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Piers Morgan might be “scaremongering” over the coronavirus, but try to remember this

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Stressed by Piers Morgan’s coronavirus tweets? Try Elizabeth Gilbert’s advice

There’s more to Piers Morgan’s coronavirus panic than he lets on…

Updated on 17 March 2020: Piers Morgan has been criticised for interrupting and shouting over a medical expert during a segment on coronavirus during a recent episode of Good Morning Britain.

Dr Hilary had appeared on the ITV show to give an update on the virus and explain why the government had chosen not to close schools yet.

“The time to close schools is when we get a hot-spot where we know there’s a lot of the virus and a lot of infections and it would be sensible to close schools in that particular area,” he said. “But when we stop testing, we don’t know where those hot-spots rare.”

Morgan, however, disagreed with this sage view. Speaking over Hilary, he pointed out that New York City has closed schools.

This caveat in place, the TV presenter then slammed the UK government for their “inaction” and insisted that MPs have “no idea what to do”.

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GMB viewers watching the show at home were unimpressed by Morgan’s behaviour.

“Bring on a doctor who gives scientific advise then decide to ignore him and go down the path of hysteria,” tweeted one. “I guess this is why TV presenters don’t run the country.”

Another added: “Dr Hilary is doing his bit to calm the nation and talk sense about coronavirus using his medical background. But he’s getting talked over by Piers Morgan who, as always, is trying to force his ideas.

“Stop scaremongering the nation, all you are doing is fuelling panic!”

And still one more noted: “I can usually listen to Piers, although I don’t always agree with him. Right now, though, he’s being a complete tool ranting on about coronavirus.”

Of course, Morgan seems to have form when it comes to fuelling Covid-19 hysteria.

As reported on 13 March 2020: You’ve no doubt noticed that Morgan has been filling his Twitter feed with a near-constant stream of scaremongering messages about the coronavirus. The Good Morning Britain host has repeatedly criticised the government’s strategy for dealing with Covid-19, he’s shut down every expert who’s responded to him with a counter-argument, and he’s claimed, on multiple occasions, that things are going to get deadly if people don’t listen to him. Despite the fact that, y’know, he is patently not a medical professional.

“The government seems to be avoiding draconian ‘shutdown’ action now because we will all get too bored with it,” reads one such tweet of Morgan’s. “Trust me, nobody is going to be bored with coronavirus when it starts killing their relatives and friends.

“We’re in a war and everyone needs to wake the fuck up to it.”

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You get the picture, though: rather than use his platform to spread reassurance, Morgan has seemingly lost his mind to Covid-19 hysteria

Is it any wonder, then, that people are angrily accusing him of “catastrophising and dramatising?” 

Of course, it should go without saying that we completely understand why people are so furious with Morgan. This writer, in fact, had (thankfully metaphorical) steam pouring from her ears when she learned that a TV personality with 7.1 million followers has actively been using his social media accounts to spread panic and fake news.

However, none other than Elizabeth Gilbert has since cautioned us against overreacting to other people’s overreactions. And it’s well worth listening to what she has to say.

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Writing on Instagram, the author advises: “Let’s not judge people too fiercely for how they are reacting to this situation. It may be the case that people are overreacting, or it may be that they are under-reacting…. it’s not my place to judge that. I don’t have all the answers and I can’t see into the future – no more than anybody else can.

“What I do know is that, when I add my condemnation to the conversation, it just ratchets up hysteria in a different way – and most of all, it’s not kind.”

Gilbert continues: “If you believe that somebody is overreacting, just try to remember that another word for ‘overreaction’ is ‘fear’. Try to be compassionate, not contemptuous.

“We don’t all share the same fears, but we all know what fear feels like, and it’s a terrible sensation. I wouldn’t wish fear on anybody, and I know that a lot of people are genuinely afraid right now.”

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The Eat Pray Love author adds: “I have no way of knowing how many people are going to suffer physically from this virus, but I do know that millions of people are already suffering from it emotionally – and those people need love, not contempt.

“Those people are my brothers and sisters. Let me never forget my compassion for their anxiety, rather than telling them how they should or should not be feeling. And let me also show a strong measure of mercy to the people across the world who are running institutions, schools, governments, and companies right now.

“Those people are faced with the supremely unenviable task of trying to figure out how to respond to this crisis responsibly. There is no playbook. They will make mistakes. They will overreact; they will under react. They are human beings in an impossible dilemma. I would not wish to be the person faced with such massive, impactful decisions right now.”

Piers Morgan on ITV's Good Morning Britain
Piers Morgan may be a professional troll, but he’s clearly a very frightened individual, too.

Gilbert finishes by saying: “Let me show compassion to them. Let me show compassion to all. And let me never stop asking: ‘How can I help?’”

The idea of a frightened Morgan has certainly given us food for thought. With this in mind, we advise anyone who has been distressed by his Covid-19 content to simply mute or block the professional troll. Fill your own feed with tweets and memes that dispel fake coronavirus news. Read up on what actual doctors have to say. Look for the truth behind the scaremongering headlines

Above all else, though, please don’t hurl insults at Morgan. Because that would be stooping to his level, and we’re all so much better than that.

If you think you might have coronavirus, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service to find out what to do.

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Main image: ITV/Alessia Armenise

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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.

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