LONDON – British front-line workers who were hailed on the doorstep in the early weeks of the epidemic are now facing polarization and misinformation.
Doctors, teachers and other exhausted workers say they are incredibly depressed after reading social media posts claiming that Govit-19 is a scam or exaggeration. In recent weeks it has had serious, real-world repercussions, with protesters raiding hospitals and abusing health workers.
According to some researchers, the polarization between the British population and the non-British absorbed by these ideas is becoming more intense – and so is the United States.
Full protection against corona virus outbreak
“In the UK, we look at the United States and take this as a warning sign that things could go wrong if we are not careful,” said Sander van der Lindon, a professor of social psychology at the university. Cambridge.
This vicious “infotemic” – as the World Health Organization calls it – is forcing the UK to enter its third national lockout as the UK deals with an increase in corona virus cases and pushing it closer to breaking its beloved, publicly funded national health service.
To date, the country has recorded more than 80,000 corona virus deaths, one of the highest in the world.
Conspiracy theories are not new here, and Britain has received misinformation about the corona virus since the outbreak began. But now “polarization has become more intense, and so is the United States,” said Van der Lyndon.
U.S. attitudes toward the corona virus have long been divided in biased ways, with liberals more likely to say that masks and locking measures and conservatives want to prioritize the economy. A Yukov poll in May He suggested that Republican voters outnumbered Democrats to believe many conspiracy theories about Govt-19.
Not always in the UK, support for masks and other locking measures Is too high.
But Van der Lyndon says it all Research he has conducted in recent months Suggests that the British people are also becoming more divided in political ways. For example, those who identify as left-wingers will agree that vaccines are safer than right-wingers.
‘Govt is a hoax’
The period of misinformation in Britain is traditionally much shorter than in the United States
Anti-lockout protests have plagued Europe throughout the past year, with dozens of 5G cell towers in the UK being attacked by those who believe they are somehow linked to the spread of the virus.
However, this winter feels like a sea change. Several British hospitals reported that people had access to their buildings by filming empty corridors in hopes of exposing the “hoax” they had been exposed to by corona virus patients.
On New Year’s Day, a group of anti – vaccine campaigners gathered outside St Thomas’ Hospital in central London, shouting “Govt is a scam” towards doctors and nurses leaving the building.
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Dr. Rachel Clark, an immunologist at a hospital in Oxfordshire, says public treatment for NHS workers has changed dramatically since last year.
The first wave was “hard, but knowing the community behind you was so awesome,” he told NBC News. “But now, the applause is long gone, and instead you will come home to abuse if you dare talk about Govt-19 on social media.”
Facing this current of misinformation is very frustrating for people like Russell Sears, a high school teacher in the English district of Norfolk, northeast London.
The 43-year-old Sears considered leaving his job several times during epidemics. Like many in his industry, he is angry that the government has not done much to protect employees, slowing down schools across the country despite the virus’s outbreak, killing tens of thousands and forcing millions to stay home.
One thing that followed him was that the newly gained respect for leading workers seemed to be triggered by an epidemic in Britain. Although the Brits once gathered every Thursday at 8pm for a round of applause at the ceremonial door for “key workers,” Sears says many of those applauding are now provoking fake news.
“Seeing all this flying around made me question: Should I press the exit button and leave the UK and go somewhere without these crazy conspiracy theories?” Cheers to friends called “Shiv” said. “At least, I don’t feel like the attitude of others puts me at risk.”
‘Erosion of Hope’
This comes at a time when Britain is battling under one of the worst corona virus outbreaks on the planet. The country is plagued by the dual worm of the new, fast-spreading variant of the virus, and, according to critics, the government’s inability to repeat and take the necessary action to prevent it.
Acting too slowly, Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government has also been accused of backing cabinet ministers’ personal contacts while awarding lucrative health care purchase agreements. In the eyes of many, Johnson is guilty of hypocrisy and persecutes people to follow the rules, but then fails to openly break with his superior adviser.
According to Maria Kriakido, a senior lecturer at Cardiff University’s School of Press, Media and Culture, this mismanagement led to the “erosion of hope” that allowed misconceptions to grow.
Shows how the regular voting of King’s College London and Ipsos Mori Its support was dysfunctional At the time of the epidemic, just 38 per cent of respondents in November said they had some confidence in the British government, down from 69 per cent in April.
“I am afraid that this distrust could be armed by anti-Waxers and Govt-deniers,” Kriakido said.
Damien Thampini, a renowned policy analyst at the Department of Media and Communications at the London School of Economics, says Britain and Europe are “sticking to a prudent central ground” when misinformation is received. “A crisis is going on – but it’s not bad in the United States”
One reason for this, he said, is that these places “have completely different traditions of freedom of speech.”
While conspiracy theories can easily spread on social media and right-wing news sites, the fact that television and radio in the UK are heavily controlled by the government means that misinformation has historically not been able to get such an easy foothold on this page. Pool, Thampini believes.
These positive Atlantic comparisons offer little comfort to front-line British workers.
Alice Salvini, 27, a high school science teacher in the English district of Derbyshire, says the proliferation of these ideas has further heightened her concern around the virus.
“I was going to a work environment, teaching 100 kids a day, I don’t know how many of these kids’ families believe these things, take absolutely no precautionary measures and do what they want,” he said. “I’m going to work. I’m going to the car park. I realized I could not get out of the car. Then I started panic attacks at school.”
In the fall, his doctor authorized him to take leave from work on psychiatric grounds. A month later, he resigned.
“This is very dangerous news that people are spreading because they basically say: don’t worry about it, it’s not a bar, do what you want,” he said. “That’s kind of the problem.”