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President of MidMichigan Health Alpena says, “We shouldn’t be panicking.”

ALPENA, Mich. — With coronavirus wrecking havoc on almost every aspect of life, it makes sense to wonder what local officials have to say about the virus.

President of MidMichigan Health Alpena, Chuck Sherwin, has one important message for those in northeast Michigan.

“We shouldn’t be panicking. That’s the worst thing that we could do right now.”

That includes depleting local stores of groceries and toiletries, and hoarding items unnecessarily. Sherwin adds, “People shouldn’t be stockpiling, because that creates panic, and the panic then spreads from person to person. ”

But this does not take away from the severity of the situation. Sherwin says a people across the country will become infected with the virus and never even know it. But that doesn’t make the situation better for those with a compromised immune system.

“Most people – healthy people, young people – won’t see any significant symptoms from the virus, or you start to build antibodies. But you are infectious to other people, so if I have the virus, even though I feel okay, and I sneeze toward someone else, or I touch my mouth and shake their hand and all that kind of stuff, the physical contact, I can transmit it to someone else,” Sherwin adds.

The CDC suggests the best way to keep the virus under control is to practice social distancing and good hand hygiene. We also asked Sherwin if there was any word on a vaccine. He says officials at the national level are working on this diligently, but there’s not an estimated time frame for when the vaccine will be usable.