Coronavirus and COVID-19

I understand that some of you may not share a sense of danger about the coronavirus. The bottom line is that we are facing a very serious medical emergency right here in Waterville (not to mention everywhere else); I have gathered together some articles and short videos that explain important facts about the pandemic that you might not be aware of.

Public health officials are advising us all to practice "social distancing" (which means keeping a very healthy distance away from people [6 feet] for the time being) and wearing a mask if you have to be out in public. Older people have been advised to stay home as much as possible, avoiding groups altogether. Many of us are older (and some of us have medical conditions which make it even more important to follow this advice). Younger people may become infected, but often have a better chance to survive. Unfortunately, they can infect us older folks with disastrous results.

Scientists and medical professionals are telling us to stay connected to others, to exercise and to find ways to distract ourselves from becoming overwhelmed with anxiety. Listen to music, play games, catch up on your online courses, meditate. There are many ways to avoid boredom, loneliness or despair. We are not all "doomed", but life is not a bowl of cherries, either: someplace in between. Make the most of your time and try to stay calm. It might not be easy to change our regular routine, but it can be done and together we can get through this.

Outline of this Site

This page is divided into several sections (shown in the list below). This arrangement may change over time, but you can click on a section title to go directly to the material without scrolling. The material on this site is designed for mature adults, not for children. You may find some of the material boring or offensive, but I felt that it might be helpful and/or interesting to some of you.

There is much more material available (which may be added over time); feel free to suggest items to add or change.

Note: The research staff are all self-isolating at home and unable to help me assemble this web site (either because of apathy, exhaustion or distraction, who knows?). Therefore, I am sorry to tell you that I was unable to provide links to all the best articles and videos available; there just wasn't enough time to sort through it all. I have gone blind trying to keep up, so the future of this publication is very much in doubt. To all of you who have followed us over the years: thank you very much!

On March 16th, Maine People's Alliance (of which Beacon is a project) launched a state-wide community response effort, called Mainers Together, to deliver aid and assistance to those who are in need. According to the group, the website will serve as a portal for Mainers who need assistance, such as a delivery of groceries or a ride to an appointment, to connect with community organizers who may be able to help direct a volunteer community response. Mainers who wish to volunteer money, time or supplies can sign up at the site.

Maine Calling: Every weekday from 1-2 p.m (rebroadcast at 7 p.m.), the "Maine Calling program digs into topics and issues with listeners across the state in a statewide conversation. While the coronavirus crisis is at its height, host Jennifer Rooks will lead conversations about how the spread of COVID-19 is affecting people throughout our region." For a list of program topics, toggle the button below.

To listen to a specific program, scroll down until the date of the program (programs are listed in reverse chronological order); then click the buttom marked "Listen". There is a pagination navigation control at the bottom of the Maine Calling web page; only 15 programs are visible at one time. Click on the Next button to view the next 15 older programs.

New entries in the sections below are indicated by a maroon or navy row header.

Take Care of Yourself & How to Get Help If You Need It

It is very important to follow CDC Guidelines for taking care of yourself. Here are some pointers about how to do that. If you are sick, stay home and call your primary care physician (if you have one) or your local healthcare facility to discuss your situation before attempting to travel anywhere for treatment.

* Article/Video Source Time
RESOURCE COVID-19 Coronavirus Resource Page for Manufacturers Maine MEP [Maine Medical Equipment Supply] *
RESOURCE Maine Helps - Where to Find Help Office of Governor Janet T. Mills *
RESOURCE Sometimes you need more than an Internet search. You need a conversation. - Maine 2-1-1 United Ways of Maine *
RESOURCE NAMI - Maine - Find Help. Find Hope. National Alliance on Mental Illness *
RESOURCE Housing Resources - If you are facing eviction, foreclosure or any uncertainty about your housing during this moment, here are some resources and points of contact. Maine Equal Justice *
RESOURCE G.E.A.R. Parent Network - the place where Gaining Empowerment Allows Results Crisis & Counseling Centers *
RESOURCE MCEDV - 1-866-834-HELP The Maine Coalition to End Domestic Violence *
RESOURCE Maine Street - Welcome to our virtual downtown, your connection to arts, entertainment, food, fitness and more. Read a book in the library, find recipes in the restaurant or play a game in the arcade. Portland Press Herald *
OPINION Op-ed: Risk of COVID-19 exposure from packages is 'small and manageable' - commenting on Washington Post article Harvard School of Public Health *
ACTIVIST Mainers Together We are Mainers from across the state who have experience in organizing, journalism, and building a movement for change. In this time of crisis, the Maine People's Alliance has decided to dedicate organizing resources to supporting community-based efforts to respond to the community distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and protect our most vulnerable friends and neighbors. *
STUDY Belgian-Dutch Study: Why in times of COVID-19 you can not walk/run/bike close to each other. Medium - Jurgen Thoelen - 04/08/2020 *
MEDIA What Mainers Need To Know About The Coronavirus Maine Public - 04/07/2020 *
ADVICE How to breathe TEDx Talks - 12/02/2016 [with exercises] 10:25
ADVICE This breathing technique may help coronavirus patients feel better Today - A. Pawlowski - 04/07/2020 [with exercises] 3:42
ADVICE PSA Grocery Shopping Tips in COVID-19 - (See Important Corrections and Clarifications --->) Dr. Jeffrey VanWingen - 03/24/2020
Correction: Rinse fruits and vegetables with water - no soap.
Correction: NIH Data - COVID-19 lives on cardboard for 1 day.
Clarification: Perishable foods like meat should be brought in the home and refrigerated.
Clarification: Only disinfect the outside packaging.
OPINION That Discomfort You're Feeling Is Grief Harvard Business Review - Scott Berinato - 03/23/2020 [Grief] *
MEDIA Resources to help protect yourself during the coronavirus pandemic Morning Sentinel - 03/18/2020 *
MEDIA Coronavirus how-to: How do I clean and disinfect properly? - They aren't the same thing. Morning Sentinel - Katherine Lee - 03/18/2020 *
GOVT 6 Steps to Prevent COVID-19 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - 03/13/2020 *
GOVT 10 Things You Can Do to Manage COVID-19 at Home Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - 03/13/2020 *
FACT Coronavirus: how to spot the symptoms King 5 [Seattle] - 03/12/2020 *
GOVT COVID-19: What Older Adults Need to Know Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) - 03/10/2020 *

Helping Out Your Neighbors and Fellow Citizens

If you are not in a high-risk group and if you are not experiencing symptoms, you can join other folks who are pitching in to help the elderly, the housebound, and young children who may need food or medicine while they are self-isolating.

* Article/Video Source Time
RESOURCE Maine Helps - Help by Donating Office of Governor Janet T. Mills *
RESOURCE Maine Helps - Help the Health Care Response Office of Governor Janet T. Mills *
RESOURCE Maine Helps - Help Support Local Businesses Office of Governor Janet T. Mills *
RESOURCE Maine Helps - Help by Volunteering Office of Governor Janet T. Mills *
RESOURCE Maine Helps - Help by Connecting Office of Governor Janet T. Mills *
PETITION Tell Gov. Mills: Mainers need safe, accessible housing during this public health crisis Access to housing is vital to contain the spread of COVID-19 and ensure that Mainers remain healthy and safe during this public health crisis. Despite the obvious need for Mainers to shelter in place during this time, many are still facing the threat of eviction or foreclosure during this pandemic. No one should fear losing their housing — especially during this national emergency.
That's why we're circulating a petition to Gov. Janet Mills urging her to take executive action to place a moratorium on all evictions and foreclosures, with rent forgiveness, until this public health emergency is over. - Mainers Together
RESOURCE Maine Farm and Seafood Products Directory No Maine farm should go out of business during this pandemic *
ACTIVIST Mainers Together We are Mainers from across the state who have experience in organizing, journalism, and building a movement for change. In this time of crisis, the Maine People's Alliance has decided to dedicate organizing resources to supporting community-based efforts to respond to the community distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and protect our most vulnerable friends and neighbors. *
ACTIVIST AARP Community Connections Neighbors Helping Neighbors! "We may be isolated, but we don't have to be alone. Across the country, people are informally organizing new online mutual aid groups to stay connected, share ideas, and help those most affected by the Coronavirus. Whether you want to start a group, find a group, or get assistance yourself, our directory can help you connect with people in your community." And if you already have a group, you can register that group with AARP. *

How to Stay Informed

News about the progress of the disease changes rapidly. There are several government and media resources that you can check for the latest advice.

* Article/Video Source Time
GOVT Reopening Maine: Schedule & Rules Maine Department of Economic & Community Development *
GOVT Maine Division of Disease Surveillance Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention (DHHS) *
GOVT Federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) *
ACADEMIA FAQ: COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) MIT Medical *
MEDIA What Mainers Need To Know About The Coronavirus Maine Public *
MEDIA Latest coronavirus news which the BDN has made free for the public Bangor Daily News *
MEDIA Coronavirus Coverage which is free for the public National Geographic *
MEDIA Coronavirus: the new disease Covid-19 explained South China Morning Post *
MEDIA Coronavirus Statistics - cases, recovered, deaths
Worldometer is run by an international team of developers, researchers, and volunteers with the goal of making world statistics available in a thought-provoking and time relevant format to a wide audience around the world. It is published by a small and independent digital media company based in the United States. We have no political, governmental, or corporate affiliation.
Worldometer *
STUDENT Tracking U.S. and international coronavirus statistics Avi Schiffmann (high schooler in Washington state) *
ACADEMIA Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University *
MEDIA How coronavirus charts can mislead us Vox - 04/28/2020 4:57
MEDIA Why COVID-19 Death Predictions Will Always Be Wrong Science Insider - 04/24/2020 7:34

News, Opinion and Analysis About Coronavirus

Trying to keep up with the tsunami of news articles and commentary about the coronavirus is a fool's errand. Here is a sampling that you might find of interest.

Ordinarily I keep political commentary to a minimum on this page, but this is newsworthy and relevant for this page.

Also today, a spokesman for the U.S. Mission to International Organizations in Geneva, Switzerland, said the United States would not collaborate with the World Health Organization and other world leaders to speed up coronavirus testing, drugs, and vaccines and to make sure both rich and poor nations have equal access to them. The stated reasons for the absence echoed Trump's attempts to shift the blame for America's coronavirus crisis onto the WHO, although the WHO declared the novel coronavirus a global health emergency on January 31, and continued to sound the alarm over it while U.S. government attention was elsewhere.
- Letters from an American - Heather Cox Richardson - 04/25/2020

For more news and commentary about the politics and economics of the coronavirus pandemic, check out the MMPF Info Digest.

* Article/Video Source Time
OPINION Our View: Unfortunately, vaccine may be best chance to cut virus short - centralmaine - 05/06/2020 *
NEWS New text scam targets Mainers' fear of COVID-19 - Portland Press Herald - J. Craig Anderson - 05/05/2020 *
NEWS Common Ground Country Fair pulls plug on 2020 event but aims to stage 'virtual fair' - Portland Press Herald - Eric Russell - 05/05/2020 *
NEWS Maine reopening with 'bare minimum' testing strategy - Portland Press Herald - Colin Woodard - 05/03/2020 *
NEWS Another 7,400 Mainers filed unemployment claims last week - Portland Press Herald - Peter McGuire - 04/30/2020 *
NEWS Mainers may have limited access to dental services under reopening - Portland Press Herald - Joe Lawler - 04/30/2020 *
NEWS Maine companies team up to double production of virus testing swabs - Associated Press - David Sharp - 04/30/2020 *
OPINION Our View: Maine too slow on unemployment claims - centralmaine - 04/30/2020 *
NEWS Thousands of Mainers turning to program that helps renters and landlords - Portland Press Herald - Randy Billings - 04/30/2020 *
NEWS Governor's order will require everyone to wear face masks in public places, starting Friday - Portland Press Herald - Dennis Hoey - 04/30/2020 *
NEWS Answers to some of the many questions prompted by the reopening plan - centralmaine - 04/29/2020 *
NEWS Experimental drug tested at Maine Med proves effective against coronavirus in study - Associated Press - Marilynn Marchione - 04/29/2020 *
NEWS Reopening plan triggers a flood of questions and confusion - Portland Press Herald - Matt Byrne - 04/29/2020 *
NEWS Here are the dates when businesses and public spaces can reopen - centralmaine - 04/28/2020 *
NEWS Some businesses closed by virus may reopen Friday under Mills' plan to restart economy - Portland Press Herald - Kevin Miller - 04/28/2020 *
NEWS The dangerous global flood of misinformation surrounding COVID-19 - PBS NewsHour - 04/28/2020 07:49
MEDIA Brooke Baldwin explains how having coronavirus changes her approach to the story - CNN - Reliable Sources with Brian Stelter - 04/26/2020 04:40
NEWS Over 4 million Americans file for unemployment in latest jobless report - CBS This Morning - 04/23/2020 02:59
OPINION When Can We Get Back to Normal? - HealthcareTriage - 04/22/2020 07:19
OPINION Will 60% Get Coronavirus? - Pindex - Stephen Fry - 04/23/2020 10:40
NEWS Number of virus patients in Maine hospitals flattened or decreased in the past week - Portland Press Herald - Colin Woodard - 04/18/2020 *
OPINION Mainers will persevere through the pandemic - Morning Sentinel - Amy Calder - 04/17/2020 *
OPINION What we know and don't know - Letter to the Morning Sentinel - Alan Tibbetts - 04/15/2020 *
NEWS Maine colleges plan for how coronavirus could affect fall semester - centralmaine - Rachel Ohm - 04/15/2020 *
NEWS Central Maine ingenuity helping meet the need for face shields - Kennebec Journal - Jessica Lowell - 04/14/2020 *
NEWS Lost insurance & need insulin? Makers offer it free or cheap - Associated Press - Linda A. Johnson - 04/14/2020 *
NEWS Maine unemployment office to extend call-in hours starting Monday - Portland Press Herald - J. Craig Anderon - 04/14/2020 *
NEWS BIW says it will stay open despite plea from 72 lawmakers - Times Record - Kathleen O'Brien - 04/13/2020 *
NEWS New food pantry opens at Winslow Congregational Church - Morning Sentinel - Amy Calder - 04/13/2020 *
NEWS The Easter Bunny is an essential worker, says Maine governor - CNN - Leah Asmelash - 04/11/2020 *
NEWS Coronavirus daily news update, April 6: What to know today about COVID-19 in the Seattle area, Washington state and the nation - Seattle Times - 04/06/2020 *
GOVT Queen Elizabeth II delivers a rare televised address about the Coronavirus pandemic - The Hill - 04/05/2020 4:23
NEWS British PM Boris Johnson hospitalized with COVID-19 - PBS NewsHour Weekend - 04/05/2020 6:07
NEWS Overwhelmed Maine unemployment office announces hiring, new rules for applicants - Portland Press Herald - Glenn Jordan - 04/03/2020 *
NEWS 'All our ICU patients are in their 50s or younger' - frontline Welsh doctor recovered from virus - Channel 4 News - 04/03/2020 19:14
NEWS Chris Cuomo on life with Covid-19: The beast comes out at night - CNN - AC360 - 04/03/2020 10:20
ANALYSIS Bill Gates on Fighting Coronavirus - The Daily Social Distancing Show - Trevor Noah - 04/02/2020 22:07
NEWS New Balance factory in Norridgewock looks to help produce face masks - Morning Sentinel - Taylor Abbott - 04/02/2020 *
NEWS A record 10 million Americans sought unemployment aid in past 2 weeks - Associated Press - Christopher Rugaber - 04/02/2020 *
NEWS Coronavirus aid for undocumented immigrants - News Center Maine - Hannah Yechivi - 04/01/2020 02:27
NEWS Note: Older material moved to News Archive.

Coronavirus Timeline

History of Previous Pandemics

Economic and Political Impacts of the Pandemic - see the MMPF Info Digest

Educational Material About Viruses

You are probably not an epidemiologist (for the record, neither am I). This collection of articles and videos helped me to understand more about the virus itself and why we should follow the advice of the scientists and doctors to survive the pandemic. Some of it is very technical (and I confess that I have not watched every minute of every video yet).

* Article/Video Source Time
HUMOR Coronavirus III HBO - LastWeekTonight with John Oliver - 03/30/2020 [PG-25] 19:28
MEDIA The Coronavirus Explained & What You Should Do Kurzgesagt - In a Nutshell - 03/19/2020 [animation] 3:44
FACT What Coronavirus Symptoms Look Like, Day By Day Science Insider - 03/18/2020 5:19
FACT How Soap Kills the Coronavirus Vox - 03/18/2020 3:44
MEDIA COVID-19 | Corona Virus: Treatment, Prognosis, Precautions Ninja Nerd Science - 03/18/2020 [technical/medical] - TMI? 3:44
HUMOR Coronavirus II HBO - LastWeekTonight with John Oliver - 03/16/2020 [PG-25] 22:10
MEDICAL COVID-19 | Voronavirus: Epidemiology, Pathophysiology, Diagnostics Ninja Nerd Science - 03/16/2020 50:38
MEDICAL Michael Osterholm - an internationally recognized expert in infectious disease epidemiology. He is Regents Professor, McKnight Presidential Endowed Chair in Public Health, the director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP), Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Division of Environmental Health Sciences, School of Public Health, a professor in the Technological Leadership Institute, College of Science and Engineering, and an adjunct professor in the Medical School, all at the University of Minnesota. Joe Rogan Experience #1439 - PowerfulJRE - 03/10/2020
Look for his book "Deadliest Enemy: Our War Against Deadly Germs" for more info.
DOCUMENTARY Journalist goes undercover at "wet markets", where the Coronavirus started 60 Minutes Australia - 03/08/2020 27:30
DOCUMENTARY Why new diseases keep appearing in China Vox - Sam Ellis - 03/06/2020 08:48
HUMOR Coronavirus HBO - LastWeekTonight with John Oliver - 03/02/2020 [PG-25] 20:09
HUMOR Dr. Anne Rimoin: Going Viral Real Time with Bill Maher - 02/28/2020 12:32
MEDICAL How Coronavirus Kills: Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome (ARDS) & Treatment MedCram - Medical Lectures Explained Clearly - 01/28/2020 11:04
DOCUMENTARY Where did viruses come from? PBS Eons - 06/12/2018 8:13
COURSE David Baltimore (Caltech): Introduction to Viruses and Discovering Reverse Transcriptase iBiology - 03/15/2018 29:26
FACT Viruses vs. Bacteria | What's The Difference? Dr. Finch's Lab - 07/14/2017 5:49
COURSE Paul E. Turner (Yale) 1: Introduction to Virus Ecology and Evolution iBiology - 06/28/2017 33:03
COURSE Paul E. Turner (Yale) 2: Virus Adaptation to Environmental Change iBiology - 06/28/2017 47:01
OPINION The next outbreak? We're not ready TED - Bill Gates - 04/03/2015 8:37
FACT How pandemics spread TED-Ed - 03/12/2012 7:59
DOCUMENTARY Coronavirus: How the deadly epidemic sparked a global emergency Four Corners (Australian - ABC News In-Depth) 45:51
COURSE The Science of Well-Being Coursera - Yale [Enroll for free - starts March 30th] ***
COURSE An Introduction to Infectious Diseases The Great Courses [24 free video lectures] ***
COURSE The Great Courses Professor Separates Coronavirus Fact from Fiction The Great Courses - Johnny Lupsha and Dr. Roy Benaroch 13:53
VIDEOS World Science Festival YouTube Collection videos on many topics, including viruses ***

Coping Strategies: Humor, Music, Late Night Comedians, Etc.

It is very important to try to keep your stress level under control. Eat healthy and exercise as much as you can. Keep in touch with family and friends via Phone, Skype, Zoom, Facetime, etc. Physical isolation [social distancing, self-isolation and self-quarantine] doesn't mean you should become a recluse or a hermit. Your psychological health is also important. Some of the items below might distract you from the constant onslaught of news about COVID-19, at least for a little while.

Some folks are interested in general coping strategies (over and above managing to get through the coronavirus pandemic); some folks even want to avoid being deluged with information about COVID-19! So I moved the section on "coping strategies" to its own page.