During these unusual times, as we take precautions to avoid contact with the coronavirus and keep ourselves and our families healthy, as we try to work and learn remotely when possible, and to keep stress levels relatively low, everyone I know has lots of questions. This new reality has only recently begun and already I seem to have more questions every day. Yet in seeking answers, it seems that there is both too much and not enough information all at the same time.
So how do we know which information to pay attention to? Which information is valid and relevant to us? Here are a couple of simple tips to help you navigate the plethora of information that is coming at us daily via phone, email, news feed, social media, and other online sources every day. Not to mention the neighbor who heard from a friend who heard from….
- Check your sources. Don’t believe everything you hear!
- Who or what organization is putting out this information? Is this a source you are familiar with and trust? Your family doctor may be such a source. Or is it a recognized expert in the field? Your local health department, the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Center for Disease Control (CDC) are locally, nationally and internationally recognized organizations that can be trusted to disseminate accurate information for free. Someone sending info from a website called something like ‘MyIdeas.com’—not so much!!
- Not sure about a new source you discover? Check it out. Ask your family doctor or a college student you know. Or do an internet search and find out about the reliability and intentions of the source—are they genuinely interested in the public welfare or are they hoping to make some money on the confusion?
- If you hear new information from friends, family, or others you come in contact (social distanced, of course!) with, check the info to the extent possible. When we’re unsettled and uncertain, we sometimes tend to believe the worst disaster scenario. Go to your trusted sources above to find the truth.
- Prioritize. Don’t overload!—what information do you really need?
- What information is most important to you? If you are an educator or have school-aged children and need related resources, then pay attention to the information you’re receiving on home learning. But if you aren’t an educator, you don’t have children, or your children are grown, you can choose to let that information wash past you and focus on what is more relevant to you. That might be where to find effective health products if local stores are running low.
- Limit what you listen to and read. Pick a small number of those trusted sources above and stick with them. No need to listen to every news channel all day.
Below are some sources I trust. Keep in mind that the information is current as of day of posting, but things are changing very quickly!:
General Safety Measures
NYC Stop the Spread Flyer: https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/doh/downloads/pdf/imm/stop-the-spread-poster.pdf
Reliable Resources for Health Questions
Updates on NYC Local Guidelines and Safety Measures: https://www1.nyc.gov/site/doh/health/health-topics/coronavirus.page
Center for Disease Control (CDC): https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf
World Health Organization (WHO): https://www.who.int/health-topics/coronavirus
Johns Hopkins Medical Center Covid19 Myth vs. Fact: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/coronavirus/2019-novel-coronavirus-myth-versus-fact
Covid19 Home Care Guidance: https://www.in.gov/isdh/files/IN_COVID-19_Home_Care_2.28.20.pdf
Home Instruction Suggestions
Kahn Academy suggested schedules for kids at home: https://docs.google.com/document/d/e/2PACX-1vSZhOdEPAWjUQpqDkVAlJrFwxxZ9Sa6zGOq0CNRms6Z7DZNq-tQWS3OhuVCUbh_-P-WmksHAzbsrk9d/pub
Keeping Kids Occupied
Washington Post on parenting, playdates and more during corona virus social distancing: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/2020/03/14/parenting-tips-coronavirus/
NYTimes guidelines for playdates and keeping kids physically and emotionally healthy during corona virus social distancing: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/13/parenting/kids-playdates-coronavirus.html
Four Guides to Talking to Kids about Corona Virus:
After School Alliance Guidelines for youth-serving programs: http://afterschoolalliance.org/COVID-19.cfm?utm_source=sendinblue&utm_campaign=COVID19_PM_resource_email_3132020&utm_medium=email
“Internet Essentials” Program and Other Internet service offers for qualifying families:
Special Ed During Corona Virus Response—Legal FAQs: https://www.understood.org/en/school-learning/coronavirus-school-closings-legal-faqs
WNYC Radio 93.5FM and 820AM
Brian Lehrer Show
- Hacks for Working from Home with Kids: https://www.wnyc.org/story/working-home/
- Ask the Mayor—Friday mornings at 10am: https://www.wnyc.org/shows/bl