Managing Editor

A certified wiz at playing tabletop war games and binge-watching anime, I spend far too much time on the internet. Also I run a couple of newspapers.

If you’ve been feeling scared, nervous or even a little freaked out lately, you are among millions of other people in that same boat. The word “pandemic” certainly doesn’t seem to do much other than to exacerbate everyone’s level of concern over the coronavirus. 

 But during tough times and moments like these, it’s important to breath deep and remember our responsibilities to our community, families and friends. 

Social media is as much a bane as it is a boon in this situation. The instantaneous spread of info is quite wonderful when we need to know if local events are being cancelled and when Wal-mart has run out of toilet paper, but it also lets rumors and false info – even jokes that are taken as truth – spiral out of control. 

There are official groups that are being transparent with information on testing and confirmed cases of coronavirus. If you are concerned or have questions, they will likely be able to assuage your fears and provide the information you’re looking for.

Context is important to remember right now. Currently, there are only two confirmed “presumptive positive” cases in the state of Missouri. One in St. Louis County, the other in Springfield, Missouri. 

St. Louis County’s other nine completed tests have returned negative. All the cases tested for in St. Charles County have been negative.

And while there are test results pending for the virus in Lincoln County, remember that “testing” is not the same thing as a positive result. Even in the case of a positive result, the local experts are ready and able to handle whatever may come.

I’m not immune from concern here either; I’m a natural-born germophobe, and it’s God’s honest truth that I’ve been washing my hands twice as much as normal – which is a lot. But don’t let hyped up news coverage spur you to greater levels of concern – just be aware and cautious, and be thoughtful before you take action. 

The good news is that the recommended steps that you can take to help mitigate the spread of the disease are easy to follow. 

Avoid large gatherings, wash your hands frequently and especially before eating, don’t touch your face a bunch – all doable. 

And above all, remember that the Lincoln County Health Department, the CDC and the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services are the authorities on the coronavirus. 

Visit lchdmo.org/covid19 for up-to-date local info on COVID-19. There’s links there to other resources as well.

Being concerned for your health, and the health of your kids and loved ones is commendable during a situation such as this one. Just remember there are resources working to support the citizens of the county throughout these events.