#COVID19 SciComm Resource Page for the Capital Region

The COVID-19 disease pandemic is changing the world as we know it. Every single one of us must treat this disease — and the public health orders being given by government officials — as seriously as life and death.

To combat this virus, we all must embrace a respectful fear of this virus — local actions have global consequences. We can do this together through three simple practices:

  1. Educating ourselves with trusted, accurate information.
  2. Translate this trusted info with context for friends and colleagues.
  3. Learn to identify rumors and misinformation and call them out.

This resource page is an attempt to curate resources that can help all of us better communicate COVID-19 science and news, at work or at home, with focus on Sacramento region contexts wherever possible. The information presented here are NOT a substitute for official news and orders from local, state, federal, and other authorities. We will curate and update this resource as frequently our volunteers are able (bylines in footer).

Scroll down for the following sections:

  • Government Info Portals
  • Explaining COVID-19 Basics
  • SciComm Best Practices
  • Spotting Misinformation
  • Supporting Media Professionals
  • Supporting Kids at Home

This page and its subpages were last updated: March 25, 2020

Government Info Portals

A shelter-in-place order is currently in effect for the entire State of California. (Source: Governor of California, March 19, 2020)

Explaining COVID-19 Basics

How is the swab testing done?

  • UC Davis Health: “Coronavirus (COVID-19) Testing: What You Should Know” (Updated March 17, 2020) Includes visual graphics and video (produced in 2009 by the New England Journal of Medicine) demonstrating the use of 6-inch long swabs entering through the nose to sample deep within the nose/mouth cavity.

Why is protecting our hospital capacity a top justification for home isolation measures?

Why wash your hands with soap? Or why use hand sanitizer?

What might long-term scenarios look like to fully combat this pandemic?

  • The Atlantic: “How the Pandemic Will End” by journalist Ed Yong (March 25, 2020) A detailed explanation of the current pandemic trajectory in the United States, and possible outcomes according to different scenarios of action or inaction.

More resources to be added soon.

SciComm Best Practices

Communications Tips

Journalism Tips

Spotting Misinformation

Supporting Media Professionals

  • Donate to Sacramento News & Review (March 17, 2020) Tabloid weekly papers rely exclusively on advertising revenue to operate on a week-to-week basis. With retail stores and restaurants shuttered, weeklies are enacting mass layoffs of writers and editors.
  • Support Submerge (March 16, 2020) Another local weekly struggling to make ends meet.
  • Free Email Discussion Board Supporting Reporters Working on COVID-19 Coverage offered by the National Association of Science Writers (Announced March 25, 2020) Journalists of any beat — especially those new to science and health — are invited to join this exchange. NASW membership is not required to participate.
  • NASW Information Access Survey (March 19, 2020) Journalists can report their information request experiences to this database, and daylight the extent to which government officials and institutions have facilitated the free flow of information for COVID-19 media coverage.
  • Mental Health Resources for Journalists compiled by Dallas Morning News editor Tom Huang (March 14, 2020) A Twitter thread with several links to reputable websites, including USC, Columbia, and Poynter, with resources for journalists managing trauma from reporting on crises.
  • “Work from Home Like a Pro” compiled by the NASW Freelance Committee (March 16, 2020) Helpful tips for those new to working from home.
  • More resources to be added soon

Supporting Kids at Home

Bylines: Links on this page and its subpages are suggested by CapSciComm volunteers. Edited by Ben Young Landis.