Health & Fitness ‘I’m Scared To Leave The House Even For Essential Supplies’: The Impact Of Quarantine-Shaming People Online

05:20  26 march  2020
05:20  26 march  2020 Source:   graziadaily.co.uk

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Thursday, 26 March 2020 ‘ I ’ m Scared To Leave The House Even For Essential Supplies ’: The Impact Of Quarantine - Shaming People Online | Sky U.K As #covidiots

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a woman standing in front of a building: Woman at home © Credits: Getty Images Woman at home ‘I feel so guilty every time I go for my morning walk,’ says Jessica, 22 from Merseyside. ‘I’m so careful. I stay far away from everybody, but I haven’t been to the shops yet in fear of people thinking I am there unnecessarily.’

Jessica doesn’t have Covid-19 symptoms, nor does she live with anyone who does. And yet, like so many others, she fears leaving the house for the government-sanctioned actions of one bout of exercise a day or shopping for essential supplies. Why? Because of the growing trend of quarantine-shaming online that saw #covidiots begin trending this weekend.

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'People are consistently writing on social media that we should be staying indoors no matter what,' she explains. 'I saw a Tik Tok of somebody shouting at an individual from their window who was walking down the street. He was alone, not near anybody else and wasn’t in a busy area, it was just a street. He was probably taking his state-approved walk of the day, it's things like that that just make me so anxious about leaving the house.'

The trend started with the commentary around panic-buying, a phenomenon in part fuelled by newspapers and social media users sharing pictures of shelves laid bare causing even more panic. People were being told we could be in lockdown for weeks, they were told not to leave the house if they get symptoms, people were scared and rightly so. Yet, so many chastised them for reacting in panic-buying – seemingly above those feelings of confusion and anxiety created by endless warnings of a global pandemic infused with misinformation online.

Representative image © Getty Representative image Then came the pictures printed front page of people overcrowding parks and beaches last weekend. Now, this is not to defend people refusing to practice social distancing on purpose – those people are actually ‘covidiots’ – but how about the people that were simply following the then-government guidance that they could, and should, go to their local parks for exercise and turned up to see hundreds of others?

Yes, some people are acting selfishly, but it’s not a reach to say that government advice was confusing up until lockdown was announced – and even after given that Cabinet Minister Michael Gove had to clarify a lot of what Boris Johnson had announced. When we were being warned to avoid restaurants, bars and gyms but they weren’t being closed by the government – did that not send the message to the public that it simply can’t be that bad if they’re still open? Not everyone is politically apt enough to understand the complexities of Johnson’s decision not to close non-essential public places despite the medical warnings.

‘I was going to the gym up until it was formally closed,’ says Ellie*, 25 from Luton. ‘I was practicing all of the guidelines - washing my hands more frequently, cleaning everything before and after using it, staying away from people where I could – so I assumed it was all okay. Then my best friend stopped speaking to me because of it, saying I was being irresponsible.


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‘He didn’t speak to me for a week,’ Ellie continued. ‘Now, I feel anxious just going out for exercise because I worry about my friends reactions if I leave the house for something they think is unnecessary.’

It’s the same for Louise, 30 from Birmingham, who struggled so much social distancing in her London home she decided to move back in with her family – but is terrified to tell people.

‘We decided to move in with some family who have a garden and a much bigger house just before lockdown was announced,’ she tells Grazia. ‘We've got two kids and the idea that we might be trapped in our flat with no green space was really freaking me out. No-one has any underlying health conditions that we know of and we all isolated as much as possible before that point - we're also not going out now.

‘I've told a few friends, but I felt like I really wanted to explain myself,’ Louise continued. ‘I've made everyone promise not to put anything on social media, I'm scared of what people might think. I think it's a hard time and there are people much worse off, so I feel guilty and a bit ashamed, to be honest.'

It seems that the public shaming of strangers online has taken its toll on families and friendship groups, so much so that we now fear judgement from those closest to us. For Katya, 28, who is currently in lockdown in Malta, that fear is reiterated every time she leaves the house in a protective mask and is met with gasps from members of the public.

‘I have no symptoms but I’ve been self-isolating for more than three weeks now,’ she says. ‘Last week I went to the supermarket and was wearing an FFP3 mask – the really good ones - and every single time someone was walking by, either they would cover their faces with a jacket, gasp or run away even.

‘I’m just protecting myself,’ she continued. ‘But I’ve been worried about being shamed every time I go outside wearing the mask now.’

As we enter such scary times, understanding and digesting political broadcasts and medical warnings has never been so important – and yet instead of helping people do so, many are being shamed simply for not reading between the (very blurred) lines, or not understanding that some social media posts aren’t factual or for reacting to the panic we’re all rightly feeling.

Stay at home to stop coronavirus spreading - here is what you can and can't do. If you think you have the virus, don't go to the GP or hospital, stay indoors and get advice online. Only call NHS 111 if you cannot cope with your symptoms at home; your condition gets worse; or your symptoms do not get better after seven days. In parts of Wales where 111 isn't available, call NHS Direct on 0845 46 47. In Scotland, anyone with symptoms is advised to self-isolate for seven days. In Northern Ireland, call your GP.

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usr: 0
This is interesting!