Maine CDC’s Dr Nirav Shah has a fan page on FB

In the midst of a crisis, the Mainers have found a hero in the form of the executive director of the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

Each weekday, Dr Nirav Shah gives a press briefing to update residents on the latest developments in the COVID-19 pandemic in the state. The statistics are grim, with how many people have been diagnosed with the virus, how many have died and how much (or rather how little) personal protective equipment is available for health care workers in the state.

But the Fans of Dr. Nirav Shah Facebook page isn’t all about statistics. It is also the story of a man who gives these daily briefings with calm. He acknowledges, at the end of the briefing, that the current climate is emotionally difficult and people are struggling to get used to the “new normal”.

It gives credit to each journalist’s questions, even if they are sometimes repetitive. Sipping Diet Coke, he quotes Coldplay and links the current climate to a Stephen King story. Briefings take place every day of the week at 11:15 a.m. You can watch them here.

I interviewed Dr Shah a few weeks before the virus hit Maine, and I agree, he’s an endearing person. He speaks well and reassures. While some of the doctors I interviewed are clinicians and use doctor’s language, Dr Shah makes everything easy to understand. We are fortunate to have such a leader from Maine CDC. He really makes us believe that we are going to get over this and that Maine’s health leaders are in control.

In these difficult times, don’t forget to follow the advice on his fan page: stay calm and listen to Dr. Shah.

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