Our publisher’s tips for surviving the Coronavirus quarantine blues, how to stay in-the-know, and how you can do your part to help flatten the curve

The COVID-19 pandemic hitting in Ohio this week has been hardest on people like me. I’m an optimist who believes in science. And you know what? If I’m honest, it’s really, really hard to be optimistic right now.

But we must. If there’s one positive to the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s that we’re learning more about our collective medical knowledge on the planet than we ever have before. If for no other reason than to stop the spread and flatten the curve, everyone’s individual health suddenly matters.

For Ohioans, that means paying close attention to trusted local news sources to learn what you can do to help yourself, friends, and family to do what it takes right now to stop the spread of COVID-19.

Stay at Home

The most important thing you can do right now is to stay at home. As Ohio Department of Health Director, Dr. Amy Acton said Thursday, “What you’re doing is absolutely saving lives.” During the daily 5 pm press conference that some Ohioans are affectionally referring to as “Wine with DeWine,” Acton and Governor Mike DeWine give stats on how we’re doing fighting the virus and flattening the curve:

The stay-at-home program in Ohio will operate until April 30, with the potential to extend and adjust as needed.

You can help flatten the curve as an Ohioan by staying home and following the orders laid out here and here.

If you’re an Ohio medical marijuana patient, you can still get your medicine. You can still talk to a medical marijuana doctor who can counsel you through this time, and you can still access your local dispensary.

You can still seek guidance and get medical attention if you absolutely need it, so don’t let the fear get to you. Our Facebook page will continue to have a wealth of resources for TeleMed options.

The stay-at-home program in Ohio will operate until April 30, with the potential to extend and adjust as needed.

Stay informed

There is a lot of misinformation circulating about Coronavirus and COVID-19. It’s more important to your health than ever before that you pay attention to the scientists and journalists who have your health in mind, not the politicians who seek to gain from your ignorance.

This media bias chart developed by an international non-profit is a handy tool to help you determine whether the sources you are reading or watching have a basis in fact or have been examined and judged to be propaganda or other misleading information. In addition to your local newspapers and television stations, information that you can reliably trust can be found from the websites of the CDC and the WHO.

We trust medicine and follow the advice of medical experts because they’re trained in this field. They have made important observations that can guide us to the best potential outcomes. We have evidence that quarantining works.

We don’t yet have a vaccine for coronavirus, but scientists are working on one. Don’t trust that “we’ll be back open for business by Easter.” That suggestion flies in the face of medical experts and national and local efforts to flatten the curve of this pandemic.

Stay Connected

This is hard, folks. No matter how we look at it, we’re all suffering a collective mental health crisis right now.

Here’s how we can fight it:

One of the best things you can do to increase your endorphins and help you feel better is to get some FaceTime with your sweetie if you can’t see one another in person. Even over video chat, it can make all the difference to know that your loved one is out there, still yearning for a real hug and looking forward to the day you reconnect together in person.

If there’s another positive thing “the ‘Rona” is teaching us, it’s to be grateful for being able to maintain friendships and intimacy with the assistance of modern technology.

Stay Grateful

A popular Harvard study showed recently that a sense of gratitude can increase your level of well-being, which is so important at this time to your mental health.

One way you can help out the front line medical workers is to sew some masks for them as supplies are short. Here’s a link to a group in Cincinnati that is sewing masks and we’ll be sharing more resources on our MedicateOH FB page on where masks can be delivered in Ohio. Mercy Health also has shared information on donating supplies. We also encourage Ohio nurses to get in touch with us via Facebook to share any resources for other ways Ohioans can support medical workers during this time.

Additionally, you can express gratitude by supporting friends and family who have lost their “non-essential” jobs. You can support their businesses by buying gifts cards and take-out orders. Yelp has partnered both in Ohio and nationwide and teamed up with GoFundMe to make it easier for you to support your favorite Ohio restaurants and bars while they are closed or are only doing carry-out or delivery.

You can also volunteer your time or skills to MedicateOH or another non-profit organization that is working to circulate accurate medical facts and locally-focused community-wide health information.

Reach out to our editor in chief, Alex Perry, to inquire further about how you can help us while building your portfolio. College students and recent grads are highly encouraged to apply.

Stay Together (Separately)

We built MedicateOH to be inspiring. If there’s only one thing that’s inspiring about the dire situation we find ourselves in, it’s that we can defeat anything—even a pandemic—if we all pull together.

If we all pitch in and do our part, we can help stop the spread of COVID-19 so life can resume as “normal” and we can hug our loved ones. We are a collective; we are learning in 2020 that every piece of that collective is vitally important. Let’s flatten this curve, Ohio. We can do this.

#WeAreAllInThisTogether

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