The now designated global pandemic of COVID-19 coronavirus is having unprecedented impacts across the world as authorities attempt to contain transmission and manage cases. At the time of writing this, Australia currently has 197 confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19), including 3 deaths. The Prime Minister announced yesterday that gatherings of more than 500 people should not go ahead from Monday as part of social distancing measures to prevent peaks of new cases and ease the strain on health services.
It’s a time when, more than ever, people need ready access to clear, timely and relevant information that is evidence-based.
For science communicators – we may be able to help contribute to creating useful resources for our audiences, or pointing to and sharing trusted sources through our networks. For some of us, the impacts are already being felt with the cancellation of major events like the World Science Festival in Brisbane and the PCST Conference in Aberdeen.
Below is a collection of reputable resources that you might find useful.
- Current health alerts from the Australian Government Department of Health: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert
- The Australian Academy of Sciences answers corona virus questions in this video: https://www.science.org.au/curious/video/coronavirus-questions-answered
- Australia’s Science Channel debunk some coronavirus myths: https://australiascience.tv/dont-get-sucked-in-by-these-covid-19-myths/
- The Federation of American Scientists (FAS) have released an AI-chatbot where you can ask a scientist any question about COVID-19 : https://covid19.fas.org/l/en
- Full coverage of coronavirus on the ABC: https://www.abc.net.au/news/story-streams/coronavirus/
Official advice is to follow these simple steps to help slow the spread of the virus and to reduce the risk of infection:
➡️ Wash your hands with soap and water before and after eating, and also after using the toilet
➡️ Avoid physical contact with others when possible
➡️ Cough into your elbow or into a clean tissue, then throw the tissue in the bin
➡️ Seek medical attention if you’re feeling sick. Be aware that most people currently experiencing cold and flu symptoms won’t have COVID-19
For science communicators who would like to delve deeper into the research, the WHO have compiled a downloadable database of all current COVID-19 research: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/global-research-on-novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov