As thousands of people recover from COVID-19 infections, Maryland is offering resources to affected residents through an online forum called COVIDConnect.
As thousands of people in the DC metro area recover from COVID-19 infections, Maryland is offering affected residents resources and support through an online forum called COVIDConnect.
So far, approximately 1,600 people have signed up to access its virtual support groups and webinars. They will also receive information on research that they may be able to help.
“People who have recovered from COVID-19 really want to give back,” said Donna Gugel, director of the Prevention and Health Promotion Administration at the Maryland Department of Health.
“So many people have asked how they can donate plasma and how they can participate in different trials,” Gugel said. “And, some are interested in becoming peer facilitators for some of the support groups.”
“Those who have recovered from COVID-19 have a huge role to play in the fight against this virus,” Maryland Governor Larry Hogan said in a press release. “Johns Hopkins, the University of Maryland and the National Institutes of Health have already contacted to provide current information on clinical trials directly to patients recovered through this platform.”
People also use the site to share their stories.
“Right now we have about 11 stories, and everyone’s story is different,” Gugel said. “One person had a very mild case, but there are several people who have had very traumatic cases. They want to tell their stories and they want to connect with each other.
Much like the fluid nature of what is learned about the novel coronavirus, portal staff strive to move or add resources to meet the expressed needs of the people they serve.
“We keep asking them what they need. This is not what we think they need; we want them to tell us what they need, ”said Gugel. “So please, please, please sign up.” “
Mental health resources are currently available through a partnership with the Maryland Chapter of the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI). The group is working on developing an online support group for the members-only community and plans to host a webinar on the idea next week, Gugel said.
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