Atlantic Views: Joanne Matheson

Joanne Matheson. F17joannematheson1no
Joanne Matheson. F17joannematheson1no

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What a weird world we live in!

Even if you didn’t think it before last week, we are probably all now agreed.

Hopefully most of us are managing to overcome the initial panic, adjust to this new way of life, and make the most of the extra time many of us suddenly have. I suspect this will be the best spring clean many homes have seen in decades!

I know I’m not alone in thinking it’s rather sad to see how governments and organisations are able to act when they really think we are facing an emergency situation.

We didn’t have a declaration of the COVID-19 emergency, followed by not doing very much at all. THIS is what an emergency really looks like.

Unfortunately there is a clear distinction between the current emergency and the climate emergency – COVID-19 will pass.

Depending upon how we all behave, either a few people or a great many people will die, which is very sad, but it will pass.

The climate emergency on the other hand has the potential to end
humanity. Forever. Or at least until the planet recovers sufficiently that some new human animal evolves.

I hope that once the worst of this pandemic has passed, this lesson of how to really tackle an emergency will have registered with those in power.

There are some amazing opportunities popping up on the internet: ways to learn things, continue participating in activities in a group via online contact, and get different types of support and encouragement to continue doing the things you enjoyed doing before. Much of this is being offered by
creative and talented people, usually free of charge.

Sadly, the so-called keyboard warriors are also more active, and seem even less able to undertake basic research before hurling ridiculous comments, in spite of now having far more time on their hands than previously.

By way of an example, I’ve just read a post on Facebook decrying a certain high profile entrepreneur for five apparent misdemeanours. Two are factually correct, but fail to explain the full situation, or even suggest there might be an alternative perspective, and are therefore intentionally
misleading.

Three are factually incorrect, which I was able to confirm within a few minutes by undertaking very simple online research.

But of the nearly 200 comments posted so far, I could find only six which
attempted to point out the inaccuracies, suggest an alternative point of view, or invite people to check the information for themselves.

As one lone commenter put it, and I hope they don’t mind me using their
words: ‘Looking at these repugnant and uneducated comments, the UK shouldn’t be worried about the coronavirus, it’s the people with no intelligence and a total disregard for facts that are the biggest worry.’

These sorts of people were of concern to many before this situation arose, but now more than ever we should speak out against this nonsense and ensure we don’t accidentally do the same thing ourselves.

Read these things if you like, undertake your own research, and once clear on all perspectives of the situation make your own moral judgement. But make it clear that this is your own moral judgement based upon the facts, not a knee-jerk ‘me too’ response which simply makes you look as idiotic as the person who started the thread.

Most of us aren’t stupid, but sometimes we act stupidly. We now have the time available to think before we speak or type, so why don’t we all try to come out of this situation better educated, more sympathetic to alternative points of view, and better able to rationally weigh up a comment?