The ideal role of the local and international media organizations should be to provide the large population with accurate information about the current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of cases registered and recovery stats, as well as to create awareness of how to take precautions and deal with the virus.
Isolation is said to be the first step. Therefore, the media should help provide instructions for initial self-isolation, offer facilities, give information as to how to contact officials in case of infection. The media has a vital role to play in the COVID-19 pandemic.
The media uses animation, advertisements, social media, and television programs to report about the current situation and inform people about updates on the development of vaccines. The World Health Organization, for instance, acts as a medium to provide continuous updates about infected cases, the number of deaths, and recovered cases of the coronavirus, along with treatment by plasma donation. The media provides information on how to make things useful for the prevention of the coronavirus, such as in various videos that teach us how to make sanitizers and masks for those who cannot afford to buy or are unavailable in the market.
Locally, the media also plays an important role in conveying the message of the Prime Minister and other discussions to provide relief to help those who are without, or have lost their financial power. It provides information about essential groceries and where they can buy them. Information about finance to bear expenses is also available. The media shares information about doctors who can advise them about how to prevent themselves from contracting the coronavirus or be able to identify if someone exhibits symptoms. They provide guidelines about what one should do, and how to keep oneself from getting too depressed as a result of the situation. People now have mediums on channels and social media where they can share their problems with the government.
The pandemic has caused a global economic crisis because of which many people, even the upper class, are suffering from financial losses. This will lead people to focus on nothing else but how to cover their losses. Furthermore, as a result of the pandemic, many people – especially the lower and middle class – have begun focusing on purchasing basic necessity items rather than luxury items.
Moreover, the government of various countries have imposed lockdowns which have temporarily ceased business operations in the luxury market. The luxury market revolves around innovation and good quality products which requires heavy cost. Due to the shutdown of their businesses, the losses will prevent them from innovation.
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The writer is a student at Bahria University (Karachi).