The following links are from reputable, authoritative sources:
- World: From the World Health Orgarnization (WHO): Follow @WHO
- Main Page: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019.
- Updates: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/events-as-they-happen.
- Situation Dashboard: https://www.who.int/redirect-pages/page/novel-coronavirus-(covid-19)-situation-dashboard.
- Advice for the public (EXCELLENT!): https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public.
- USA: From the Center for Disease Control (CDC): Follow @CDCgov
- Main Page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/index.html.
- "Situation Summary" Page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/summary.html.
- "Cases & Latest Updates" Page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/index.html.
- "Key Facts" Page: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/share-facts.html.
- Symptoms: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/symptoms-testing/symptoms.html.
- Getting Tested: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/cases-updates/testing-in-us.html.
- USA: From the National Institutes of Health (NIH): Follow @WHO
- Main Page (EXCELLENT organization if you scroll down): https://www.nih.gov/health-information/coronavirus.
- UK: From the Medical Research Council's Centre for Global Infectious Disease (MRC GIDA): Follow @MRC_Outbreak
- Main Page (scroll down): https://www.imperial.ac.uk/mrc-global-infectious-disease-analysis/news--wuhan-coronavirus/.
- Information Page: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/mrc-global-infectious-disease-analysis/news--wuhan-coronavirus/covid-19-information/.
- Video Updates: https://www.imperial.ac.uk/mrc-global-infectious-disease-analysis/news--wuhan-coronavirus/covid-19-video-updates/.
- Europe: European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC): Follow @ECDC_Outbreaks
- Main Page (great links on left panel under Overview) https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/novel-coronavirus-china.
- Worldwide Geographic Distribution: https://www.ecdc.europa.eu/en/geographical-distribution-2019-ncov-cases.
- WORLD: Worldometers.info: COVID-19 Statistics:
- Main Page (scroll down): https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/.
- Event Cancellations and Closures
Tips for Self-Quarantining
Reducing the Spread
- What can YOU do PERSONALLY? (link)
- Stay home -- pracice social distancing (see Facebook post on right)
- Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue and/or your elbow
- Stay home if you have been exposed to somebody who is sick.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a mask or cloth if you are sick and must be around others.
- What can you and/or your COMMUNITY do? (link)
- Practice social distancing: create distance between people.
- Closures: temporarily suspend gatherings of people to avoid contact.
Staying Sane at Home
Here are some ways to stay sane when you're stuck at home:
- Make Cooking Fun
- There are a lot of fun recipes that you may have not tried before.
- Allrecipes.com prepared a guide for what foods to have on hand.
- I have a short list of cooking ideas below.
- There are lots of free exercise and yoga videos online. Several of my friends recommend Yoga With Adriene.
- You've stocked up canned goods, so why not use them as weights?
- Talk a walk! If you do, avoid coughing and/or spitting near other people.
- Read, or listen to an audiobook
- While you should not spend too much time in a public library to minimize contact with other people, you can check out several books all at once or virtually.
- librivox.org maintains a database of user-recorded, user-curated audiobooks that you can download. They're all free because the books are in the public domain. There are mobile apps that provide an interface as well. I have personally listened to many books and highly recommend this service!
- Many local libraries offer audiobooks for free, either by checking out a physical copy at a library, or by using an app like Libby. Lirbary card required. (I have not used this myself. I believe other, similar services exist. Check your local library for details.)
I also recommend the following document: "Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak" (link to PDF by SAMHSA)
Resources for Families and Households
For Families with Kids
- School Closings (and MUCH more!): https://schoolclosures.org/.
- Virtual Events/Activities
- In-Person Activities
Household Resource Management
This list is meant to have practical tips for families to help stretch their resources or to be resourceful with things they already have. Self-quarantining means we need to plan ahead as part of our communal effort to slow the spread of the diseases. We can better help our community stay healthy by avoiding grocery shopping.
NOTE: I do not endorse "hoarding" — the practice of stocking up on more food than you could possibly need. I do endorse careful planning and stocking up reasonable amounts of supplies to avoid going out in public.
- Purchasing Supplies
- If your grocery store of choice offers a pick-up service, order online and pick it up to minimize contact with and proximity to other people.
- Stock up within reason (say, 2-4 weeks of supplies), but avoid stocking up beyond that so that others can buy items they need.
- CNET.com published a pretty comprehensive list of items to have in your house during a quarantine.
- Making homemade bread can be a fun and very cost-effective way to feed your family. You can add dried fruits, nuts, and more to make it nutritious and delicious. (This is my personal #1 food strategy!) It is surprisingly easy if you have a stand mixer or bread machine.
- Dried beans/grains: Famously cheap and healthy, you can make beans from dried beans or canned goods. You can cook them all in a rice machine (if the beans are pre-cooked), a slow-cooker pressure cooker or on the stovetop.
- Beans and rice: used in many dishes from Central America, but also throughout the world.
- Curry: many curries can be made primarily from legumes (beans, lentils) served over rice.
- Bean and rice soups are easy to make and can last a long time.
- Frozen food:
- Buy frozen veggies instead of fresh veggies. They are excellent in soups.
- Buy fresh vegetables, then chop them up and put into freezer-safe bags, and store in the freezer.
- Frozen pizzas take up a lot of freezer space, but can be pretty cheap.
- While instant ramen is not healthy, you can easily upgrade it! I recommend adding any combination of the following add-ins while cooking the noodles: chopped vegetables (garlic, onion, carrots, celery, cabbage), ginger, red pepper flakes, lemon zest or juice, soy suace, fish sauce, eggs and/or tofu.
- Toilet paper: what to do if you are low
- Install a bidet so you can clean using water instead of toilet paper. (Used instead of TP in many countries!)
- Take a shower after using the toilet and clean yourself that way.
- If you have an excess of paper towels or facial tissues, you can use them instead of toilet paper and can put them in a trash bin instead. Just be sure to cover the trash bin to reduce the smell.
- Use a rag, towel or sock, and then wash it really well. :-)
Corporate Offerings During the COVID-19 pandemic
- Online Retailers
- Walgreens is temporarily offering free shipping with no minimum purchase.
- Chipotle is offering free deliveries ($10 minimum).
- BrainPOP is offering free, unlimited use of their services for teachers. It appears to have lots of multimedia, quizzes and lesson-planning tools for K–12 educators. (Source)
- Netflix appears to have a greatly expanded selection.
- Telecom / Internet
- T-Mobile is offering unlimited free data through May 11, 2020. (Source)
- Comcast and Charter/Spectrum are offering free internet. Comcast will not disconnect users or charge late fees because users cannot pay a bill. (Source 1, Source 2)
- Xfinity is offering offering free WiFi nationwide to help connect low-income families for 60 days. (Source)
- Several travel companies (Airbnb, several airlines, Greyhound, Amtrack, several cruise lines) are changing their cancellation policies. (Source)
- "Coronaviruses (CoV) are a large family of viruses that cause illness ranging from the common cold to more severe diseases such as Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS-CoV) and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS-CoV)." (WHO, source)
- Short for "coronavirus disease 2019", COVID-19 is the name of the disease caused by the SARS-Cov-2 virus. (Wikipedia link)
- "An infection within a geographic location that is existing perpetually" (Source: Mayo Clinic). Examples include influenza and dengue fever.
- "An outbreak or an epidemic is the occurrence of more cases of disease than expected in a given area or among a specific group of people over a particular period of time" (Source: CDC).
- "Flatten the Curve"
This call to action refers to a series of strategies that ordinary people can use to slow the progression of the COVID-19 disease. Without these strategies, the disease can spread unhindererd, causing hospitals and clinics to become overwhelmed by the sheer number of people with the disease. This can mean hospitals have to decide who to treat and who to turn away, and reduces the overall number of deaths from the disease. By slowing the progress of the disease, we can help ensure that fewer of us have the disease at a time, which gives our healthcare workers time for testing and treatment, and it gives researchers more time to develop a vaccine. For a better explanation, see
- Why Staying Home Saves Lives: Flattening the Pandemic's Curve by Maria Godoy for NPR.
- For a visual, simulation-based explanation (my personal choice!), please see Why outbreaks like coronavirus spread exponentially, and how to "flatten the curve" by Harry Stevens for Washington Post.
- "An outbreak or an epidemic is the occurrence of more cases of disease than expected in a given area or among a specific group of people over a particular period of time." (Source: CDC).
- "A pandemic refers to a global epidemic — one that has spread over several countries or continents affecting a large number of people" (Source: Mayo Clinic).
- Short for "Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2", SARS-CoV-2 is the name of the virus causing the COVID-19 disease. (Wikipedia link)
- Social Distancing
- Social distancing is a strategy everyone in a community or region can use to minimize the spread of a contagious disease. When practicing social distancing, people keep their distance from others as much as possible. See the Facebook post above for suggestions on how to implement social distancing.
- Short for "2019 novel coronavirus", 2019-nCoV was the provisional name for what we now call the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
Here is a listing of more resources:
- "Taking Care of Your Behavioral Health: Tips for Social Distancing, Quarantine, and Isolation During an Infectious Disease Outbreak" (link to PDF by SAMHSA)
- Infographics from the WHO:
- How should we greet others? (link to PNG)
- Will wearing rubber gloves help prevent COVID-19 infection? (link to PNG)
- When to wash hands (link to PNG)
- How to support loved ones (link to JPG)
- How to address STIGMA (link to JPG)
- How to address FEAR (link to JPG)
- How to cope with STRESS (link to PDF)
- How to help CHILDREN cope with STRESS (link to PDF)
- Stay healthy while travelling