Sunday 15 March 2020

5 Places to get your COVID-19 information

For those who know me in real life, you know that I am far from an alarmist. A realist sure, but I absolutely despise idle gossip and absolutely, seriously despise fear mongering, fake news and conspiracy bullshit.

What we are being asked to currently do in Ireland to combat the spread of COVID-19, and in many other countries, is by far that drastic. Like just stay inside as much as possible, for YOUR circumstances. Wash your hands, keep a metre distance from people at the very least (when possible), don't shake hands... these are not alarmist things to do. They are the very most basic things things we could change now to prevent a bigger issue in the future. We need to #FLATTENTHECURVE, and this can only be done if we all take tiny measures.

Those who rely on work (those who still have a job to go to) cannot stay at home all the time, not everyone can work at home and not all businesses can close down completely. BUT you can keep your kids away from other kids (cancel all playdates), no trips to the grandparents, drinks at home for just two weekends rather than the pub, get your food delivered where possible if you are high risk or have cold like symptoms, and really other very basic measures that many of us are lucky enough (privileged enough) to be in a position to do.

It's not about shaming people in to complying; we are all in very different circumstances. It's all about doing what YOU can do to flatten the curve.

- Lads, it's really not much of an effort when you think about it. Unless you are a dick. Don't be a dick. Have some consideration for all the nurses, doctors, general front line staff, food suppliers and supermarket staff, general civil servants/ army etc who are currently working their asses off behind the scenes at this very moment, to ensure everything is in place for you for the coming days/ weeks. Having your fucking 10th pint of Harp tonight in a crowded pub is a real piss in their faces.

With all that in mind I have compiled a basic list of bloggers and official websites that you should definitely consider getting your pandemic news from. Being informed can help greatly if you are feeling anxious right now, but make sure you are getting the correct information from reputable sources. You may want to stay away from Jim Corr, YouTube and racist Mary from down the road right now (actually that's just good advice in general).

1. Mama Doc in Meath

Mama Doc in Meath is a Facebook page, ran by well... a mama doctor in Meath. She frequently posts general medical advice as well as answering questions that come to her inbox. At the moment she is spending a lot of time debunking the constant flow of Internet bullshit that is being shared about the virus. If you see some of this possibly fake news, please think and stop.

Look who is sharing the source, have they backed up their claim with any citations?? Does the post begin with "I was sent this...", "my friend's scientist uncle in China just said..." -if so, they sounds like hearsay. Hearsay, particularly a random Facebook screenshot hearsay, is not your friend right now. Follow Mama Doc in Meath for her clear advice and debunking skills.

2. World Health Organisation

It's an obvious one, but a biggie. If you are unsure of the basics and want to keep up-to-date on all the advice and international data, go here.

3. The HSE

Not a fan of our sometimes terrible public healthcare system in general, but for the correct and current news relating to cases in Ireland, this is where you need to go. If you live outside Ireland, follow the daily advice from your own health service. Check their website or social media, rather than (again) listening to hearsay.


There are many websites like this one which show in near realtime the cases around the world, including deaths, serious and recovered stats.

I particularly like this site as it was created by a high school student in the US. For those who are feeling the constant rush of anxiety lately, and may have had to switch off social media entirely, I took some relief in knowing the stats of those who had recovered -it's not something we discuss much obviously, but it's helpful to know. This is all temporary, this is all temporary... We need to keep reminding ourselves that.

5. Follow positive social media posts such as...
This one I have created on the the Irish Painies Facebook page

Social media can be quite the downer at the minute, the news obviously is just serious. But there are some really beautiful community spirit stories coming about on Facebook and Instagram, that need to be highlighted. Even in the face of all the unknown, human kindness can prevail. It's hard to find such gems in between all the noise, so I posted this thread up and will update regularly. Please feel free to add if you find any news stories or posts that apply, and tag a friend who you think could benefit from focusing on some of the positives right now.

Stay safe out there everyone xoxo

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