Grandparents must teach kids not to panic over coronavirus says Rachael Bletchly

Young adults value their ­grandparents’ advice above ­anything, according to a survey.

They follow social media-speak and take tips from Instagram influencers but when it comes to the big stuff in life, love and happiness, 80 per cent of them turn to Nan and Grampy.

When they were asked what tips they ­treasured most, the 20-somethings spilled out sage pearls of wisdom from the Second World War generation.

Such as “life is what you make it” “never judge a book by its cover” ­“everything in ­moderation” and “do as you would be done by”.

Well, I hope to God the old guard can talk some sense into their children and grandchildren and put the coronavirus ­hysteria into perspective.

They could start with the most blindingly obvious “coughs and sneezes spread diseases so trap the germs in
your handkerchief”.

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Because with people taking to public transport wearing gas masks and plastic bottles on their heads, we are in danger of losing all sense of proportion.

Then they could recite the ­morale-boosting mottos and pithy propaganda from 1940s posters – such as “tighten your grip” “make do and mend” and “a little goes a long way”.

Because when panic buyers strip ­supermarket shelves and selfishly stockpile enough loo roll to wipe the backsides of an entire army, they are leaving the most vulnerable with a bum deal.

And we ALL need to adopt the most famous wartime mantra of all: “Keep calm and carry on.”

While heeding the advice of jittery Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army – Don’t panic!

The course of the Covid-19 epidemic over the next weeks and months is unpredictable.

Its impact on the ­population and the global economy is unclear.

So it is totally ­understandable that the ­elderly and ­vulnerable, and their loved ones, feel unnerved.

But we MUST shut out the ­doom-mongers on social media and try not to be influenced by rumour and speculation.

We must listen to the facts, updated daily by the chief medical officer, Prof Chris Whitty, and chief scientific adviser Sir Patrick Vallance,

Because they have the truly Sage ­­advice– direct from the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies.

And we should heed that above ­everything else.

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