Summer – Are we safe yet?
City life has returned with new hope and wonder. Curfews and social distancing mandates have been lifted resurrecting economic life to restaurants, gyms, and other brick and mortar. Beaches and parks are welcoming visitors, and pools are offering relief from the summer heat. For a moment, we see the end of isolation, the end of fear and loss, the end of COVID-19. That was until this weeks’ jarring influx of new coronavirus cases and deaths in states like Arizona, Florida, Texas, and California.
What should have been a turn in the improvement of this nation’s health, has turned into a begrudged “I told you so” from expert health officials towards states that have not placed directed importance on wearing masks and following CDC guidelines. Regardless of government mandates, the world’s population has a personal responsibility in controlling the spread -every mask counts. Unfortunately, we continue to have staggering numbers of statistically ignorant anti-masker individuals protesting in honor of their personal freedoms. All bias aside, it’s understandable and possibly unfair to place a collective group of anti-maskers under the veil of ignorance when it was our own Surgeon General, Jerome Adams who tweeted on Feb. 29, “Seriously people -STOP BUYING MASKS!” Although this was meant to address the lack of N95 masks needed in the medical field, the tweet was not clear. It wasn’t until the first week in April when the Trump administration stated that all Americans should wear masks in public places where it is hard to socially distance, like grocery stores.
Morale matters most
Let’s be honest, were we glued to every news headline in April that we were in February and March? Or did we feel as if we already understood the precaution measures that the CDC recommended to help prevent the spread of the illness and maybe, just maybe watching the news was hurting morale more than the reality of acquiring the virus. The Pew Research Center surveyed 10,139 U.S. adults during April 20th-26th and found that “about seven-in-ten U.S. adults said they needed to take breaks from COVID-19 news” and “43% said the news leaves them feeling worse emotionally.” The consequence of the negative emotions experienced from the continuous viewing of the news is the country’s downturn of morale, which may be a factor in the virus’s mortality increase.
THE SUREST PROTECTION, THE MOST EFFICACIOUS REMEDY, WAS MORAL COURAGE.
Similarly to COVID-19, the Bubonic Plague quickly spread throughout the world famously eliminating many Europeans. As Napoleon lead the invasion of Egypt, he justifiably worried the plague would destroy his army -about 30 men died every day. As a brilliant leader, it was his political gifts that played a positive role strategizing a way to boost morale and counteract his soldiers’ terror of the plague by expressing his lack of fear. Montana State University published, “Napoleon believed that fear of the plague caused it to spread even more rapidly. He is attributed as saying, ‘During the Egyptian campaign all those whose imagination was struck by fear died of it. The surest protection, the most efficacious remedy, was moral courage…’” As many Americans are experiencing a comparable fear from the surging virus, the importance of morale is at an all-time high. Rather than focus on the news’ negative emphasis on the distress of the nation, remaining optimistic is imperative. This doesn’t praise ignorance when it could cause more harm than good, rather it should entice a desperately needed focus on empathy, sympathy and courtesy.
The cure starts with you
A wise professor once said, “If you need a hug, give a hug.” To boost morale, be courteous to your neighbor or to the stranger that passes by you in the produce aisle. The value of kindness can be priceless and also quantifiably proven to be effective against this virus. Iceland eliminated nearly all virus cases due to a unified mindset that “we are in this together.” During a time of crisis, Icelanders formed a unity where the people protected each other, thus protecting themselves. The people of Iceland were not selfish in their entitlements, a reminder that their optimistic morale and courtesy to each neighbor has been the country’s cure for COVID-19. As cases continue to surge throughout the country and social distancing mandates arise, rather than fear the news, it is critical to remain courteous and unify as a country.
Guidelines and Janitorial -A broader impact
To be considerate to others and defend against COVID-19, some essential safety techniques are required: remaining 6 feet apart from peers, allowing a 10-minute dwell time with disinfectants, and wearing a face mask! Another prevention method is hiring the correct service provider such as GBAC HAZMAT certified CCS Facility Services technicians. These guidelines are vital to protect individuals and yourself from infection, but without the combined effort to follow these rules, the virus spread will endure. In a time where a medical cure is not available, kindness and courtesy through cohesive preventative actions may be the most effective remedy. So I leave you with this: be kind, be courteous, love others and be happy. It’s that simple.
TAMARA JONES, DIRECTOR OF MARKETING
Jordan coker, Co-AUTHOR