National crises are times to come together as a people, even when the nature of the disease demands we remain apart physically. While the coronavirus continues to spread in the US and globally, it’s critical that we work together as a nation to prepare and respond to this public health threat. In this case, protecting yourself can also play an important role in protecting your neighbors, your community, and the nation as a whole.
First and foremost, panic, blame, and partisanship will not protect a single person from the virus. Calm, well-informed, and responsible behavior will. Proper hygiene and sensible precautions can drastically reduce your chances of contracting the virus, thereby reducing the risk that you could aid in its spread.
Wash your hands, cover your nose and mouth when coughing or sneezing and refrain from touching your face as much as possible.
Should you come down with the illness, or come into contact with another person who has, your actions can be instrumental in minimizing it’s spread to help protect other, potentially more vulnerable citizens.
If you develop symptoms, seek medical attention and isolate yourself as much as possible. Be your own advocate, but listen to doctors and follow their instructions. Self quarantine can reduce the risk to your community and minimize the burden on the healthcare system, allowing better care for those who do get sick.
And don’t forget, misinformation can go viral just like any disease, so don’t help spread it. Make sure you keep up to date, and only trust and share authoritative sources like the Centers for Disease Control.
Lastly, Americans are at our best when we look out for each other. Check in on your neighbors. Help the sick as best as you can without putting yourself at risk. Don’t hoard needed supplies like protective masks and disinfectants. That’s how we can work together, even if we can’t be in the same room.
We can’t prevent every crisis or natural disaster. But we prove our mettle as a people in how we respond to them. When we’re united, we’re best able as a nation to weather any storm.