Use common sense to prevent COVID-19 spread, and prepare your body, mind to catch it
Recently, Kewaunee County surpassed 1,000 positive tests for the COVID-19 virus since it began making its way through our community. While it is difficult to predict what this number would look like had we not taken any action or, to the contrary, what it would look like if we all remained locked in our homes, this is our current reality.
I want to commend county Department of Public Health Director Cindy Kinnard and her staff for the continued vigilance in not only their efforts regarding contact tracing but also in maintaining a consistent message of common sense precautions.
In support of the work that they do, I wanted to provide some information on what we can do as a community to make their efforts not only more efficient but also more effective.
The first is a familiar message that we have heard many times, but deserves repeating — Please use common sense and create distance when possible.
When creating distance is not possible, please utilize masks.
Also, please remain vigilant about those time-tested practices which limit the spread of any virus, and that is simple hygiene. Every one of us can recall our parents' constant reminders to wash our hands before eating, or washing our hands when we came in from playing outside. This was not because they were afraid or paranoid but rather because they understood then what we should understand now, which is that proper hygiene is critical to good health.
An even more important contribution we can make to the safety of our community is that when contacted by Public Health staff in regard to contact tracing, please respond to their requests and provide the necessary information they need to properly document and implement follow-up strategies to minimize the spread of this virus.
None of us are too good or too busy to be affected by this virus. It is up to each and every one of us to look beyond our own needs or sense of convenience and do what is right.
This brings me to my personal message to each and every member of our community — Prepare Yourself.
Regardless of our best efforts and strict adherence to guidelines meant to minimize the potential for exposure, this is a virus, and by its nature it spreads.
The question is not IF it will find you or WHEN it will find you, but rather HOW it will find you. Will it find you well-nourished and rested, or will it find your body exhausted and your immune system vulnerable due to poor diet and lack of exercise? Will it find you optimistic and resilient, or will it find your mind wrought with anxiety and fear, thus compromising your immune system?
The answers to these questions are just as important as any of the precautionary actions we take in our daily lives. There will be a time where we will move past this current virus and need to live healthy and productive lives knowing that viruses have always and will always live among us. It is up to each of us as individuals on how well our bodies resist or adapt based on our own personal behavior and choices.
I do not make these statements lightly nor do I mean to seem heartless, but I do not feel there is leadership in spreading fear or anxiety, nor in creating a false sense of security relying on temporary restrictions or modification of behavior to sustain the long-term health of any community.
There is leadership is advocating responsible and logical behavior that considers not just our own individual needs but actions and decisions that demonstrate our compassion and care for each other. Our actions during this time have a great impact on not only our own resilience, but more importantly that of our children based on the courage, persistence and patience we exhibit to those around us.
For those who know me, one of my signature features is that of a smile. I have been known to smile through great adversity throughout my life, which makes wearing that mask both a challenge and an opportunity: a challenge that this current virus will not change my optimistic perspective, and an opportunity to smile through the mask by encouraging and positive words to everyone I meet. Let’s all show our smile in what we do and how we treat each other.
Matt Joski is Kewaunee County Sheriff.
This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Use common sense to prevent COVID-19 spread, and prepare your body, mind to catch it