Bryan Bruce: On trolls, haters, conspiracy theorists and health stupidity

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President Trump removes mask
On arrival from hospital at the White House, President Trump walked up the staircase of the South Portico, removed his mask and posed for pictures, at times giving a thumbs-up and others a salute. Image: AFP/RNZ

COMMENT: By Bryan Bruce

The other day I wrote a post on my blog which invited people to: “Take care of others by taking care of yourself.”

It was attacked by so many trolls, haters and conspiracy theorists that when I returned to my page later that evening I estimated it would take me about an hour to go through the 170+ comments to separate the thoughful ones from the mean-spirited.

Because I refuse to allow people to hijack my page and spread misinformation I decided the quickest way was to delete the whole post and republish it.

NZ ELECTIONS 2020 – 17 October

So my apologies to the 500+ people who registered that you “liked ” this post and wrote thoughful comments.

TAKE TWO:

When I first wrote in support of the approach New Zealand’s public health officials and our government were taking towards dealing with the covid -19 pandemic, there were a number of people who commented that I was perpetrating a hoax, promoting fear, or even that I was somehow promoting a totalitarian state and other such conspiracy nonsense.

The news last week that President Trump, who has consistently downplayed the seriousness of the pandemic, is now infected with covid-19 ( along with his First Lady) – and he has left hospital while still suffering – should be a reminder to us all to reject stupidity and remain vigilant in our fight against this virus.

No one is immune.

If we want to keep our friends and whanau safe and give our economy the best chance to recover, then it is important to follow the advice of our public health officials.

Keep up regular hand washing and sanitising, maintain social distancing whenever possible, wear a mask in public places, recording visits to assist rapid contact tracing, border controls and compulsory self-isolation.

Because, in the absence of a vaccine, these are still our best strategies to deal with this pandemic.

Take care of others by taking care of yourself.

Bryan Bruce is an independent filmmaker and journalist. The Pacific Media Centre is publishing a series of occasional commentaries by him during the NZ election campaign.

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