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Twitter users are begging others to stay indoors amid coronavirus

It’s estimated that one person with coronavirus in South Korea came in contact with about 2,500 people.


Brooke Sjoberg

Internet Culture

The spread of the novel coronavirus is a cause for concern for many Twitter users, but there are many who are not heeding safety warnings.

The Centers for Disease Control is recommending the public to stay home, stay clean, and stay distant as the nation waits out the pandemic. However, people are still going out to bars, restaurants, and other high-traffic locations.

Twitter users are getting frustrated that people are unnecessarily leaving their homes, especially after a coronavirus case in South Korea made international headlines.

A report from Reuters shows South Korea had its coronavirus outbreak fairly contained at the thirtieth patient. With the next case after that, hundreds of new cases sprang up as a result of her reluctance to practice appropriate safety measures. In between the time she was infected with the virus and when she was diagnosed with the coronavirus, she had come into contact with over 1,160 people. These contacts, which produced hundreds of new cases, were the product of Patient 31 attending church, going to lunch at a buffet with a friend, and attending a public clinic.

The Korean Center for Disease Control and Prevention, according to the Reuters’ report, contacted the 9,300 people who were at the two church services that Patient 31 attended. The center received complaints of flu-like symptoms from around 1,200 of them. Cases confirmed from this cluster have climbed into the hundreds. Another cluster of cases has also cropped up at a hospital that some of the churchgoers visited. It is not yet confirmed that these two clusters stem from Patient 31.

According to Reuters’ metrics, these cases of contact total over 2,500 and make up more than 80% of cases in the country if the two clusters are confirmed.

From one person.

But despite stories like these, people like Katie Williams, a former Ms. Nevada State, are choosing not to listen to the warnings. In the tweet from her account @realkatiejow, Williams described her method of protesting the social distancing measures that have been encouraged.

“I just went to a crowded Red Robin and I’m 30,” Williams wrote. “It was delicious, and I took my sweet time eating my meal. Because this is America. And I’ll do what I want.”

Williams is far from being the only person who isn’t taking the coronavirus seriously.

That’s because Americans are being advised by their high-profile people, like their representatives, to disregard CDC suggestions of social distance and avoidance of large gatherings.

“If you’re healthy, you and your family, it’s a great time to go out and go to a local restaurant, likely you can get in easy,” Representative Devin Nunes (R-Calif.) said on a Fox News broadcast. “Let’s not hurt the working people in this country… go to your local pub.”

Many Twitter users are sharing anecdotes of friends and family engaging in large social gatherings despite the coronavirus and the need for social distancing.

“Trying to find the patience with family members who are out and partying with their elderly friends because ‘they don’t know anyone who has the coronavirus, people are just panicking because the media is spreading fake news,’” Twitter user @amanda_chuan wrote.

On Twitter, users are all but begging people to stay home amid the virus, in an attempt to prevent what has been demonstrated by Patient 31.

“We had 1000s of #Patient31 go out and party last night,” user @40madhatter wrote. “The #coronavirus will be the biggest preventable tragedy America has ever faced. Ignorance, selfishness, greed, this is our downfall.”

CDC guidelines make clear that it is not lightly recommending social distancing. The goal of social distancing, self-monitoring, and quarantine is to “contain” coronavirus, “decreasing the risk of unrecognized case importation from international locations with sustained transmission and managing contacts of laboratory-confirmed cases.”

A study of the coronavirus cases, which hasn’t been peer-reviewed, is circulating on Twitter. Andreas Backhaus, an economics PhD research fellow in Belgium, wrote the paper and pointed out that coronavirus tends to have greater mobility around young people, who spread to older individuals with greater associated health risks.


H/T: Reuters

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