Who’s Been Putting the Panic in Pandemic?

I C U!

Rest assured when I say I’m not the kind of writer to wave the world’s worries around willy nilly, nor am I the kind of wordsmith to waste my time with word-play, such shenanigans make no sentence to me, and if you like your posts packed full of self-platitudes, go join your local Sanctimonious Support group, you’ll find no such tomfoolery in any of my stories.

In these times of uncertainty, it’s best to stay ahead of the game, keep your finger on the pulse and stay well-informed. Knowing your facts from your figures, your influencers from your influenzas and your ass from your elbow will save lives. Talking of elbows, recent advice to bump elbows instead of shaking hands has resulted in a minor outbreak of Elbowla. I do apologise for that joke. To be honest, elbow jokes are the hardest jokes to come up with because they tend to only go one way.

So, the shit has well and truly hit the fan, and as a result, we now find ourselves in the midst of an infodemic.

The following is a practical guide to surviving these most challenging of times.

What is an infodemic?

Infodemics are large, excessive bodies of information related to a problem, that due to oversaturation of data, make navigation to a viable solution more difficult. The other day I got so overwhelmed with the masses of government guidance on social-distancing, that I wore a mask and gloves to the store. Unfortunately, everyone else had clothes on.

The most recently discovered infodemic is ‘Minfodemic-2.0’.

What is Minfodemic-2.0?

Taken from the Latin phrase, ‘lunaticos disputatio’, (meaning ‘infodemic originating from Medium’) ‘Minfodeminc 2.0’ is a recently discovered spectrum of infectious behaviours.

Until its recent outbreak on this very platform, this new infodemic was unknown.

What are the symptoms of Minfodemic-2.0?

The most common symptom of Minfodemic-2.0 is an insatiable need to jump on the COVID-19 bandwagon and incessantly write the same old nonsense everybody else is writing.

How does Minfodemic-2.0 spread?

Anyone that reads stories on Medium can catch Minfodemic-2.0 from the stories of those that are already infected. These behaviours spread from ‘story’ to ‘reader’ through unrelenting pockets of monotonous, run-of-the-mill content that attach themselves to the psyche of every single reader. Due to this molecular mix-up, rationality and logic get thrown out of the window. Talking of getting mixed up, my dyslexic friend is struggling with self-isolation. He’s watching TV in his boredom, to try and combat his bedroom.

What can I do to protect myself and prevent the spread of these behaviours?

Stay up to date with the latest information on the Minfodemic-2.0 outbreak.

Authorities in Medium tags such as ‘Humor’ and ‘Satire’ have successfully slowed down outbreaks in their communities. But unfortunately, the same can’t be said for other more densely populated tags.

The official advice from Medium is if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, self-isolate from Medium with immediate effect. I know what you’re thinking —

“Lee, this is all very well, but you’re talking absolute codswallop!”

Au contraire, only the other day Medium head-honcho, Ev Williams told me to get off Medium or I’d find myself pushing up daisies. Some would argue that Ev wants me off this platform because I recently put him in a sub-title, but I’d like to think it’s because he cares about me in these unprecedented times.

How did the first human Minfodemic-2.0 infections occur?

There have been unconfirmed reports that the first cases of Minfodemic-2.0 originated in Medium writer tags such as ‘Travel’ and ‘Social Media Marketing’.

There have also been unconfirmed reports of smaller outbreaks in writer tags such as ‘Sex’ and ‘Sexuality’, but these appear to be driven by info-maniacs, not those suffering from symptoms indicative of Minfodemic-2.0.

Until the origin of this outbreak is confirmed, there is a risk of reintroduction of these behaviours into the Medium population and the risk of new outbreaks like the one we are currently experiencing.

“The best use of imagination is creativity. The worst use of imagination is anxiety.”

Deepak Chopra

Originally published in Medium publication The Swipe, 1st April 2020.

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