Coronavirus News and Resources

Updated March 24, 2020

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We all need access to the best possible information related to the current coronavirus pandemic. We require this information to keep us up-to-date not only on the status of the spread of the disease but also the latest news on how the world is handling it, our government, and state and local entities. We also need to know if there have been changes to information concerning actions we should take to protect ourselves and those around us better.

In these trying times, we all need to know about those around us that can lend us a helping hand. For example, in my Business Networking International networking chapter (Shady Valley BNI), I have access to people in many different industries that can help out with almost anything you can imagine you might need. I provide
links to all of them on a separate page on this site.

On this page, I’ll be organizing and adding links to useful information resources, latest breaking news, and links to local businesses that offer home delivery of food and medicines. I hope this helps. If I’m stuck at home in front of my computer, it’s more productive than watching Netflix.

My links to business resources in the North Central Texas region are here for your convenience and are not an endorsement by me unless I specifically say so. If you have other resources you would like me to add, send them to me. If you have had issues with any of these services, let me know that too. I hope this will be a dynamic list where we can add new categories and add new services as they arise as people get innovative in these difficult times.

Breaking News

Please, do not self-medicate…

A Phoenix-area man has died, and his wife was in critical condition after the couple took chloroquine phosphate, in the form of an additive used to clean fish tanks; they had a box on their shelf that they had used to treat their Coy fish. They had heard about chloroquine, in a White House daily briefing. Hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria medication, was mentioned as a possible treatment for COVID-19. All they remembered was chloroquine, and they mixed chloroquine phosphate with a liquid and drank it, thinking it would protect them. Taken to the hospital after getting extremely sick, the husband died soon after arrival, and his wife was in intensive care. Fortunately, the woman is now in stable condition.

The CDC has information on
therapeutic options for COVID-19 patients that discusses Remdesivir and Hydroxychloroquine and Chloroquine. Please, these are experimental drugs or drugs used for the treatment of other diseases, and there are no studies to establish their effectiveness in treating COVID-19. The reports on the use of these drugs are anecdotal and based on very few cases.
IRS Extends Tax Filing Deadline for Individuals.

On March 21, 2020, the IRS extended the tax filing deadline to July 15, 2020 (See notice here.)
Hospital Starts “100 Million Mask Challenge”.

Face masks and other protective medical equipment are in short supply, and many hospitals are having their doctors and nurses use single-use masks for up to a week. At Providence Hospital in Seattle, Washington, they’ve put out a challenge for people to sew 100 Million protective masks to help. If you would like to get involved, they’ve recommended a mask for which a picture tutorial is available. I might be able to suture a wound or close a surgical incision, but sewing was never part of my curriculum. However, I do know people in theatre who are amazing with their costume designs and others who can sew up a storm. So, I’ll be reaching out to people I know. If you can sew, or know people who can, how about, we get behind this effort and do something that could save lives. After all, if you’re cooped up at home and going stir crazy, why not pull out the sewing machine and make your time count for something. It’s a lot better than watching TV.
March 19, 2020

Texas Governor Greg Abbott declares Disaster and issues executive orders to close Schools, Bars, and Gyms Statewide. Restaurants reduced to “To Go” services and other measures. You can read the press release here.

  • Order No. 1: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, every person in Texas shall avoid social gatherings in groups of more than 10 people.
  • Order No. 2: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall avoid eating or drinking at bars, restaurants, and food courts, or visiting gyms or massage parlors; provided, however, that the use of drive-thru, pickup, or delivery options is allowed and highly encouraged throughout the limited duration of this executive order.
  • Order No. 3: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, people shall not visit nursing homes or retirement or long-term care facilities unless to provide critical assistance.
  • Order No. 4: In accordance with the Guidelines from the President and the CDC, schools shall temporarily close.
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Kinsa Health Smart Thermometers tracking the spread of the flu and COVID-19 in real time.

An article by Donald G. McNeil Jr., published on March 18, 2020, by the New York Times, was covered by Rachel Maddow on MSNBC the same day. It discusses how Kinsa Health has created a smart thermometer that sends your temperature back to their servers every time you take it along with your location data. They have over 1 million of these thermometers in use throughout the United States and are selling, and in some cases giving away, many more. They are now having trouble meeting demands (If interested, purchasing information is here). An exciting aspect of their product is that they can create maps of where fevers are occurring and can tell the difference between temperatures caused by the flu and those caused by COVID-19 because they follow different periods. Thus, they can subtract out the flu data and leaving what is presumptively the COVID-19 cases. They can identify outbreaks in areas as much as three days before anyone else, such as the CDC, can locate them. It is essential because if you have limited resources to marshall to tackle an outbreak, knowing three days in advance where that outbreak will happen allows you to plan responses and target resources where they are needed. Kinsa monitors the flu and has tried to share their data with the CDC.

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A news report by Erika Edwards talks about an experimental drug showing promise for treating COVID-19. The results are very preliminary, but the drug appears to stop the production or replication of the virus in the body with patients showing improvement within 24 hours after treatment.

Research in animals had shown the drug developed by Gilead Sciences, might treat MERS, another type of coronavirus.

The 35-year-old man, who was the first case in the US (the index patient), was in a deteriorating condition when his doctors got permission to try the remdesivir treatment on day 7. By day 8 he was showing improvement. They published a report in the New England Journal of Medicine. They later used the therapy on Chris Kane, 55, who was diagnosed and treated at Providence Regional Medical Center in Everett, Washington. The next day after treatment, Chris was feeling somewhat better. Chris Kane is now home and improving, He still gets winded easily, but that’s better than the alternative.

It’s too early to tell how effective this treatment is, it will likely take until some time in April to get results.

Other antiviral treatments are also under investigation.