On 21 March, the Daily Mail reached an unbelievably dangerous new low in its coverage on the coronavirus (Covid-19). As people across the country were urged to stay at home to limit the spread of the virus, and people in rural areas begged tourists to stay away, the Mail published the following article:
Irresponsible and dangerous
Many people on Twitter couldn’t believe the Mail thought it was a good idea to publish the piece:
And here’s the Daily Mail actively facilitating the spread of #Covid_19 while directly putting people’s lives at risk. Take Jura: it is remote, has a large elderly population and no hospital. To encourage travel there now is not just irresponsible, it’s criminal. #StayAtHome pic.twitter.com/ZsFMBOJy48
— Prof Tanja Bueltmann @🏠 (@cliodiaspora) March 21, 2020
Daily mail suggesting places like Jura to go to get away. An Island with a tiny population,
little housing that's 2 ferry rides from the mainland with very limited medical services anywhere nearby. Hmm can't see any problems there. Fucking irresponsible fuckwits. 😤
— Caliburn M (@CaliburnM) March 22, 2020
@MailOnline "Britain;s Brilliant Boltholes"
ARE . YOU . FUCKING. MAD
Irresponsible crap like this could KILL people
Remote islands like Jura have no cases of virus and an aged population
Encouraging "Virus Tourism" to places with little health infrastructure is CRIMINAL
— Alastair McIntyre (@AlastairMcInty2) March 21, 2020
And this “rant” summed up how a lot of people felt:
Stay at home
As The Canary reported on 21 March, tourists are being asked to stay away from Cornwall and other areas to avoid spreading the virus and putting struggling services under even more pressure.
Cornwall, for example, only has one major hospital that was at breaking point before the pandemic. On 3 January, the BBC stated that Royal Cornwall Hospital was taking the “unprecedented” move of turning away people with minor injuries and the hospital stated that:
We have had patients waiting in the emergency department for beds for up to 12 hours and queues in the corridors
This is the only critical care unit in the region, and that unit only has 15 beds.
Meanwhile, in Wales, people started taking direct action to stop the influx of tourists:
Non-violent direct action by Snowdonia communities, desperate to stop the flood of isolation-seekers/holidaymakers/selfish, self-centred so and so’s who piled in yesterday. #COVIDー19 #QuaratineLife #coronavirus #StayAtHome #SocialDistancing #PhysicalDistancing #CoronaCrisisuk pic.twitter.com/FTD8iQfSA8
— Tristan Woodwards (@AntiSystemUK) March 22, 2020
Across the UK, people flocked to beaches. In Lincolnshire, police and crime commissioner Mark Jones claimed there were “hundreds of thousands of visitors”. And dentist in Skegness posted on Facebook that:
I was appalled to see as I drove home Skegness looking like it does on a busy summer day…We are a small town. We have a cottage hospital supported by two main district hospitals and this is a disaster waiting to happen.
Just stay at home!
The data showing how quickly coronavirus is spreading around the UK is terrifying. We already know this number will go up as it will take two to three weeks for social distancing and other measures to have an impact.
But these measures won’t have an impact if idiotic people continue living their lives as normal. This is not a drill. This is all our lives. If you’ve got a home, be grateful and just stay there. This is not the time for a holiday. Don’t spread this virus any further. Stay away from rural communities and please, let’s work together to keep everyone safe and flatten the curve.
Even for the Daily Mail, this feature is an all-time dangerous low. This type of ‘journalism’ is putting lives on the line in rural communities. It should be ashamed.
Featured image via screengrab
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?