Everyone in the world is being affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and I just wanted to say that I hope all of you are staying as safe as you possibly can and taking care of yourselves and your loved ones. I know that’s easy to wish and hard for so many of you to do. I’m thinking of our health care workers, first responders, employees at grocery stores and other critical service businesses, truckers, delivery people, postal workers, trash collectors, and so many more who MUST come in contact with others or things touched by others to do their jobs, and who often don’t have the proper equipment to protect themselves. If there is anything good to come out of this, I hope one of them will be to highlight just how important so many people in our society are, whom we otherwise take for granted.
For myself, I was probably less surprised than the average person about the coming of the pandemic, as my father worked for the better part of 40 years as a pathologist with extensive experience in epidemiology and virology. He, like many of his colleagues, have been warning us about this for years, and I took advantage of his expertise when I wrote Season Of The Harvest, which is a tale of a pandemic of an entirely different sort. Rather than look at how things might perhaps have been done better now, let me say that once we’re through this we should look to the future and be far better prepared, because this won’t be the last time Mother Nature unleashes her viral wrath upon us.
In the meantime, listen to the scientists like Dr. Fauci and the guidance of the CDC and WHO on how to best keep yourself and your loved ones safe. Help one another however you can, even if it’s just staying home and breaking the viral transmission chain to help relieve the pressure on our health care workers. If you can, help the millions of folks who are out of a job, who are running out of food, and help businesses (restaurants, in particular, come to mind, although there are many others) struggling to stay open as much as you can so they can remain in business and keep paying their employees. This pandemic is one of the greatest challenges this country has ever faced, and it falls to every single one of us to join hands – virtually, of course! – to try and beat it together.
For reference, here are some sources of information that I’ve found very helpful:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
- World Health Organization
- Andy Slavitt on Twitter
- Worldometer COVID-19 Statistics
- Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Map
- Global COVID-19 Testing
- IHME COVID-19 Projections
- Nextstrain SARS-CoV-2 Genomic Mapping
And for practical matters like food delivery, our Costco delivers through Instacart (I don’t know if all of them do), and I know some grocery stores deliver or have curbside pickup, as well. We’ve also had good success with Quick Quisine here in Hawaii for delivery from local restaurants, and of course there’s also Grub Hub and Uber Eats.
Again, stay home, stay safe, practice good hygiene, and STAY AWAY FROM PEOPLE as much as you can!