Some advice about Twitter and reading in a crisis

Hello! If you’re reading this on Twitter, it’s because I have another service (Micro.blog) which pipes things to Twitter. My advice: really, if you value your sanity, steer clear of Twitter right now. You cannot change govt policy. You cannot change scientific advice. Follow the basics. Read the headline stories on a reputable website (not fucking Fox News or the Express).

DO NOT read live blogs, either. If Orson Welles was doing this 1938 version of War of The Worlds now, he’d do it as a Twitter feed and a liveblog and people would panic just as much. There is fuck-all you can do about the Dow being under 20,000.

Remember science is contingent: scientists disagree about the best approach to something all the time. That’s what makes science strong, so don’t assume that because some scientists are disagreeing either (1) no one knows anything or (2) the government is following “the wrong advice”. Maybe they are. Maybe they aren’t. Until, ohh, about a year from now, you don’t know. No one does.

Don’t assume that patterns of infection or mortality will be the same everywhere. Infection patterns are affected by density of housing, cleaning habits, income (yes, sorry), age patterns, and many other factors - in the case of a new virus, also probably things we have no ideas about.

Don’t assume that because you don’t know anyone who has X, then X is not happening - whether that’s assuming the virus is widespread or assuming tests aren’t being done.

If you want to know what you can and should do, read this article. I’ve never been a Stoic, but now is very much the right time to leaven what you do with stoicism.

Technovia @ianbetteridge