These are the times when we need facts and scientific information to make good decisions. Yet in this political climate there’s so much obfuscation and bad information, it’s hard to know what’s real and what’s unknown.  But, under all this stress, it’s also the time when we see the true colors of our companies, our institutions, and individuals. And what we’re seeing is a mix of good and awful.

It’s clear we can’t depend on many in our government leadership beginning at the very top. Denial, bad information and bad decisions are going to translate into deaths. When Fox News personalities attribute the Corona virus to a Democratic hoax, people will die. When Rush Limbaugh tells his listeners the same, people will die. When Trump prevents the CDC from recommending people not fly, people will die.

As a result we need to turn to trusted sources. Some of the best are ex-government administrators from the Bush and Obama administrations that have familiarity with similar issues. Some are medical reporters and trusted news organizations. For the best understanding we need only look at what’s happened in other countries that are a few weeks ahead of us in this outbreak.

One of most interesting articles appeared in the China Morning Post, Hong Kong’s main newspaper.

In this article, scientists have mapped how the virus spread through a bus in China. Similar results would likely apply to airplanes.

Several passengers became infected during the four-hour bus journey.

More reporting such as this will give us a better picture of this phenomena.

These times also bring out the best and worse of companies. Some airlines are waving change fees, but many are doing it reluctantly or with big caveats. When I tried to cancel flights booked with points, American Airlines wanted to charge me $150 to rebank the points. I needed to escalate my request and remind them I’m a million miler flyer to convince them otherwise.

Some of the big tech companies are allowing employees to work from home and offer unlimited sick days. Many sites are fighting the disinformation and price surges with Amazon and Ebay deleting listings and Facebook and Twitter removing erroneous stories about the virus.

But back to the facts. Another excellent graphic provides some clear understand of the impact this virus has on our health system. The goal of distancing ourselves is less to preventing the illness, but to slow it down to enable it to be treated with our finite health resources.

“Flattening the curve means that all the social distancing measures now being deployed in places like Italy and South Korea, and on a smaller scale in places like Seattle and Santa Clara County, California, aren’t so much about preventing illness but rather slowing down the rate at which people get sick.”