14 Apr


Coronavirus - Your questions answered: Fake news

14 Apr, 2020

How would you advise on keeping morale high when we are not allowed out in port? News is not helping; I am asking everyone not to believe everything they read on Facebook/ WhatsApp.

We need to be able to scrutinise the daily deluge of data we receive. Sorting and prioritising information to identify what is relevant and of value to us is a tedious task, especially in today's world of fake news.

So here are a few pointers on what news to listen to and what to take with a pinch of salt:

1. Check the source: Who wrote this? Red flags should be raised if it is an anonymous source. Ask the sender to please verify where he/she got it from and who the author is.

2. Check the facts: Compare the info you’ve received with reputable information sites. If you can’t confirm the story from reputable stories, it is probably fake.

3. How does it make you feel? Is there an element of shock or something that makes you angry within the information you read? In many cases fake news is characterised by a shock element often including dreadful photos and videos.

Social media is great for keeping us connected to our families, but it can be detrimental when everyone is in panic mode and can intensify our feelings of missing out on family events.

Take a break for a few hours or even a day and try to see some beauty in the situation that you are in on board your vessel.

It might also help to have a regular time to check in on news updates if you can, although we know that’s not always possible with connectivity restrictions or limitations.

You can find more tips and resources on how to manage the mental health and emotional impact of COVID-19 at https://www.sailors-society.org/coronavirus or by clicking here.

You’re also very welcome to join our coronavirus seafarer support Facebook group for ongoing advice and support at https://www.facebook.com/groups/coronavirusSeafarerSupport

Finally, our port chaplains may not be able to ship visit at the moment, but please do remember that we are at the end of the phone, email and instant message for you, your crew and family and can provide welfare, support or simply just a listening ear. You can find your nearest chaplain at https://www.sailors-society.org/chaplains or by clicking here or email crisis@sailors-society.org

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