*UPDATED FROM PRINT VERSION - 80's vs 90s event has now been postponed !
Firstly, this column is only my personal opinion. You are free to disagree ! It's been a hell of a week. We've been absorbing alot of information from a huge number of sources, some more reliable than others. I'm a former Media Lecturer, and have spent many years studying mass communication. "Hyperbole" is "is the use of exaggeration as a rhetorical device or figure of speech. It emphasizes, evokes strong feelings, and creates strong impressions. As a figure of speech, it is usually not meant to be taken literally." It's used in the media to create impact, and in this case it's irresponsible use has created panic and hysteria.
When people read "Deadly" ,"Out of Control", and "Panic Buying" we jump to worst case scenarios and our brains jump into flight or flight response. The same as when we experience stress and anxiety. The reporting, and surge of social media fake news posts have also triggered people with low mood and depression, to become even more pessimistic.
This worries me more than however many peope, with underlying health condititons, who sadly may or may not die prematurely because of Covid19. In the UK we lose16 people every single day to suicide. Young people and old. Otherwise fit and healthy.
Improving mental health is complex, but this situation and the ramifications of the government's recommendations, will not help.
I'm not saying to ignore government advice- ofcourse we should wash our hands, and stay home if we are ill. Haven't we always done that!?
But we need to be very carefull about the impact of 'not socializing' . Thinking long term, or people or families trapped at home and isolated. There is surely a massively increased risk of addictions like drug abuse and alcoholism, even home-brewing unsafe alchohol or buying cheap unregulated drugs, a 'black market' already forming for blooming hand sanitiser! This doesnt bring out the best in everyone sadly. Online gaming, porn, binge watching TV and box sets, eating unhealthy processed food. Those living with domestic violence or emotional abuse, unable to get out. Child abuse and child poverty going un -noticed and social services unable to intervene or check safe living conditions. At schools many children get free school meals, care, support and safeguarding- wheh at home they are living in poverty or have a lack of care. We must not ignore the bigger picture. Looking after our community, and the vulnerable people in our community does NOT just mean- protect old people from getting a virus. It means real genuine care and systems of care, must continue. Mental, Physical, Emotional and spiritual health on all levels for all people. Otherwise we really are all doomed.
**Sadly the 80s and 90s themed fancy dress disco, with DJ Keaty, Riky Grover and myself- at The Club, Shepton Mallet on Sat 4th April, has now been postponed.
You can get your money back from where you bought the ticket or it will remain valid for the event at a later date
LATEST UPDATE - Re. SCHOOLS CLOSURE
As of today all schools and colleges in the UK are closed to most pupils.
Apart from all the crazy stuff - my day job, has for years been tutoring and lecturing- in Secondary & FE settings. I'm a qualified and passionate teacher of many subjects including Media Studies, Marketing, Film & Radio, English, English Lit & Poetry, Communications, Sociology, Psychology, General Studies, History , Politics, Swedish Language , English as a foreign language and Functional Skills.
Most recently in 2016 I worked as a Functional Skills tutor at Bridgwater College, Somerset. Before that, as a Learning Mentor and Attendance Support Co-Ordinator in Strode College, Street (where I also set up the colllege radio station) and between 2010 - 2014 I was Head of English ( GCSE Level ) at Renforskollan, Vindeln, North Sweden.
While the schools and colleges are shut, there is no need to stop learning and enjoying the subjects you love. I can offer Skype sessions of 30 - 45 minutes , at a rate you can afford ( depending on your circumstances) email me firstname.lastname@example.org
I can also help with college and university applications and personal statements.
I'm a 43 year old, mum of two little boys- currently living in Shepton Mallet in Somerset. I'm the Founder and Creative Director of Radio Shepton, a Stand up and comedian and spoken word performer, and write a regular column for The Wells and Shepton Mallet Journal. Which is the basis for my blog usually. I lived in Swedish Lapland for 7 years until 2014 where my boys were born. My partner and I ran a husky dog sledding business. Before that I was a poet, radio presenter, media lecturer, writer, TV producer, actress and burlesque performer ! I never want my life to be boring :)