Are you suffering from Covid-19 news fatigue?

Kabilan K: Do you feel fatigued by the continuous stream of news about Covid-19? Honestly, I do.

It has been an endless news journey about the virus since early this year — infections, deaths, new clusters, new SOPs and new normal.

And add to this, the job losses, economic hardship and financial constraints, with no sign of any end to this violent infection and its dreadful impact on all of us.

I wonder how many people are still eagerly waiting for the Health Ministry’s daily update at 5.00 pm, or for the government’s daily 2.00 pm update on the Recovery Movement Control Order status.

Even the government’s daily briefings have been reduced to press statements with only two or three press conferences per week.

Look at the newspapers and you will see how the number of pages dedicated to this virus and its other direct and indirect effect has thinned. The news cycle seemed to have moved on to other things as usual. The same is true for online portals.

Look at the messages being spread on social media and you will realise how people have reduced forwarding messages of any kind related to Covid-19 or they simply delete such forwards.

Such a lackadaisical attitude to Covid-19 newsbreak is understandable. There is only so much bad news one can absorb. A continuous stream of bad news will put off people. And the Covid-19 has been one big bad news event, with no end on sight.

No matter how hard you try, finding something positive from the pandemic is very difficult if it continues to spread with no clue as to how or when it will end.

People will continue to suffer in health, economically and socially as long as Covid-19 is not curtailed and ended.

But until that happens, we actually can’t afford to take our foot off the pedal. We will need to know what is happening around us. We will need to pay attention to the latest so that we remain safe from the virus.

While we follow the various SOPs, maintain social distancing and adhere to the new norms, it is also vital to remain vigilant and stay informed, even if that means keeping up with bad news daily.

So, whether we like it or not, news fatigued or otherwise, we must follow the news on Covid-19 to remain alert, and more importantly, to stay alive.

I know it is mentally overwhelming, feels worn out and causes anxiety but we can be smart in our news consumption.

You don’t have to read every piece of news about Covid-19. Be a smart news consumer. Checking the headlines once a day is a sensible goal, or just tune in to a daily news bulletin or government announcement. Get your news from a trusted news site. Rely on facts rather than conjecture. And more importantly, ignore fake news at all costs.

Kabilan K is a writer with more than 27 years of experience.

This is the writer’s personal opinion and does not reflect the portal’s views.

Pix: forbes.com and concentrix.com


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