Dear Mammalz Community,
During this emerging and very fluid Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic, we at Mammalz want you, our community, to know that we recognize the seriousness of the situation at hand, and are cognizant of the biological, social, economic, and emotional impacts that we are all experiencing.
Our small team at headquarters is able to work very effectively remotely to ensure that we do not become part of the problem. We also can’t emphasize enough the importance of following all health and safety guidelines to ensure that we all help to prevent the further expansion of this virus.
Part of our Mammalz mission is to strive for scientific accuracy and there can never be a more important time for that than right now. We are all seeing information in the media, and on social media that often conflicts, is mis-informed, or outright wrong. So here are three things you can do to ensure that you are receiving accurate information:
1) Ensure the source is credible. This may seem like a no brainer, but often sources themselves are sketchy. We’ve seen many social posts made by supposed doctors (and shared by hundreds) that tell people “don’t worry, this is just like the flu.” Guess what? We don’t know that. This is a new virus to humans that has so far displayed a much greater transmissibility than influenza. Since it is new, we have not built up immunity to it and have no vaccine.
2) Beware of quickly drawn conclusions. We have already seen articles that state the Covid-19 virus definitively came from bats or pangolins. While the current information is leaning that way, we do not know that yet. In fact, the latest tests suggest potential involvement of a snake as a vector. This is a rapidly evolving outbreak.
3) Beware of single sources. Most reputable sources will have references in their writings that can be checked as well. Along those lines, here is a source that keeps up to date information about the Covid-19 virus with reliable resources to fact check: https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/coronavirus-resource-center
<... the Covid-19 outbreak began, I was reminded of a passage that has stuck with me since I was a young teenager. It is from the novel published in 1947 called The Plague, by Albert Camus. It goes like this:
“Everybody knows that pestilences have a way of recurring in the world, yet somehow we find it hard to believe in ones that crash down on our heads from a blue sky. There have been as many plagues as wars in history, yet always plagues and wars take people equally by surprise.”
It’s one of my favorite books that I highly recommend as it paints a fairly accurate picture of the human condition while illustrating our own vulnerability within the natural world.
And so we find ourselves today, faced with another pandemic, appearing surprised by it but slowly realizing that this is our reality. Our reaction has gone from disbelief to panic, to discount, to discovery, and now to action.
We are doing what needs to be done now to flatten the curve of outbreak, mainly what we now call social distancing. It’s just our way of saying a virus can’t transmit if you take away the points of transmission.
I know the feeling of isolation can be taxing, creating feelings of stir crazy. I know this because I spent 4 years on a submarine so I feel a bit of an expert on being confined with food stores, limited ways to entertain yourself and such. But believe me, when this passes, the sun will shine and we will be in a new day.
In the meantime, Mammalz is rolling up our sleeves and getting to work on ways in which we can foster education to ensure that future outbreaks will be met by a public with scientifically backed information, and the knowledge to move quickly to prevent a pandemic from breaking out.
Be safe, wash your hands, and I look forward to seeing you all on Mammalz!
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