Tuesday, August 3, 2021
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Coronavirus Update: Social Media To The Rescue

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In its full swing, the second wave of the coronavirus has turned the country into a living hell. Millions of people are fighting for their lives due to the shortage of oxygen, hospital beds, medicines, vaccines and every other way of aid. What’s worse, however, is the fact that this Endgame has no Avengers to our rescue.

We are totally on our own, as the ‘Bal-Mitras’ (young volunteers/friends) try their level best to convince their family members to stay home and stay safe. The country lacks resources and lockdown is a risk the government is not willing to take. People are sick of self-lockdown and not everyone is as careful as they were during the initial stages of the pandemic. Pandemic-phobia is at its prime and nothing seems to go in the right direction. People are as confused as ever, and the medical system is collapsing.

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Interestingly, instead of the authorities, the people had to turn to the internet to save the lives of their loved ones. With stories, posts and tweets bombarding all over the internet, people are now requesting and offering help. It’s a give and take, and it definitely is saving lives. Social media, in all its glory, has finally come up to the rescue of hundreds of thousands of Indians and it has left us complaining about our government. Users are flooding these platforms with appeals for urgent needs through posts, retweets, shares and story uploads to help distressed citizens in several cities across the country.

Where the country is going through a national crisis, memers, trollers and influencers have taken a step forward in initiating connectivity. Influencers like Kusha Kapila, Ankush Bahuguna, Vishnu Kaushal and all other social media favourites have resorted to their Instagram stories to help the patients find resources like oxygen cylinders, injections and even plasma donors.

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Last week Instagram users and Bollywood celebrities like Sonam Kapoor and Vaani Kapoor helped generate patient requests and plasma donors throughout the nation.

Youngsters have developed websites and apps to help people connect to the resource providers easily. Several NGOs have opened up or shifted their attention to the current coronavirus outbreak. The country stands united as strangers help each other through tough times.

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Not only this, people have started at home organizations to help feed patients and the less fortunate during the nationwide emergency. Social media has also given medical experts a platform to raise their voices, and help people out with information, reality checks and precautions.

The spread of misinformation and rumours, however, remains a challenge. Some documents being circulated contain invalid and outdated contact details. Several users are also requesting high-profile accounts to share resources only after verifying the authenticity. “Please verify the sources/numbers before you post them in any thread or share them. It’s incredibly harrowing to call up number after number only for them to be out of service, unavailable or switched off, and just ends up increasing the burden of the patient/attendant,” a user rightly said in a tweet.

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