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13 Mar, 2020 12:05

A tale of two headlines: Daily Mail front pages show drastic escalation in UK coronavirus stance

A tale of two headlines: Daily Mail front pages show drastic escalation in UK coronavirus stance

Life comes at you fast, especially in the midst of a global pandemic, and nowhere was this more evident than the front pages of the Daily Mail newspaper, which displayed a neck-breaking 180 in mood in less than 24 hours.

Thursday's front page was devoted to extolling the virtues of "New Tory star" Chancellor Rishi Sunak aka "Dr Feelgood" and his £30 billion cash economic stimulus package, dubbed a 'vaccination,' which would stave off the worst economic effects of the coronavirus. 

"Cash for sick workers" and "Shops' taxes slashed" were the breathless (pardon the pun) yet genius solutions to the coronavirus threat to the economy thanks to the "biggest budget splurge in 30 years." A regrettable choice of words perhaps, given the scenes of panic-buying from across the world, as the global citizenry struggles to come to terms with the new reality in post-corona capitalism.

Alas, then Prime Minister Boris Johnson spoiled it all by saying something stupid like "many loved ones will die" in what was a dire, yet direct assessment of the realities of the current crisis and its likely evolution over the coming months.

There was no sugar coating the situation from Johnson, which was rather fortuitous as Friday’s Daily Mail featured both a Cheltenham and a diabetes pullout.

Thursday's unbridled optimism was apparently vaporized overnight as the grim and "chilling" reality of the UK's rather precarious situation dawned on the Daily Mail, as the paper relayed that "Up to 10,000 in [the] UK 'have [the] virus.'"

"I’ve got whiplash reading those," one commenter rather succinctly put it after comparing the front pages side-by-side. 

A wistful cynicism washed over the online commentariat, as some pointed out the stark contrast between the British and Irish prime ministers' comments about their respective countries' responses to the coronavirus crisis, and the coverage thereof, courtesy of the Daily Mail.

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