COVID-19 Public Health Updates
Last Friday, March 6th I had the honor of speaking at the National Association of Social Workers – Texas Advocacy Day at the state capitol. In addition to this event the capital was hosting numerous school groups and as I was walking back to my car at the conclusion of the event, I heard a group of students playing “corona” tag. “Tag, you have corona.” A little more than a week later and minimizing the “tag” of the virus has become a top priority across the country. Like many of you, we’ve been keeping close tabs on the Coronavirus (COVID-19).
Yesterday, March 13th, Governor Abbott declared a statewide emergency here in Texas and committed to increasing resources to address the virus, including increased testing. All of which is desperately needed as we cannot know the true impact without sufficient testing.
As a social worker I have spent most of my career in prevention and have always strived to promote practices that strengthen our collective public health. Following CDC recommendations our campaign, like most others, has suspended all campaign events and would like to encourage you to also practice social distancing.
Social distancing is a public health approach to disease prevention. The goal of social distancing is to slow and reduce the rate of transition and the influx of people on our healthcare system so that the system is able to address the needs of higher risk patients more rapidly. If the disease spreads too quickly the system will become overwhelmed, and outcomes will be made worse by lack of capacity.
The following article is helpful in understanding this public health practice: https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/3/12/21172040/coronavirus-covid-19-virus-charts
So, let’s make a promise to one another that we will limit our non-essential public interactions, and should we see each other out in the community we will wave instead of shaking hands. This may sound over the top but failing to do so and thinking, “well I’m not very high risk,” can have major implications for general public health. It is important that we act to preserve the health of everyone in our community.
Please continue to take care of yourselves. Wash your hands often, cover your coughs and sneezes, and clean and disinfect regularly.
The following are additional resources that you may also find helpful: