A Chinese woman uses a plastic bag to cover her head while waiting for her flight at the departure area of Manila's International Airport | Representational image
A Chinese woman uses a plastic bag to cover her head while waiting for her flight at the departure area of Manila's International Airport | Representational image
Photo: AP/PTI

Are you worried about the coronavirus pandemic and thus attempting to socially distance yourself?

Or do you think the virus is not that much of a threat and that people are "overreacting"?

With people on both sides of the debate, a strange new social media phenomenon that has arisen is "coronavirus shaming".

And while this is mostly being used to refer to those dismissing the risks posed by the virus, this is a hashtag that does not discriminate. Even as many take to calling out places that stay open or people that venture outdoors, others are mocking those who are staying home.

"I’m growing angrier w/ friends w/ each passing min. They’re going to gym, gatherings, etc. Yet, I think they’re #CoronavirusShaming those of us worried, staying home, trying to educate others. Guilt-tripping us about “not supporting small businesses”, etc," wrote a rather irate Twitter user recently.

"My friend got made fun of by her boss and co-workers to her face for requesting paid leave to be quarantined because she is in a high Risk group and there is corona in her city. Imagine shaming people for having genuine concerns in a time like this," wrote another.

But not everyone agrees with the precautionary measures. As several people on social media pointed out, not everyone has the luxury of opting to stay at home. With bills to pay, and the viral outbreak putting a dent in the available work options, many continue to go about their daily lives.

"If I could stay at home I would. Still gotta pay rent on the 1st so I have no choice but to get up at 5 am everyday go to work. Some of us don't have options. Stop shaming the working class," wrote a Twitter user.

"The vast majority of people are not going to die from the coronavirus. The vast majority will have little or no symptoms. If people need to work then people shouldn't be shaming or hassling them," opined another.

The financial constraints however are serious. With an increasing number of stores being forced shut as governments attempt to curb the spread of the virus, many believe that small businesses may not survive the fallout.

"I went to a local restaurant, all the staff thanked me for supporting them. I know another person that owns a small restaurant, said they probably are not going to make it," narrated one Twitter user.

There have also been individuals who appear to believe that the virus can do much harm.

A recent video posted by CBS News outraged many as the teenagers interviewed spoke about how the coronavirus restrictions had been a damper when it came to their Spring Break plans.

"If I get corona, I get corona. At the end of the day, I'm not gonna let it stop me from partying," one person can be heard saying in the video. Others spoke about how they were trying to make the best of the situation.

"38% of hospitalized #Coronavirus patients were aged 20 to 54. Listen to the stats — not this guy. STAY HOME!" warned one Twitter user.

"We are officially doomed!" proclaimed another.

In another case, a former beauty pageant winner was given the moniker "CoronaKatie" after she took to Twitter to announce that she had just enjoyed a lengthy delicious meal at an American casual dining restaurant.

"Because this is America. And I'll do what I want," she had added in her post.

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