Practice social distancing: Ounce of prevention now is a pound of cure tomorrow

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You may have noticed that every council member aside from the mayor attended the March 24 council meeting via conference call. We did this to emphasize the importance of social distancing.

With the current status and uncertainty in identifying who could be a carrier of the coronavirus, it is important we all get the message across now to demonstrate responsible physical distance from one another to contain the spread of COVID-19.

Peoria continues to and is committed to serving and providing our residents and business owners with up to date information and assistance on our website Peoriaaz.gov.

Our mayor has been instrumental in leading the way with important videos to keep our city informed. Our council members are staying engaged with their districts and community. Our employees are working hard to keep our city safe while providing essential services. They have taken and given extraordinary care and thought while doing their part, to provide Peoria’s needs in these unprecedented times.

I do believe strongly that social interaction is very important. I have had to make personal adjustments to ensure I am still in touch with those I serve in a positive manner.

I cannot deny that life has changed and working from home is not without its challenges. Humanity still needs interaction. My message to my community is: I care and we are in this together. Although I am not physically present I am with them and interact with them on a daily basis using social media. I accomplish this by posting helpful information which includes but is not limited to the following:

  • Personal hygiene
  • Businesses that are open and the services they are able to provide
  • Help and information to obtain medical attention
  • Where and how to find limited food and items
  • Provide “how to” information for making distilled water, masks, hand sanitizer or gardening tips.
  • Provide information for education such as “how to” videos and free in-home services and classes such as:
  1. Khan Academy - Khanacademy.org
  2. Coursera classes offered by Yale - coursera.org
  3. Virtual field trips - Freedomhomeschooling.com
  4. On demand urgent care - dispatchhealth.com
  5. Nonprofit Hart Pantry supplying food for at risk teens Hartpantry.org

Staying connected for me right now is checking in daily and spending long hours sharing posts such as a pertinent information, a beautiful picture, a shout-out and recognition for those on the front lines keeping us safe, sharing an interactive game for those who like to engage, personal messages to those I interact with letting them know they are not alone and I’m thinking about them.

It is important to interact and stay connected, to temper fear with reason, panic and uncertainty with education. We have an opportunity to learn so much through this and together we seek the truth and facts. I believe it is so important to listen and use our own discernment when confronted by speculation, conjecture and differing perspectives. Balance is important right now more than ever and I am grateful to participate, listen and communicate with my community with virtual social interaction while practicing physical distancing. I hate to see people suffering, but have realized today how much I love and miss people far beyond the current social isolation. After this is over, maybe we will become better than we have been, as we once again be able to physically interact with one another. This pandemic will pass and the ounce of prevention we practice now, will be the pound of cure we need to move forward.

Editor’s note: Denette Dunn is the council member for the Pine District in Peoria.

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