Corona confusion - are we being played? | Jabbering Journo column

While the nation is busy worrying about catching Coronavirus and learning to wash its hands for what feels like the first time (c’mon, you didn’t wash your hands -  ugh), public paranoia is at an all time high.

By Nicola Adam
Wednesday, 11th March 2020, 1:49 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th March 2020, 1:50 pm
Corona swabs
Corona swabs

Is it here, is it there, how do I avoid it, should I self-isolate, is it all fake news?

All of those perfectly valid questions are dominating thoughts and conversations this week, conveniently playing into less trustworthy elements of political PR perfectly - it’s the perfect time for spin doctors to hide other information and avoid scrutiny on possibly unhelpful news for them.

It’s allowed them to put MPs pay rises through for a start.

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As hand gel shelves lie empty (understandable) and families multi buy toilet roll (less understandable) MPs are to receive a pay rise of 3.1 per cent bringing their annual basic salary to £81,932 from April this year.

Though to be fair, they won’t be able to buy hand gel with it anyway.

This comes hot on the heels of the Prime Ministerial baby news, a positive and attention-seeking piece of good news which almost manage to cover up the Home Secretary Priti Patel being accused of bullying and a high profile resignation on the same day.

It didn’t cover it up completely and wasn’t exactly met with the wave of joy a royal baby might - but it certainly made enough noise to dominate the social media news feeds and so it certainly worked as a media and public-diverting strategy.

And by media I mean anyone who has ever published anything, which includes you if you’re on Facebook or Twitter.

In other words all of us.

Meanwhile, some people are questioning if Coronavirus exists at all as all news is fake these days ( spoiler, it’s not and neither is all news you don’t fancy - fake. )

So as well all worry about Coronavirus , it’s worth sweating the small stuff.

After all you’d look out for a bus when crossing the road, not just stand there trembling in case a meteorite strikes you down.

But, awww, a new baby.