People across the country are scared, and they’re calling to 911 — not for emergency help but with general questions. Emergency dispatchers and first responders around the country, already pressed for resources, are pleading with the public to stop.
Calling 911 with a non-emergency is a problem for obvious reasons. It ties up emergency personnel and delays the response time for people in the midst of a medical crisis and need immediate help. It’s important we leave those lines open for true emergencies.
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So, if you have questions about coronavirus-related issues, please DO NOT call 911. What should you do instead? We’ll show you an online resource and a telephone hotline, Whileathome.org. It offers info on everything from testing to financial and mental health resources.
What is While at Home?
Whileathome.org is a website and hotline that vets credible coronavirus-related information, serving as a one-stop-shop for COVID-19 information and links.
“We realized that in this time of uncertainty that there were so many incredible acts of organizing happening and so many resources but no hub of information. We aimed to create that hub so that people didn’t have to visit 20 different sites or platforms to get quality help,” according to its website.
It is, in layman’s terms, a clearinghouse of verified, vital non-emergency information about the virus. In addition to the info the site aggregates, it also provides a ton of resources for people on the frontlines — nurses, doctors, medical assistants, physician assistants, and social workers, among others.
How do I use it?
Well, let’s start with the While at Home hotline. This hotline — which you can reach by dialing 478-292-6843 — is what you should call if you have coronavirus-related questions or want to find out where you can be tested for COVID-19.
When you call that main number, you will be connected to your state’s coronavirus hotline, which will in turn help clear up emergency lines for people who need immediate medical attention. If you don’t want to call the hotline, you can visit the Whileathome.org website to find the information or answers you need.
Anyone can — and should — use the Whileathome.org website to learn more about what resources are available for coronavirus-related issues. The website can help you find information on a number of different issues, and it provides links and other resources for things like:
1. Medical-related questions
One of the most important things While at Home offers is the “Get Tested” page. It’s a great resource for people who need more information on finding the right state or private medical resources but don’t know where to look.
This page offers general information on what to do if you suspect you have coronavirus, information for state and national hotlines related to coronavirus, and general pointers on what you may need to take a COVID-19 test. (For example, in most cases you’ll need a doctor’s note.)
The Get Tested page also has a link to the CDC symptom checker tool and offers information on a free way to connect with a doctor via text if you don’t have a primary care physician to consult with. You’ll also find each state’s contact information, the process for testing, and other useful resources to help you get tested if needed.
2. Social, mental health and economic questions
While at Home doesn’t focus solely on helping people find the right medical information and resources. It also provides a ton of links to help people who have been affected by the coronavirus in other ways, including those facing social and economic fallouts.
Does that include you? Are you:
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions, the site offers information that may be able to help you. For instance, the “creative” page provides information on national relief funds and grants that creatives who are experiencing substantial financial hardship since the COVID-related decrease in public gatherings may qualify for.
The page breaks the information down by type of creative: writers and authors, artists, performing and visual arts, graphic arts, and more with links to the related grants and funds available for each type category.
3. Donation and volunteering questions
One of the coolest parts of the website is that it also offers information on how to get involved via the Take Action page. It can be difficult to find ways to help out while stuck at home, but While at Home can help you find the right ways to get involved. All from the safety of your sofa.
It offers suggestions like donate money or food to a shelter, along with a ton of other ways to get involved while still keeping yourself and others safe. There are tons of links and other information on the page, and it can even help you find a food bank in your area to support.
4. Frontline worker questions
While at Home also offers a ton of different resources for frontline healthcare workers. The information is broken down by state and provides information on free and discounted resources for healthcare workers across the country. There is information on where to find equipment and mental health support.
This page isn’t just for frontline workers, though. Even if you’re browsing from the safety of your home, you can use this page to find a project that you can pitch in on to provide support for frontline workers. There are a ton of other resources available on Whileathome.org, so make time to check them out.
If you need immediate medical attention, call 911. Otherwise, use resources like While at Home to find the answers you need instead of tying up emergency personnel with a phone call. That simple act could mean the difference between life and death for someone in dire need of assistance.
The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, advice, or health objectives.