I am thanking my stars that I live in a state that is in partnership with the leading scientists on pandemics at UNMC. I’ve been seeing people like the head of Nebraska Education really step up and show they can handle the pressure and give leadership to the public in a confusing time.
I am very concerned about what I’ve seen from some Nebraska leaders on social media. I’ve seen a city councilman shame people for stocking up. I’ve seen a senator shame others in leadership for shutting down basketball. I’ve seen a mayor offer no help to a constituent reporting they are unable to get testing for a family elder. I’ve seen the governor joke that he’d rather keep his son at college than have him home in a crisis.
It’s time to show leadership to the public. If you are an elected official, I urge you to use your position for the greater good. Not only can you ensure that all levels of government are leading with science experts, but you can advocate for working people, the vulnerable, and the poor. What can you do to soften the financial blow to families as everything shuts down? What can you do to support women who will shoulder most of the caretaking and the majority of household duties? What can you do to ensure that the cost us care doesn’t bankrupt families across the state? How can you support the non profit sector doing more than their share due to decades of tax cuts? You have power and influence and now is the time to flex that power for the greater good.
It’s time to show that in Nebraska, we come together in tough times. It’s time to show that while the president is lying, misleading, and doing real harm, in Nebraska we don’t stand for it from ourselves and our representation.
- Stay on message and give us accurate information every single press release, social media post, and tweet.
- Link back to the CDC and UNMC every single post. Also refer back to your source so we can verify what you’ve said.
- Hold yourself accountable to finding out the plan and advocating for the vulnerable in your districts; the poor, incarcerated, elderly, and sick. Do whatever you can to ensure the vulnerable are protected.
- Hold your colleagues accountable and help them do better to advocate for the people they represent. We’re all in this together.
This is a time we expect you to show your best self and rise to the duty of elected office. The public doesn’t get the access to information or time to process the information like you do. This is a moment in history that you must do better than you ever have before. We’re all counting on you.
Resources For the Public:
- The state has a Department of Health Here – http://dhhs.ne.gov/Pages/Coronavirus.aspx
- For more local information, every county or region of the state has a health department director and website. Find yours here – http://dhhs.ne.gov/CHPM%20Documents/contacts.pdf
Clean Your Hands Often
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid Close Contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick
- Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Stay Home if You’re Sick, Except to Get Medical Care
- Have 2 weeks of food, medicine, and water on hand so you can really stay home..
Cover coughs and sneezes
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Wear a facemask if you are sick
- If you are sick: You should wear a facemask when you are around other people (e.g., sharing a room or vehicle) and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room. Learn what to do if you are sick.
- If you are NOT sick: You do not need to wear a facemask unless you are caring for someone who is sick (and they are not able to wear a facemask). Facemasks may be in short supply and they should be saved for caregivers.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them: Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.