There has been some widespread misinformation about COVID-19. I am encouraging anyone who follows my blog, podcast, TV show, or social media to please pay attention to the sources from which you receive information. I have found a few very credible sources that I have recommended to people asking about the virus. As always, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is a great place to turn. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases is the home of Dr. Anthony Fauci whom you’ve probably seen on television lately. The federal government has set up a coronavirus website and for those of you wanting to know about ongoing research go to the NIH Coronavirus page. National news sources such as the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and CBS News have had excellent coverage. I especially like the common sense of CBS’s Dr. John LaPook. Johns Hopkins University is widely known as the top public health school and a top medical school. Information from Johns Hopkins is relevant and high quality, though sometimes a little academic. In West Virignia, a few my friends and colleagues have been disseminating information that I know to be credible. Dr. Kathy Moffatt (pediatric infectious disease expert at WVU Medicine), Dr. Cathy Slemp (WV State Health Officer), Dr. Sherri Young (Kanawha Charleston Health Officer, and Dr. Clay Marsh (Dean of Health Sciences at WVU) have all been credible experts giving what is great advice to West Virginians.
Misinformation can further the spread of the virus and can give a false sense of security to vulnerable populations that should be staying at home and not receiving visitors. If you have a neighbor or relative that is in a vulnerable population, give them a call and check on them. Now is a good time to call all of the old friends you haven’t seen in a while. As I write this post, worldwide, there are 392,780 cases confirmed of COVID-19 in the world. 17,159 people have died as a result. 102,980 people have recovered. These numbers tell me that we should be paying attention to the experts, not spreading misinformation, social distancing, and checking on others.
The Governor of West Virginia has issued a Stay at Home order. Please don’t take this lightly. Everyone realizes it is impossible for all of us to stay at home all the time. We need food and supplies. If you are out of something, go to the grocer and pick them up. Go quickly, stay 6 feet away from everyone as much as you can. If the parking lot is full, go back home and come another time or use the delivery and pickup services many grocers and pharmacies are offering. The same goes with restaurants. Go and use the curbside most of these local businesses are offering. Please know that there are people working to make certain you have what you need. Keep that distance from the cashier, people bagging your groceries, pharmacist, delivery person or anyone else you have to come near for basic necessities.
If you haven’t heard it enough, please wash your hands. I realize that people have stocked up on hand sanitizer, but your best bet, is just to use the one major supply few seem to be running out of, good old fashioned soap and water. Washing your hands with soap and water while counting backwards from 20 slowly will greatly help you keep the virus spread down. Not just when you use the restroom, do it often.