Wednesday 28 October 2020 ,
Wednesday 28 October 2020 ,
Latest News
24 September, 2020 07:30:27 PM
Print

Covid-19: Has the media underserved the lower classes?

To be straightforward, what would a person with a minimum daily wage do with information regarding the usefulness of Hexisol if they cannot afford a bottle?
Mashaekh Hassan
Covid-19: Has the media underserved the lower classes?

Not even in the last year could we have predicted the occurrence of such an event which would change our lifestyle drastically. From our way of dealing with boredom, to eventually realizing how even being bored in a safe shelter is no less than a privilege amid the pandemic: our paradigm regarding the world we are so accustomed to has shifted.

Initially when the news started spreading all over the world, little did I realize the virus would soon start spreading within the border of this country too. Being an inhabitant of a developing nation striving towards achieving a particular type of development, I knew, for a fact, the upcoming days with the virus would be quite detrimental ones, for the mass of people. Being from an affluent socio-economic class, the advertisements portraying the necessary precautions did not bother me as much. Not going outside their homes was the one aspect that made many people from my known circle become despondent. I, an occasional introvert, with ample supply of hygiene products at home, neither felt bored nor lost for obvious reasons.

It was not difficult to predict the lockdown would bring back, or at least, subtly trigger the addiction to social media. As an inevitable consequence comes the emergence of new meme trends. With absolutely no intention of comparing the recent days with the long gone old days which are often romanticized and labelled as “Gold,” I would like to state, that living in a time where everything is a joke or has the potential to be turned into one is hard. It is easy to laugh at people, at their abject conditions, and their stupidity, which is very much constructed by certain elitist ideas. One such video I came across which showed two people shouting about how they are not scared of the virus and therefore, they were heading to their hometown in a train full of people, in spite of the must-be-followed rule of social distancing imposed by the government for their own safety. The comment section was flooded with criticism of how ignorant the task was that they were doing, of how abject the consequences can be if everyone remains as ignorant, and blurting out of frustration at the lower-class or working-class people.

It took me a while to realize, that as dangerous a thing those two and many others from a similar class of people were doing, was that they did not really have any other options. I did not need to go out when the lockdown was stricter than now. But what about the people who do not have enough money or food at home to survive for a week? What would happen to the ones whose daily wage is the only option to pass the rest of the hours of the day? Whichever possible solutions I tried to ruminate in my mind evaporated as soon as I bumped into the reality that all the solutions sounded utopian. And then, I realized that this is one of the biggest problems prevalent in our society. This class of people is not only stratified by the aspect of not being provided with an alternative, other than having to go out for their jobs, but also by the widespread advertisement about the momentousness of maintaining hygiene during the outbreak. I am unsure if the ads helped the poor people in any way because knowledge is power only when it is acquired by the people from a powerful social class.

To be straightforward, what would a person with a minimum daily wage do with information regarding the usefulness of Hexisol if they cannot afford a bottle? The spreading of awareness done by media first of all, as mentioned earlier, was not helpful to the people from a lower socio-economic class.

Regardless of what the intention behind the advertisements was, it instilled a subtle hatred in the minds of people from the affluent class for whom following the rules abruptly imposed by the government was not a difficult mission to accomplish. I do not intend to castigate the intention of the media because I cannot say for sure if they wanted to divide people in such a way. Call it an unintended consequence: I have encountered so many Facebook posts ranting about how those ‘ignorant’ group of people are aggravating the situation of the pandemic. A much-needed integration is the fact that there are many people who are just careless. But that should not make us forget that many people out there are compelled to do dangerous things because they care about themselves or the ones they love.

The process of othering (the tendency of viewing certain people as “not-quite-humans” for whatever reasons) was, too, faced by the people who were tested positive for Covid-19. From the neighbours, to the doctors: everyone changed their way of looking at those people. Doctors, despite donning PPE and despite the patients being covered to the level that not even a hole through which the virus could possibly transmit, maintained such a distance from where even supervising or checking a patient properly is impossible. For quite a while I thought it is probably a pre-cautionary step. My delusion was cleared when I recovered from Covid-19 and the look of the doctors remained the same. There are multiple debatable factors in the case, but one thing that is undoubtedly clear, and becoming clearer with updated news regarding the myths and facts about the virus, is that the media played a huge role in shaking the moral grounds of common people. The current scenario is just an instance proving true the theory that media produce only the news that mass people would buy.

The side I have taken and penned an entire essay about would be quite easy to misunderstand, given that the pandemic is getting worse day-by-day, or the facilities provided by the authorities are low in quality which is letting the pandemic take a scarier shape. Whatever the reason, the flaws of the socio-political institutions are visible now. Sadly, the common people are in a loop, and remaining scared. They do not seem to be analysing the root which is blanketing the mass of people with the shadow that not even an exhausted pedestrian prays for.

The writer is an anthropology student at Brac University.

 

Comments

Video

Copyright © All right reserved.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Disclaimer & Privacy Policy
....................................................
About Us
....................................................
Contact Us
....................................................
Advertisement
....................................................
Subscription

Powered by : Frog Hosting