Latest on the Pandemic
I promised to keep you updated on the latest news and science regarding the coronavirus. Over the past week, the virus has developed into a pandemic, and we now face a critical week as a country. We all have to do our part.
Decisions like whether business leaders let their employees telecommute, or whether we keep ourselves and our families healthy at home (practicing good hygiene, social distancing, sleeping well, and self-quarantining if we are sick) will determine how many people become severely ill.
It’s too late to contain the virus, but we can act decisively to flatten the curve of how quickly it spreads so that our healthcare system does not get overwhelmed.
Why we must act now
This might sound alarming if your first introduction to this crisis was the cancellation of pro sporting events this week, but we have to take this seriously. This is real, and it is going to get worse before it gets better. For too long, prominent government officials have been downplaying the crisis and delaying preparations, but you can count on straight talk from my team and me.
Rather than panic and over-react, we should take the time now to prepare, acting confidently and decisively, much like we would in advance of a large blizzard or hurricane.
If some of this looks and sounds familiar, you may already be following the reading list my office is updating daily with the news and research we use to keep ourselves informed of the latest facts and science. For example, did you know:
- The United States is behind on testing the public, limiting our ability to track and respond.
- Early and aggressive intervention is our best bet to keep the outbreak under control, as interactive models in the New York Times demonstrate.
- The healthy and the sick will both face added stress during the outbreak from the isolation paradox. Take steps to improve your mental health.
Please read more here. Sarah, our science fellow from MIT, updates the site daily.
You can find tips to stay prepared with our coronavirus resource guide: moulton.house.gov/coronavirus.
Here are some reminders
- Wash your hands with hot, soapy water for at least 20 seconds.
- Cover your mouth, ideally with a tissue or elbow, when you cough or sneeze.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Minimize touching your eyes, nose, and face.
- Clean and disinfect surfaces frequently touched by others.
- If you are not feeling well, stay home from work and get better.
- Get a flu shot to stay healthy and out of the doctor's office.
- Get plenty of sleep. It boosts the immune system.
- Plan for meals at home, just like you prepare for a hurricane. Don’t forget your pets!
- A family can go through soap, paper goods, feminine products, and diapers pretty quick. Check your supply.
- If you take prescription medication, don’t forget your next refill.
- Need new contact lenses? Is that hearing-aid battery running low? Think through over the counter medicines next time you are at the pharmacy.
- Mental health matters. Break out your favorite books, games, and household activities from the attic.
On my website, my team and I explain how we are following the call from public health officials for social distancing. We have a three-tiered system that explains how we continue operating at different threat levels. That way people know exactly what to expect, and also what the next step will be if we get there.
If you run a business or you’re just looking for a guide to make your own teleworking plan, please feel free to copy ours. My team in Washington is currently operating at Threat Level 3 within our policy levels. My team in Salem is at Threat Level 2.
Staying in touch
Over the last few days, I have been speaking with mayors and town officials, school superintendents, hospital officials, other government leaders, and many of you to better understand the situation and assist our response. We are all in this together!
This week, as the governor declared a state of emergency, we converted our previously scheduled town halls into virtual town halls and Q&A sessions to do our part to keep people safe. You can check out the first remote conversation I held this week. I have another town hall scheduled for Monday.
Though my team and I are mostly working remotely, we remain hard at work for you around the clock. You can continue to contact my office online or get help with a federal agency. You can also call my team in Salem, Mass. at (978) 531-1669 or Washington D.C. at (202) 225-8020. We will be answering the phones and returning calls as fast as we can.
Member of Congress
P.S. - To stay in touch, click here!
Status of my office
The school closures, event cancellations, and restrictions are evolving rapidly, so I am closely monitoring the developments during this virus outbreak. In recent weeks, I noticed a lack of models to follow for next steps and response preparation, so I worked with my team to publish a response level guide that I shared with local leaders and employers. On Thursday, my Washington, D.C. office moved to Level 3 while my Salem office remains at Level 2. You can see what that means for staffing levels, meetings, and contact methods on the chart.
If you want to check back later on the response level of my office, we will keep moulton.house.gov/coronavirus updated with all the latest.
If you are sick
There are a few helpful tips from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for anyone who is feeling sick or showing the symptoms of the coronavirus: fever, dry cough, and shortness of breath.
Congressional oversight is vital during the virus outbreak. I pressed for answers from the Deputy Director of Health and Human Services last week after the administration made an emergency funding request for disease prevention accounts it proposed to cut just weeks before.