Every day, there are new developments regarding the COVID-19 epidemic. To stay safe, you have to stay informed. But, as you’re probably already learning, too much news can make you feel anxious or depressed. And the wrong news can be dangerous.
Be sure to take care of your mental health as well as the health of your family. Read this for a rundown of news sources you can trust, and learn how to stay on top of events that matter without feeling like you’re spinning out of control.
Set a Limit on How Much News You Read or Watch
A steady diet of coronavirus news can be bad for your mental health. Eventually, it can also take a toll on your physical health. Give yourself a time limit for checking the news and stick to it. Maybe that means decreasing the amount of news you watch to 10 minutes a day or checking the news only in the morning and evening. Remember to take a break when you need it to help manage your stress levels.
Don’t Believe Anyone Who Says There’s a Miracle Cure
Right now, there are people on social media talking about (and selling) COVID-19 cures. These range from harmless recommendations like eating garlic, taking hot baths, and gargling with saltwater, to things that can actually kill you, such as drinking bleach and taking pills that have not been tested or evaluated for safety.
If you see an ad that uses phrases like “miracle cure,” “ancient remedy,” or “limited time offer,” don’t believe it. In general, don’t accept medications from anyone other than your doctor or pharmacist.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has started a page that lists some of the most common fake cures. If you still have doubts, contact your doctor.
Be Careful of Email and Phone Scams
News services have reported that scammers are using coronavirus fears as an opportunity to defraud people of money or trick them into parting with sensitive information by posing as agents from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), Blue Cross, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and others. Be careful!
If you get a phone call from someone offering free testing or treatment services and asking that you provide a social security number, bank account PINs, or other personal information, IT IS A SCAM. Hang up the phone.
If you get a phone call saying you won’t receive government stimulus money unless you give the caller your personal information, IT IS A SCAM. Hang up the phone.
In general, if you get any kind of suspicious phone call, don’t give the caller any information. If itvis a robocall, don’t press any buttons, and hang up immediately. If you receive an email asking for this personal information, do not click any links and don’t download anything.
Ignore People or News Sources Who Say It’s a Terrorist Attack
Even though we still don’t have a vaccine or treatment, scientists have known about coronaviruses for a long time. The strain that causes COVID-19 is so new that no one has developed immunity to it, which is why it has spread so quickly and is so dangerous.
There’s no reason to believe this sickness was engineered by an evil scientist or one of America’s rivals. Don’t listen to anyone who says otherwise.
We’re all in this together – and COVID-19 doesn’t discriminate between race or country of origin.
Stick to Trusted Sources
To stay safe and up-to-date, get your news from sources that are committed to facts and protecting public health, such as the Los Angeles Times and your local ABC or NBC affiliates.
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Health Organization
- Food and Drug Administration
- City of Los Angeles
- State of California Coronavirus Response
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