news editor of The Malaysian Reserve.