COVID-19 online and the bigger hazard

we should be taking advantage of social media to change the social mindset and public perception.

An earnest appeal from the Director Health Dr Rajo Singh and Covid spokesperson Dr Sasheekumar Mangang was shared online in the social media and the media. They talked about the efforts of the department in combating the pandemic and difficulties faced by frontline health workers, especially doctors and nurses, and the negative overtones in the social media despite the department’s efforts.

They indeed have a point. The public has a general mistrust of the health workers, including doctors and nurses with regard to their sincerity and commitment to ethics. We have had several instances of patient parties venting their anger against the doctors and accusing them of criminal negligence.

It is not so much about the public disdain towards doctors giving more importance to private practice than public practice which is giving cause to such actions. Rather, it is because of the high expectations the public has from the doctors. Doctors are often viewed with God-like qualities of healing and when it is found wanting they cry negligence. This is a hazard accompanying the medical profession and they must learn to take it in their stride.

The general public must also try to understand that the doctors of the state in both public and private sector are overwhelmed by the unprecedented onslaught of the pandemic Covid 19 in the general population, as it is elsewhere.

We also need to understand the negative fallout of such public perception in the social media, especially in Covid times. We already have a general view of how rumour mills work before the advent of social media networks.

Social media is a term for the online platforms that people use to connect with others, share media content, and form social networks. Some of the most popular platforms include Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, Tumblr, Instagram, Pinterest, Skype, YouTube, Viber and Snapchat. Using social media means uploading and sharing content. This includes creating online profiles, posting comments or chatting, uploading photos and videos, sharing links, tagging photos and content, creating and sharing game modifications, remixing or changing existing content and sharing it. Social media has its benefits and risks, as it is open to all and everyone.

Benefits from using social media like exploring and experimenting on social media can help one build knowledge and skills to enjoy online activities and avoid online risks. We can use social media to share educational content, either formal or informal settings. One can be creative with profile pages, photos and videos, and modifications for games. Social media sites can also pose risks. These risks include being exposed to inappropriate or upsetting content like mean, aggressive, violent or sexual comments or image uploading inappropriate content like embarrassing or provocative photos or videos of themselves or others, sharing personal information with strangers. Like we said, it is an open system and it has become a part of our life.

And, we must learn to overcome the risks and dangers associated with it instead of fighting it. Rather, we should be taking advantage of social media to change the social mindset and public perception. We must also understand that social networking lacks emotional connection. One must learn to navigate it.

First Published:Aug. 4, 2020, 1:18 a.m.

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