Our nation faces challenges unlike any it has seen in decades. The novel coronavirus, COVID-19, has upended the lives of nearly every American and affected the economic standing of many small businesses. What’s more, we often hear conflicting information on the details of the virus – matters like varying symptoms and when to seek medical attention.

If you are a veteran of the United States military, it is important to know that there are VA services available that can advise you regarding COVID-19 information and when/how to seek medical attention. These services include a new chatbot created by Veterans’ Affairs. This bot, created in just a few weeks, allows you to ask questions about your symptoms and care, and can recommend steps to take, from at-home care to testing. Because it is a chat service, it is available any time, or from any place. This is crucial for individuals who may be sheltering in place or quarantining in places away from their normal residence.

The VA provides testing for those who meet the required criteria per the Center for Disease Control. If you meet the symptom-related requirements, note that there should be no charge for your COVID-19 test.

If you do not have symptoms but are otherwise stressed regarding the coronavirus pandemic, there are ways to curb feelings of anxiousness. Be sure to stay in contact with your loved ones through digital means. And, as best as you can, keep to a routine of exercise and good sleep.