Uniquely Weakley: Coronavirus Prevention Starts Here, Now
By Erica Miller Moore
Communications Director, Weakley County Government
Information surrounding the Coronavirus is endless and constantly changing. We all are bombarded with recommendations, suggestions, and questions, but no real guidance exists on implementation. No consideration exists as to whether recommendations could work in our unique communities. We are all living in confusing days filled with confirmed case counts, charts and numbers, statistics, executive orders, and isolation. That said, a few things remain consistently clear. As the case count in our county and surrounding area increases, we must plan diligently. This Uniquely Weakley is dedicated to providing a localized strategy of protection from Coronavirus for every household and business in the coming weeks and months. The ideas we are suggesting are designed to shift the concentration from thinking about the virus as a global pandemic and instead focuses on personal and collective accountability to prevent the transmission of the virus. As the Governor and President make plans to reopen the economy in the early part of May, Weakley County must come together in a collective way to protect our families and neighbors.
First, understand this: The case count is increasing everywhere around the region, state, and nation. The case count is increasing because individuals are not following prevention measures outlined and suggested by the Center for the Prevention of Disease Control [CDC] and health and public safety organizations. Due to privacy and confidentiality laws, the Tennessee Department of Health will not release any personal information about a confirmed case, including name, gender, age, address, or town; the one and only thing the TDH releases is the number of confirmed cases in Weakley County. For best practices on how to prevent an increase in case count, keep reading.
Establish a home plan, or a unified operations plan for your household. As our own confirmed case count increases, the likelihood of exposure to the virus will also increase. Only leave home when necessary, such as for household food and supplies, or for work. When away from home, utilize safety measures such as masks, gloves, handwashing, physical distancing, and hand sanitizer whenever necessary. Stay away from persons who do not live in your household whenever possible. Avoid group settings. Remember that all family members must adhere to the home plan or virus transmission prevention isn’t possible. Households must adhere to their plan once established.
If individuals can work from home, they should work from home; however, that’s not possible for many of us. Establishing a work plan is crucial. Employees should go directly from home to the workplace, and directly back home afterward whenever possible. Employers – you have a responsibility to protect your employees and practice all CDC Coronavirus prevention methods. If you cannot work from home, start considering colleagues and co-workers as your “family work unit.” Apart from your household, we typically spend the majority of our time with these individuals. Employers and employees must come together to brainstorm and create a customized plan to protect the work unit both inside and outside of work hours. In protecting yourself, you are protecting your co-workers and their families – and vice versa. Find a Work-Home Plan diagram on our website: weakleycountytn.gov/covid19.html.
Understand the aim of “flattening our curve” in Weakley County. We must start focusing on our own responsibilities in every city – Dresden, Martin, Sharon, Greenfield, and Gleason – and in every rural community in Weakley County to prevent virus exposure and transmission. If each person in every city and county across the state and nation would take personal accountability in this way, the virus would not have the ability to spread. Many lives would be saved. Let’s work together to keep Weakley County’s case count as low as possible – this starts with each one of us.
Take the Weakley County Coronavirus Prevention Pledge, which is an oath taken by Weakley Countians who officially promise and publicly declare to do their part by adhering to actions that will slow or halt the spread of Coronavirus and protect our community. Those who adhere to this pledge will ultimately #FlattenOurCurveinWeakleyCounty. Print and sign the pledge, or sign it electronically, on our county website: weakleycountytn.gov/covid19.html.
Utilize your resources. The Weakley County Mayor’s Office has created a Weakley County Services Resource Guide, which is a comprehensive list of services and resources that currently exist to assist people in need in Weakley County. Find the guide at our website, weakleycountytn.gov/covid19.html, or call us at (731) 364-5413 and we will make a hard copy available to you. If you need help, or if someone you know needs help, a volunteer group called the Weakley County Volunteer Task Force is in place to help citizens countywide. The Weakley County Young Professionals group has coordinated the group and has mobilized volunteers across the county. This group serves as a central hub for all volunteer needs across Weakley County during this time of crisis, and they can be reached by Facebook or by calling (731) 681-3011. Visit our website for more information: weakleycountytn.gov/covid19.html.
It starts here. When a house burns on your street, or when a neighbor is diagnosed with cancer, who shows up? When tragedy strikes, who is at your side to help? People you know; people who care. We depend on friends, family, neighbors, and community members – not the federal government or the Governor. Coronavirus prevention is no exception: we must count on each other and protect each other as we always have. Take personal responsibility for yourself, your family unit and work unit, and we will get through this as a community that is stronger than ever.
This is a difficult time for everyone, but you are not alone. If you need help, please reach out to us at (731) 364-5413. Stay safe.