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Let’s do our part

As the outbreak of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 expands, we all need to do our part to prevent the spread of the illness, accept advice from credible sources and not panic.

Washing your hands, staying home from work and places with large numbers of people when ill, considering postponing or canceling travel to China, South Korea, Italy and Iran and cruises if elderly are some of the preventative measures we all can take.

This disease appears to severely threaten our elderly population and those with compromised health but that does not mean the majority of us should take this disease lightly. Think of grandma, grandpa, tutu or obasan; your actions could impact them by spreading the disease.

There have been a lot of rumors circulating about the coronavirus, from its links to Corona beer to cocaine as a cure. Not true. We have heard rumors about cases on Maui, which we’ve checked out and have not proven true to date.

In this current political atmosphere of “fake news” claims, it is easy not to believe county government, the state Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — but that would be unwise. They are the experts with experience, employing proven methods; we should listen to them. Social media may be great for disseminating information but not the best for providing accurate information. Social media claims cannot just be accepted as truth; they need to be confirmed with facts and reason.

While we prepare for COVID-19, there is no need to panic. This is no time to be hoarding face masks, toilet paper or water; take what you need for your emergency supplies but no more.

And, while we understand the need to protect privacy of individuals and to tamp down panic, we do ask the Department of Health to provide as much information as possible and couch them in realistic terms and not just the best-case scenario. Providing overly rosy perspectives in the name of preventing panic only leads to skepticism and loss of trust.