The new coronavirus, responsible for COVID-19, has arrived in Eastern Oregon. It’s scary — there are many unknowns still and fear is prompting some of us to do things we might otherwise not.
In truth, the best thing each of us can do in the next weeks is what the British government asked of its citizens in 1939, at the start of World War II: Keep calm and carry on.
There are ways to make that easier.
Make sure that what you read or hear about COVID-19 and the coronavirus is reliable. There are plenty of guesses and rumors available on the internet, and you should ignore them all.
To make that easier, the East Oregonian and our parent company, EO Media Group, are making our articles and other information on the virus, its impact and how you can respond available for free on our website, and we’re updating our information as needed. Also available on our website is a current list of cancellations, and you can check our website at eastoregonian.com for other information.
Look out for relatives and neighbors. COVID-19 is hitting the elderly particularly hard, and if you can lend a hand by running an errand or doing something else without exposing yourself to the disease, by all means do so.
While you should stock up a bit for your own family, there’s no need to go overboard. Make sure you have the food staples on hand as well as items you can prepare quickly and easily, including, if you have the space, some frozen meals.
Don’t forget the recommendations of the health community. Wash your hands, well and often.
Cover coughs and sneezes, using a tissue if you have one, then throw the tissue away. Keep your hands away from your face, particularly your eyes, ears and nose. And keep your distance.
If you do feel ill, this is no time for suffering in silence. By all means, call your doctor if you have symptoms that could be those of COVID-19. They include a fever of 100.4 degrees, a dry cough and achiness. If you’re having difficulty breathing, call 911.
Finally, take pleasure in the things you can. Read a good book. Binge-watch your favorite television show, or call someone you love. The sound of their voice may brighten your day and theirs as well.