Please Keep Safe From COVID-19
BY JACK LEVINE
We are all shocked by the rapid and relentless spread of the COVID-19 virus. Reports of its insidious impact on our health providers, businesses, education systems, and of course family life, are sobering…and it appears that the worst is yet to come.
Yes, there is a surge of optimism that intense research and testing will soon provide vaccines for distribution, but when, how, and to whom vaccine will be available is yet to be decided. When the vaccines become available, please join me and my family in agreeing to be vaccinated.
As your friend and advocate, please resolve to follow the lead of qualified public health professionals who implore us to practice safety in all ways possible. Holiday gatherings present a frightening risk for infection spread, so please show them the respect and devotion we have for family and friends by celebrating remotely. The COVID-19 virus is our treacherous enemy…and technology is a tool that can be utilized to keep us healthy.
As a father and doting grandfather of two healthy granddaughters, I hope you sense my heartfelt concern for community health and safety. If just one of my valued advocacy network members takes this message to heart, I would feel satisfied that my communication is making a difference!
The Power of Prevention: An Advocate’s Plea for Action
Without a doubt, prevention is the best medicine and not just for COVID-19.
In both personal behavior and public policy priorities, keeping bad things from happening is not only wise, but it’s also potentially life-saving.
For more than 40 years, it has been my honor to advocate for tried and true policies, programs and practices for children that reduce risk and enhance success.
In so many ways, our children’s health and well-being depend on us doing our best to avoid problems before they suffer negative results. From the earliest stages of life, access to prenatal care enhances the likelihood of a healthy birth. The research is clear and convincing…access to early health care in pregnancy minimizes newborn distress and reduces infant mortality.
We have learned so much about early brain development and the importance of providing positive sensory experiences to enhance emotional well-being and pave the way for educational success. Babies are smart in so many ways. When they receive the attention they crave, are fed and properly cared for, they learn that they are safe and secure. When they are ignored, neglected, or suffer violence, they perceive their world to be an unsafe and frightening place.
Innovative neurological research tells us that the majority of brain growth and development occurs years before kindergarten. Realizing that our homes are our first school rooms recognizes the vital importance of the early years. That is why timely education and support services for new parents and affordable high-quality early learning opportunities in the community are so essential for our children’s educational futures.
I doubt that anyone would dismiss these realities as unimportant, but it’s up to all of us as individuals, family members, neighbors, and citizens to do all we can to create opportunities for our youngest to survive, thrive, and succeed.
When it comes to children, it’s not whether we pay; it’s when. Investing in success is far better than paying the high costs of failure. Not only does an ounce of prevention avoid a pound of cure…it far outweighs a ton of punishment.
My experience tells me that a “whole child, whole family and whole community” approach to assuring those prudent investments in quality care should be made when they produce the best chance for social dividends to accrue.
As we approach the final weeks of 2020, a year which will surely be judged as one which challenged all of us to be alert to the dangers we face by ignoring good advice, let’s resolve to be strong advocates for building a bridge that connects what we know with what we do to assure a brighter future….for our children and the broader society.
While I consider myself an optimist by nature, it’s clear to me that the good things we hope for don’t just happen. We have such great opportunities to act as responsible parents, grandparents, and community leaders to become ardent and assertive advocates for progress.
Let’s resolve to make 2021 a year when we leverage the best knowledge to create better futures for our loved ones at home and for the many others whose names we don’t know, but in many ways affect us and our economy.
When all is said, most important is what gets done. Please join me in supporting advocacy organizations, family service agencies, and thoughtful policy leaders who make the power of prevention their priority.
FEATURED IMAGE: COVID-19 A nursing-home resident, left, speaks with her visiting daughter through a plastic screen in Castelfranco Veneto, Italy, on November 11. The plastic screen is part of a “Hug Room” that allows residents and their families to embrace each other during the coronavirus pandemic. Piero Cruciatti/AFP/Getty Images
ABOUT THE AUTHOR – JACK LEVINE
Jack Levine, the founder of the 4Generations Institute, is a Tallahassee-based family policy advocate. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Advocate’s Credo:
Thou art my child, my parent, and my elder,
I love thee best,
But could not love thee half as much,
Loved I not all the rest.
Jack Levine, founder of the 4Generations Institute, is a family policy advocate based in Tallahassee. He may be reached at email@example.com.