Social media rises to COVID-19 challenge | Daily News

Social media rises to COVID-19 challenge

While the COVID-19 pandemic hit the country and the advice to stay at home during the outbreak was not making it through to the public, Sri Lankan social media took to some creative initiatives encouraging people to stay at home.

There were a number of social media posts that raised awareness on social distancing, staying at home, washing hands and other similar guidelines, using catchy phrases, tag lines, funny posts and creative memes.  Many Facebook pages used the image of DIG Ajith Rohana who is committed to raise awareness on COVID-19 keeping close connections with the main electronic media channels, in their creative memes that encourage people on social distancing.

The creative methods also included many YouTubers and other social media celebrity personalities using funny songs and videos explaining the guidelines to follow during the pandemic. Even Asterix and Obelix were roped in. Considering the fact that most urban and sub urban dwellers are exposed to social media, the community-triggered campaign to fight COVID-19 contained a great sense of social responsibility.

Additionally, many Sri Lankan physicians who are presently fighting the pandemic, sports celebrities, actors and actresses also took to social media urging the public to stay at home and stay safe from the pandemic. However it was disheartening to see some of the main political figures in the Opposition publicly talking about unconfirmed medical prescriptions for COVID 19 which are not yet approved by any responsible medical authority.

Together with the rigorous awareness campaigns initiated by the Government and private stakeholders the public today (23) displayed that the message has been considerably driven home. When the curfew was lifted people were seen practicing social distancing at the supermarkets, wearing masks and adhering to the guidelines given to avoid Coronavirus contamination, proving that together Sri Lanka can win the battle against the epidemic.

It is noteworthy that the responsibility of social media was a hot topic during the last few years, especially in relation to Easter Sunday carnage and other ethno-religious riots that drastically affected Sri Lanka’s socioeconomic stability and international image. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, Sri Lankan social media, disciplined with strict legal action against fake news, has proven its commitment for the well-being of the general public.

However, there are still are many fake news posts doing the rounds on Facebook and What’s App. Hence it is important for the public to follow only official news sources.

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