Opinion: Commentary: We Are Here For You

Opinion: Commentary: We Are Here For You

Pandemic is affecting our families, our houses of worship, charities and businesses, our communities — our very way of life.

Together, as a community, a Commonwealth, and a nation, we are all facing a truly unprecedented situation. The global coronavirus pandemic is affecting all of our families, our houses of worship, charities and businesses, our communities — our very way of life. During this time, I want to let you know that your elected leaders are working tirelessly together to keep open the channels of communication, mostly via social media (Facebook, Twitter and email) and newspapers like this. We are committed to updating you on what’s happening and what you should and can do. As the Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation continues to evolve, we are in communication with the Governor’s office and state health officials to monitor and disseminate developments of the outbreak.

First and foremost, my heart goes out to anyone who's been impacted by the virus, both directly and indirectly. My thoughts are especially with those who are sick, to whom I extend my heartfelt wishes for a full recovery. Like many of you, I am especially concerned for our elderly, like my parents who live with me. And, I am truly inspired by the selfless healthcare workers, emergency responders, and government and charity workers who are on the front lines working tirelessly to care for people in need and keep us as safe as possible.

I also want to alert you to the many scams circulating out there. As the coronavirus public health emergency continues, scam artists are taking advantage of the situation. This includes everything from selling products that supposedly will prevent, treat or cure the virus, to asking for donations to aid people who are sick. These are some tips and ways to protect yourself from coronavirus scams:

Ignore any offers, online or otherwise, for coronavirus vaccines, prevention, treatment or cure.

Be wary of an email that claims to be from the U.S. Center of Disease Control or the World Health Organization. Visit these two organization’s websites directly to get the latest information.

Do not click on any links from unknown sources. This could lead to downloading a virus on your computer or phone.

Thoroughly research any organizations or charities purporting to be raising funds for victims of the coronavirus.

Look out for “investment opportunities” surrounding the coronavirus.

Read more about price gouging, how to stay aware and how to report scams on the Fairfax County Emergency Information site at https://fairfaxcountyemergency.wpcomstaging.com/.

In these turbulent days ahead, I encourage you to stay calm and careful, curtail your interactions with others, and practice excellent personal hygiene behavior. As the Governor said on Tuesday, “I am asking Virginians to be a part of the solution.” It is imperative that we slow the spread of the virus so as not to overwhelm our healthcare system and provide the time necessary to better combat it and treat the illness. Virginians are resilient, adaptable, and have the expertise to overcome this crisis. I am confident that we will get through this together.

You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter, along with my colleagues, for the latest state and local news.