COVIDIOTS: The brand new idiots

Who either induce panic, hoard items or flout public health and safety measures
COVIDIOTS: The brand new idiots

Ask following questions to yourself and see if you wash yourhands and follow all other health and safety measures propagated by thegovernment. Do you practice social-distancing properly and not treat this as achance to throw a house party? Do you stock up on essential supplies instead ofhoarding? Are you avoiding all non-essential travel so as to curb communityspread? Are you not panicking and consulting a doctor only if you've genuinesymptoms? Alternatively, are you not hiding from your doctor your travelhistory and anything else that might make you a carrier? Do you advocatescientifically proven measures, fact-check every news item you receive and notcirculate shady WhatsApp forwards? Do you help the elderly, provide economichelp and ease the stress on your employees and service providers or tenants?Are you doing everything in your power to avoid contracting COVID-19? If theanswer to all of the above questions is 'Yes', then congratulations, you'vetested negative for COVIDIOCY. However, if the answer to even one question is'NO', then, sorry, you've tested positive. You're a COVIDIOT.

For days upon days people have been living and breathingcautiously. As the Coronavirus pandemic engulfed the globe, all kinds ofpersonalities are coming forth. The healthcare and essential service providerson the frontline of the war risk their lives. There are the socialmedia/keyboard warriors, relentlessly fighting to inspire people and remindthem to Stay Inside. And then, then there are COVIDIOTS, the brand new idiotswho either induce panic, hoard items or flout public health and safety measuresthat are in place to curb the spread of the virus. COVIDIOT is a combination of'Coronavirus' and 'idiot'. As he doesn't follow the directives and orders andbehaves like an idiot, the COVIDIOT not only spreads the disease to others butalso induces panic and hysteria, which eventually leads to more cases.COVIDIOTS are, as global as the Coronavirus pandemic, found everywhere, even inplaces where COVID-19 hasn't yet begun to spread all that widely. While theycause losses to others they themselves derive no gain and even possibly incurlosses. God forbid, COVIDIOTS will ultimately ruin us all.

Within us is a collective of heads that influence our livesfor the worse that forces on us their logic, their reasons and their way oflife. It confuses us and expects of us to follow blindly. Idiots are reluctantto listen to logic or reason. Their interest lies in propagating their view andopinions and what they consider to be logic and reason. Lots of people havebeen sheer idiots, feeling invincible and contemptuously looking at us who arewary of this deadly virus. They've been putting not just themselves but alsoothers at risk. The term "COVIDIOTS" seems to have been coined especially forthese people who think it's cool to be a threat to humanity. There aredifferent levels of covidiots. There are people who venture out even thoughthey know it's life-threatening. Then there are those who participate in the"Coronavirus challenge", like it's all a joke. This challenge involves peoplelicking surfaces, relics and objects of reverence and trying to prove they arecool, pious, daredevils or 30-maarkhan. Imagine many of these covidiots eitherstand buried 8 feet down, or are fighting death.

COVIDIOCY stems primarily from a general lack of civic senseand duty, and is also born out of panic. It's also to be noted that not everyCOVIDIOT is born one; some are created by peer-pressure and herd-mentality, aswell as the superstition and fake news. People tend to have the individualsuperiority complex, "this isn't going to happen to me! Look at thepercentages". These "Virus rebels" display their stupidity, fail in maintainingsocial-distancing and thereby prompt crackdowns by authorities. Evenopinion-makers suffer from what is known as the "cognitive bias of illusorysuperiority". This is what creates in them an "inability to recognize theirlack of ability," as social psychologists David Dunning and Justin Kruger havedescribed this phenomenon. There is a "miscalibration" at work, according tothese experts. There is among the incompetent an error about the self on theone hand and there is also a miscalibration about the competence of others.This is what has come to be known as the Kruger Effect, and applies perfectlyto this part of the world, where people proclaim themselves as 'teachers forthe world'. Imagine it took 67 days for the first 1, 00,000 cases to bereported, 11 days for the second 1,00,000 and only four for the third 1,00,000cases. The gatherings obviously care two hoots for the scientifically-provenfact that one carrier of Novel Coronavirus, who might not have obvious symptomsof being infected, can infect hundreds of others, leading to exponential spreadof the disease.

Posterity will know it as the first pandemic brought home tobillions through media and social media in real-time. No other pandemic had itsdeath toll details and debates updated through 24/7 media coverage or throughmillions of social media sources; three billion cell phone users continuously accessingnews – unlike earlier times when people read the morning newspaper once a day.This minute, 3.8 billion people are exchanging information through social media– 49% of the global population. More than 4.5 billion people are on theInternet, accounting for 347 million tweets (micro blog posts on Twitter), 117million emails and 3.1 billion Google searches daily. And the leading topic isa Coronavirus. The media is spreading minute-by-minute updates on 60,000 andabove dead (when I wrote this) from the new Coronavirus, but with typicalidiocy, pandemic to the profession, forgets to project, in the samedeath-clock, how many have recovered. Such a tsunami of information, hiddeninformation and misinformation, inevitably generate a response different fromearlier epidemics and pandemics – from the prehistoric epidemic in northeasternChina circa 3000 BC, the Plague of Athens in 450 BC that killed 100,000, theBlack Death that killed more than half of Europe's population during 1346-1353.

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