coronavirus updates

Coronavirus continues to spread across the globe and it’s already having noticeable effects on public gatherings, the economy, and is keeping much of the general public indoors. Recently the World Health Organization (WHO) formally declared the novel coronavirus (known officially as COVID-19) a pandemic and the United States has finally started to take the matter more seriously as well (better late than never).

In this page we’ll keep a list of all the coronavirus coverage on our site, as well as a list of trustworthy resources as the pandemic continues, and even some basic tips.

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Coronavirus resources and trusted news sources

We’re a tech site, and we won’t pretend to be experts on coronavirus, so our best advice is to stick to official and trusted resources rather than social media.

Looking for major announcements on coronavirus? We highly recommend checking the WHO’s website from time to time. Looking for more information about how many cases and where coronavirus can be found internationally? Here’s an international map from the CDC, as well as one from the CDC with details specific to the United States.

Even better, there are several dashboards that make it much easier to track cases and other stats related to the outbreak. We recommend this one from John Hopkins.

As for general news, we’ve gathered a list of the coronavirus update pages for some of the top news sources in the world:

Note: These coronavirus update pages might go out of date, so just hit the index at each site to look for a newer one. We’ll also revisit this page regularly to try our best to keep up with the links. 

Looking for local news? We recommend setting up Google alerts for news in your area. Here’s how:

  1. Go to google.com/alerts
  2. Enter the search term, in this case something like “coronavirus [your city].
  3. Next select “show options” below the search box and how often you’d want alerts (once daily is recommended in this case.)
  4. Choose a source for your alerts as well: blogs, web, news, etc (or automatic as default)
  5. Choose the language and region, as well as how many results you want to see.
  6. Finally, pick an email address.
  7. Now select create alert and you’re done!

Coronavirus tips

Again, we won’t pretend to know it all. Think of this stuff as a general guide and advice, but when it comes to major matters we recommend sticking to instructions from your local government, the WHO, or organizations like the CDC. That said, we have a few general tips:

  1. Wash your hands frequently. While the above video from the WHO might not be what you’re used to, this is the right way to wash your hands to prevent the spread of germs. It’s never too late to learn proper hygiene!
  2. Make sure handwashing is the first thing you do before coming into your home! You don’t necessarily need to go nuts with wiping down every surface in your home, but it would be wise to regularly clean entryways and again make sure washing is the first thing you do when you come inside. As for how long COVID-19 hangs around on surfaces? The WHO originally said a few hours, but recent information suggests it lives for hours in air particles and days on surfaces. 
  3. Limit or avoid visitors altogether. Yes, it’s no fun to practice social distancing, but now is the right time to do it before you get sick or get others ill.
  4. Avoid public spaces and instead take this time to enjoy your favorite games (mobile and beyond), stream movies, and spend time with your family. Sure, you might only get mild symptoms but if you help with the spread, you could be infected others that don’t have the same odds as you (such as you grandma.)
  5. Don’t trust social media. It’s been proven time and time again fake news thrives there. Instead, use the resources we listed above to keep informed.
  6. Consider wearing a mask if it makes SENSE for you. Like if you’re going to be openly exposed to those who might have it. There’s a mask shortage globally right now, so make sure you’re not hoarding stuff like that (or toilet paper). It’s also worth mentioning a mask won’t necessarily protect you from getting sick, but it can help you avoid spreading it to others (even if you don’t know you have it.) If you do want to wear a mask, here’s how to make face unlock work even when wearing one.
  7. Make sure to use a case and screen protector as they tend to be easier to clean, without messing up your phone’s protective oleophobic coating.
  8. Regularly sanitize your phone and other electronics as a safety precaution. Here’s how to do it.
  9. Be careful when it comes to trusting coronavirus-related apps and 3rd party sources for links or downloads (including places like Facebook). We’re already seeing ransomware and malware crop up taking advantage of people looking for information on the virus. And of course, sticking to official sources like those in the above portion of this article will also protect you against misinformation.

Don’t get sucked into these coronavirus myths

You’ve probably heard a lot of misinformation recently, below we debunk a few common myths:

Masks don’t guarantee protection against COVID-19. Masks can protect you to some degree, For example, if someone who has it sneezes, you’re less likely to take in airborne particles. That said, the eyes are another pathway for getting sick, and unless you’re wearing something crazy like a gas mask, you’re still at risk. It’s better to simply keep away from crowded areas and stay home as much as possible if you live in an area with community spread.

We won’t have a vaccine for a while. Creating a vaccine for COVID-19 isn’t a simple process. The National Institutes of Health begins testing for a vaccine on Monday, with many others likely following soon. Still, these things can’t be rushed or they could end up being ineffective. It’s also a long process to go from early tests to full clinical trials. This process is expected to take around 12 to 18 months.

Don’t count on warm weather to get rid of coronavirus. Yes, flu is seasonal but that’s not necessarily the case for COVID-19. There’s plenty of reason to expect the virus to continue its spread for a while. The bottom line is we don’t know for sure, but don’t just expect it to go away suddenly. And even if it does? So did the Spanish Flu of 1918, before it came back in full force.

This isn’t just “like the flu”. Yes, the flu kills many each year, around .1% of its victims. Despite some of the misinformation you’ve heard about COVID-19, it’s mortality rate is higher. We don’t know with any certainty what the mortality rate is, but it’s certainly higher than that. Right now it’s believed to be around 2-3%. Also, keep in mind that means nothing. For example, Italy has around 24,000 cases so far and deaths around 1800 (that’s 7%). It’s best to be cautious, don’t just expect this to be an ordinary case of the flu, because it’s a different virus and should be treated as such.

What if you get sick or think you might have COVID-19?

Every country has different policies in place if you have reason to suspect you are sick with the novel coronavirus. Giving advice on exactly what to do would, therefore, be impossible. There are some obvious first steps, however.

  1. Self-isolate if you have any symptoms that might be associated with the virus, even if you have yet to confirm your suspicions.
  2. Feeling sick? Here are some tips on how to determine if you should call your doctor. If you suspect you might have coronavirus, call right away. They should be able to set you up with testing or tell you what to do next. Do not just show up to the doctor unannounced, even when it comes to walk-in clinics. This is so they can expect you and take the necessary precautions. It also helps reduce the pressure put on hospital staff, while limiting your exposure to illness if you aren’t actually sick with coronavirus.
  3. Hit up Google for information about your city, state, or county’s policies on what to do if you’re sick.

Looking for stuff to do while stuck at home?

Netflix best TV Shows section on smartphone 1

Right now is the perfect time to hunker down and enjoy activities you can do at home, like binge-watching shows and movies. Here are some of our favorite selections from a variety of streaming services:

For even more, check out our streaming services hub page. Looking for something to play? Check out our hub page for the best Android games (and apps).