COVID DIARIES: Getting angry over false information on social media

Brenda Naisby, 80, is a grandma from Washington.

Thursday, 18th February 2021, 10:25 am
Brenda Naisby

As part of the #BeatCovidNE campaign she has been keeping a diary of life in lockdown.

Here are her latest thoughts...

“We’re more than a month into the third lockdown now and I won’t lie, I have good and bad days. Like a lot of people, I am a very sociable person, and I can’t help but think when will it all end?

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

But the news of the infection rate falling and hospital admissions going down gives me a reason to remain upbeat because I know the rules are working.

I’m proud of the North East. We have all knuckled down and despite the curveballs of the new Covid variants, people across the region are continuing to do their bit to slow the spread. When I’ve spoken to all my family and friends, I know how hard everyone is trying. We just need to keep at it. We’re doing well but any carelessness or complacency right now would take us right back to the beginning, which none of us wants.

It was my 80th last week and I did feel a bit sad that I couldn’t celebrate how I planned to but it is what it is, isn’t it? The vaccination programme is going well but I am still concerned that we think this is our instant pass out of lockdown. It’s not. It’s the rules and consistently following them that’s important - that’s what we need to focus on.

I know the government is going to announce their plans for coming out of lockdown in a couple of weeks. I think we need to come out of it slowly and cautiously and at the right time. Everything must be based on timing and how much the virus is spreading. We want to avoid another lockdown at all costs which is why patience is key right now.

While we’re making gradual progress in getting the virus under control, I still think we need to remember how important social distancing has been to enable us to do this. I know people are wondering if they can book a summer holiday but, right now, I wouldn’t want to travel to another part of the North East, never mind abroad. I just think the risks are too high. I think staycations are the best option this year.

My friend called me last week. She had a routine appointment at the hospital recently and she said the lines of hospital trolleys with people on them waiting to be treated were upsetting to see. It just makes me feel angry when I see people sharing photos of empty hospital corridors on social media saying that Covid is a hoax. I think social media companies should be taking more responsibility and clamping down on the sharing of false information.

I know mentally we are so tired of lockdown and we just want to be free to do as we please again. We want to see people and go places again but we must keep going and keep following the rules. We need to do it the right way, so it’s the last time we do this. Let’s beat the virus once and for all.

If there’s one thing we can all take from this, it’s the importance of kindness. Kindness is the best quality you can have, and it doesn’t cost a penny. I think we’ve all realised that.”