Currently, it really does feel as though the only thing we can be certain about is uncertainty. What has been so difficult about this virus for me personally, and for many I know, is an interesting juxtaposition. We have an overload of information regarding the virus, some of it valid, some of it not. Yet on the other hand, this information is flowing and changing so rapidly that we can’t do anything with it other than follow broad guidelines. How then, do we apply these general guidelines to decisions that are less black and white? I coughed once or twice today, I know that is a possible symptom, but I have to fly home this weekend, what do I do? I have a flight on Saturday, will the country’s borders be closed by then? I have to social distance, what does that actually entail? And up until very recently, a key unanswered question was, how does University fit into all this?
Many of these questions may have answers in the moment, but those answers are changing literally day by day. Therefore, it is important to keep up with valid, factual and professionally medical information regarding the virus, as well as its political and economic implications. This article will provide recommendations on the best access points for information regarding the virus, hopefully allowing you to avoid panic, take the necessary preventative measures and understand the science, economics and politics.
So, firstly, for all things science, John Hopkins University provides a world renowned daily newsletterexplaining the current situation regarding the virus. You can sign up on their website to receive it and moving forward you’ll be fully informed on the global situation as well as preventative measures.
Furthermore, both the CDC (Centre for Disease Control) and the NHS have incredibly useful web pageswhich are updated regularly to ensure people are kept up to date with any changes regarding prevention and treatment.
Continuing, although Twitter can be incredibly harmful, it can also be incredibly useful for obtaining information without a filter. The UK government updates followers daily on their account Department of Health and Social Care. You can also find the same information for other countries. Here’s a list of people I find personally worth following regarding the virus: Charles Michael, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Sam Harris and Nicholas Christakis. These individuals and many others do an incredibly job of synthesizing important informationso you don’t have to, however, I can’t stress enough that you should ensure that you’re getting your information from a diverse range of sources, not just one or two thought leaders.
Moreover, to ensure you’re also up to date on the political and economic impact, download more than one news app. Personally, I have both BBC and Sky News with breaking news notifications on to ensure I know the steps that the government and health advisers are asking us to take in real time.
In my opinion, the more information the better. Of course, it is also important to mention alongside this that at times like these we need to watch out for each other, as well as for our own mental health. Anxiety naturally follows situations like these and can easily develop to a distressing level. Make sure whilst you are up to date, you aren’t constantly checking for new information. This is a fine balance but one worth perfecting. Look after yourself, things will get better.