Knowledge is Power: Why to Stay Informed During the Pandemic

Sanaa Mahmud Sanaa Mahmud Instagram May 15, 2020 · 5 mins read
Knowledge is Power: Why to Stay Informed During the Pandemic
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If there is one word to describe the world we live in today, it would be, “uncertain.” Uncertain of what to do, where to go next, and what is going to happen in the near future. Everywhere we turn, the words “virus” and “pandemic” flood our ears, making it incredibly challenging to think of anything else. It may be tempting to try to block out the world altogether to avoid bad news, but one thing to remember is that we must stay informed during these times. We have to stay on top of information regarding our global situation, for a number of valid reasons. 

For one, keeping updated is a way to do our part to stop the spread of the virus. We all have an important role to play within our communities. We have to look out for ourselves, and those around us. You may hear the phrase, “we’re all in this together” quite often, and wonder what it means. Obviously we’re not physically together, and isolation makes it feel like we’re actually farther apart. And no, it’s not a High School Musical reference. This phrase is meant to convey that everyone is currently going through the same situation. It means we all need to remain united against a common threat, and work to keep ourselves and the community safe. This can be achieved through listening to our public health officials, and taking proper precautions, like social distancing. One can only be aware of these precautions by keeping up with the news, and staying informed. 

Another reason to stay informed is knowing how to respond to challenges during this time. Most of the world, let alone all MCI students, have never been part of any pandemic situation before. No one knows how to act or where to begin trying to cope with all the changes. These changes cause many to feel scared, helpless and not in control. By staying informed on new developments of the virus, as well as the necessary precautions to take, you are educating yourself on how to combat our new reality. This education becomes a way to feel in control, and stay on top of the fear. A study conducted by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (IJERPH) found that those who had reliable and updated information regarding the coronavirus felt more prepared to handle it. Also, people who received accurate information about the virus had lower levels of stress, anxiety and depression. So when staying updated on information concerning the virus, not only are you learning about ways to react, but you are possibly improving the status of your mental health. By learning more about what threatens us, we can combat fear, and remain feeling in control. 

Another major reason to remain informed is to stay connected with the outside world. Through television, newspapers, and the internet, we are able to momentarily escape our self-isolation and see what is happening throughout the globe. For example, by watching the news, not only are you getting information, you are seeing the contrasting effects of the virus around the world. You get to see what other people are doing, and how other countries are reacting. Most importantly, you get to be reminded that you are not alone, since the whole world is going through the same thing. Getting information and updates is your ticket to experiencing the world once again, because it allows you to see what others are doing. 

Finally, although our world may seem scary and uncertain, it is also one that will go down in the history books. People will remember these past few months as the worst crisis since WWII, meaning we are all making history. I’d like to believe our children or even grandchildren may ask about this time; how it felt to live in self-isolation, be off from school, and watch everything around us shut down. In order to speak to our experiences, we should be aware of what’s happening throughout the world. Even though this crisis is terrible, we should be immersing ourselves in the current information and updates, so we remember when it’s over. Those who weren’t present during this time will want to know everything, and I, for one, want to be able to share it. So, think about it like this: staying informed is a way to truly be a part of this event, and if we don’t know what’s going on around us, we may be letting a historic occurrence pass us by. 

To conclude, it is really important to remain informed and updated about the virus, as well as other current events around the world. Now, this doesn’t mean glueing yourself to the TV or reading every newspaper article. You can be informed by just watching the news once a day, for a brief period of time. Alternately, you can go online to the Globe and Mail, the New York Times, the Washington Post, or countless other newspaper sources, and read a couple articles. By taking ten minutes out of each day, you can learn so much about what is happening around you. Being informed is all about feeling confident and resilient enough to go about your daily life, without feeling worried. We must remember that even in a world of uncertainty, there are ways to fight back, and remain in control. 


Image Source: “The New York Times Newspaper” by cottonbro from Pexels

Sanaa Mahmud
Written by Sanaa Mahmud Instagram
Former Editor-In-Chief