NEWS EDITORIAL: Get the facts, not the rumors with COVID-19
March 26, 2020
Our state, country and world are working to get through the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) and the best way to do that is with facts, not fiction, not rumors and not conspiracy theories.
It is important to get your facts from reliable sources. If we post something on our website, publish it in our paper or post to one of our social media accounts, we have received it from an official, legitimate source.
For our local information we are going to the Washakie County website and the Washakie County COVID-19 Facebook page. For statewide figures we go to the Wyoming Department of Health website and the COVID-19 page.
The new Wyoming Information Sharing Platform provides information and links to reliable sources on different types of emergencies or resources people need to know – COVID-19, weather, road report, snow report, and much more. It can be accessed through the Wyoming Office of Homeland Security website.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency has added a Coronavirus Rumor Control page to their site to help the public distinguish rumors from facts, https://www.fema.gov/Coronavirus-Rumor-Control.
For those without internet we will continue to publish a print edition of the newspaper each week with the facts, and not rumors.
Rumors do nothing to help anyone.
But there are ways you can help.
—If you are ill stay home.
—If you need to go out, whether ill or not, maintain the proper six feet of social distancing.
—Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water especially if you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
You can make this a game. There are several kid songs that run 20 seconds, including the original alphabet song if you include the stanza “now I’ve sung my ABCs, next time won’t you sing with me.” There are also many hymns where the first verse runs at least 20 seconds including “Amazing Grace.”
—You can support local businesses (maintaining the social distancing and only if you are not ill). These businesses are going to be going through a downtime. This is not just the restaurants and bars who have had to be innovative with hours and providing drive-thru service, delivery service or curbside service in order to say open.
With people staying home other businesses are impacted.
Some layoffs will likely be expected depending on how long the public gathering order and public places order from the governor stays in place.
People will not necessarily have “disposable” income to spend on wants, but rather only on necessities.
—When the orders are lifted support the businesses that had to close — Washakie Twin Cinemas, Worland Aquatic Center, Worland Health Club to name a few.
—Help out a neighbor. If someone you know is ill and should not leave their home, see if you can pick something up for them at the store and drop it off for them. Give them a call and visit over the phone. We have heard many heart-warming stories around the state and the country. Washakie County has a Love Thy Neighbor-Washakie County Facebook group spearheaded by University of Wyoming Washakie County Extension and Cent$ible Nutrition.
Per the Facebook Page, “This group page is for neighbors to help neighbors. It is a place for the community to come together in this time of need. If you are in need due to the current shortage in stores please reach out. Members of the community who have the means to help out please help others by responding to needs as they arise.”
Other counties, have similar pages. In Thermopolis it is Love Thy Neighbor-Thermopolis, Big Horn County has ‘Helping neighbors in 9’erville.’
People can ask for help on these pages or offer help.
But remember for some people it is hard to ask for help so be aware of your neighbors and friends and their needs.
Most people are willing to help when they can. Over the weekend we posted on our Facebook page a list that was provided by the Washakie Development Association about restaurants offering curbside delivery or drive-thru options.
We had a trucker thank us for the information as he was here through Sunday and didn’t know what options he had. Shortly after he posted, a local resident posted his cell number for the trucker to call if he needed a ride anywhere.
You hear of people making masks for hospitals to use, distilleries halting operations to make hand sanitizers, doctors looking at ways to use 3D printers to make masks.
You hear many positive stories through this crisis and at this time as we are all uncertain as to what the future will hold, let’s accentuate the positive and be kind to your neighbor – from a distance of course.
Stay safe friends and readers.