“Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.”
That famous Fred Rogers quote has become a frequent refrain when the news sounds dire and bad situations seem unavoidable. It provides solace for kids and adults alike and in the time of the coronavirus, we all need a little comforting. But we can all do a little helping, too.
We all have to recognize our ability to be those helpers that our kids can look to. Preventing the spread of any illness requires every one of us to step up and do our part. With the growing threat of the coronavirus, that is truer now than ever before.
I have been so glad to see our communities come together across this country to help each other stay healthy. The NBA, NCAA, WIAA, and others choosing to cancel events is not the bad news that it appears to be. These cancellation decisions are actually extraordinary examples of stepping up to help. They are examples of exactly the leadership that is needed to show all of us how to be helpers.
Wisconsin’s public health officials are working around the clock to monitor new cases, expand our testing capacity, and develop the most up-to-date guidance for our local governments and healthcare providers. We all know that we need to be washing our hands and not touching our faces, but we also need to start practicing “social distancing.”
I will not be hosting nor attending large gatherings in the near future- and I recommend that you do the same. Even if you do not feel that your own health is at risk, our neighbors and loved ones with chronic illnesses or over the age of 60 could be at risk if they are exposed to anybody carrying the virus. If we do our part to help prevent the likelihood that we become carriers, we will be supporting all the other helpers too.
Our healthcare providers, EMS, law enforcement officers, and public health officials have no choice but to continue to expose themselves to keep the rest of us safe. So by doing our part to limit the load they have to carry, we can keep them safe too.
Don’t buy surgical masks and gloves that nurses need do their jobs. If you are otherwise healthy, don’t hoard alcohol swabs and wipes that people with chronic illnesses may rely on. Avoid burdening the healthcare system by staying out of crowded public places to prevent the spread.
We all can be the helpers Wisconsin needs right now. You can find the most updated information on the outbreak by visiting www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/outbreaks/index.htm.