Our world as we know it has become nearly unrecognizable with the spread of COVID-19 in many countries and in all 50 of our United States
But while restaurants and stores are closing, businesses encourage work from home and schools are transitioning to online instruction, there are many things we can do to help one another.
First, we can remember that we are “the home of the brave” — a nation that has withstood many difficult challenges but has always come through as we unite. This is a unique challenge, a battle that is not being fought against a visible enemy or a vicious tyrant but against a highly contagious virus that is proving not to discriminate against its victims, striking young and old. But there are proven actions we can take to slow the spread so that less people are affected, and we can ultimately return to our normal lives.
Please heed the instructions of the Center for Disease Control as well as the guidelines provided by local leaders. It is proven that this virus easily spreads even from those not experiencing symptoms. So, we will forego handshakes, keep our distance, not congregate for meetings and only go out when necessary.
Our governor is asking our faith-based community to provide online services since several outbreaks can be traced back to services and funerals. But we can still be supportive by checking on each other, perhaps returning to the days of phone conversations, make sure our elderly friends have food and other necessities, and be as positive as possible, even during many unknown factors.
I was at the capitol last week for a vote required by the Constitution to give the governor emergency powers to deal with this public health emergency. Later, we learned we were all exposed to the disease from a colleague.
Following advice from the CDC, I have self-quarantined to protect my family and friends until I am certain that I have not been infected as well.
Yes, this disease knows no bounds for interrupting lives but we do not have to live in fear. Instead, we can be reassured there are some factors we can control — essentially doing the things required to help aid prevention. These are selfless, often inconvenient acts, and I’m asking for your help to do so for the protection of yourself as well as others in our beloved community.
For those who know someone who has been affected by the virus, my heart is with you. It’s times like this that I am grateful for our supportive community, known for its kindness and generosity. If you know of someone who is concerned for a loved one suffering from this disease, I know you will find a way to express your friendship.
For current information, please check reliable sources, such as the Georgia Department of Health website at www.dph.georgia.gov which is being updated each day at noon and 7 pm. With selfless regard for others, limiting our contact but never limiting our care, we will help put an end to the spread of this disease. Know that I stand with you shoulder-to-shoulder in this battle against a silent enemy.