Let’s sing happy birthday twice!

WELL if you haven’t already noticed there is a new virus called 2019 novel coronavirus, or 2019-nCoV. It is, of course, very serious and obviously there are lots of things being said about what precautions one should take so as not to catch it.

The problem is that there is also a ridiculous amount of misinformation too. So, where should you turn for the latest information on a minute by minute changing situation? We know there’s a lot of useful and reliable information online, but there’s also a lot of rubbish, so which is which.

Firstly read the stuff issued by the WHO – not the rock band – the World Health Organisation and other accredited medical sources. Definitely not the red tops or other gutter press.

Just as the number of people and countries affected by this new virus has spread, so have conspiracy theories and unfounded claims about it. Already social media sites, including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Tik Tok, have seen a number of false and misleading posts about the virus.

This is what causes the panic – people stockpiling food and supplies. Then there are the con merchants who are trying to sell ‘non-medical immune boosters’ which are totally useless. There is always some that want to profit out of misery and vulnerable people.

I don’t know how the virus started. The conspiracy theorists say it’s man-made which, of course, is possible.

All I know is apart from the damage it can do to people; the damage to businesses is really going to be catastrophic. Movie premieres, flights, meetings, shows and concerts are all being cancelled. The Chinese Grand Prix has been postponed and sporting events cancelled.

I’ve seen people in Spain wearing face masks which, if it’s just a regular surgical face mask doesn’t help at all. What I’m saying is panic can be more dangerous than anything else. I am now going to wash my hands.

Even that advice has contradictions. I read somewhere you have to do it whilst singing happy birthday twice but somewhere else said sing God Save the Queen. I’m sticking to happy birthday as I don’t know all of God Save the Queen.

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Mike Senker

Grumpy Old Man Mike Senker provokes laughter and some groans with his spot on observations of life in the modern age.


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