Let’s End COVID!: Protecting Personal and Public Health | letter to editor

Submitted on January 17, 2023

Prioritizing personal health is important but easily neglected. Even when we don’t admit it, we know that we often make decisions regarding our health. Our actions like activity, diet and sleep have a direct impact on our body. However, despite this understanding, we often overlook the importance of habitual daily behaviors.

One of the biggest problems these days is ignorance about COVID-19 safety measures. Covid-19 sits as an afterthought in the past. Rapid advances in medical technology and vaccines are disregarded, and the pandemic has been polarized and politicized by false narratives and challenging media. Therefore it is necessary to keep throwing light on its lasting impact and effects.

There are many false claims regarding vaccination and the pandemic, which are incredibly harmful to public safety. Spreading misinformation is one of the fastest ways to stop someone from protecting themselves and others. Thus, it is incredibly important that when you hear of someone doing this, you inform them of the data that supports the efficacy and safety of vaccines and help them accept that they are wrong. Information is dangerous.

Vaccines teach your immune system to make antibodies that in turn will protect you from disease. All vaccines undergo rigorous testing before being approved by medical professionals and are routinely tested after they are introduced to the public.

Taking care of yourself helps develop the transferable ability to take care of others as well. Making time to exercise, eating well and getting enough sleep are all decisions that impact our personal health. Because we make the time, these decisions become a part of our lives. Regular effort is essential if we want our schedule to be effectively planned which includes exercise, food preparation and sleep. Similarly we have the power to influence public health through our decisions.

The science of maintaining and enhancing the health of individuals and their communities is known as public health. This work is accomplished by advocating healthy lifestyles, investigating disease and injury prevention, and identifying, preventing, and treating infectious and chronic diseases. The overall goal of public health is to protect and promote the health of all populations.

Practicing good hand hygiene, consistently and correctly wearing a high-quality mask, increasing ventilation and staying away from sick or COVID-positive individuals can help transform our efforts for personal health into efforts for public health . However, the best thing you can do for the benefit of personal and public health is to get vaccinated. Your entire community benefits from getting vaccinated. When a sufficient number of people are vaccinated, it is harder for the disease to spread to people who may not have the vaccines.

There will always be those who condemn vaccines and pandemics. These people have been assured that no one is harmed by their actions. Yet because you do not understand or see the issues directly, you have no right to put others at risk. Essentially ignoring mandates or necessary precautions, often believing they are a “nuisance,” create barriers to public health initiatives. There should not only be a level of reason when taking precautionary measures, but also a level of compassion for the people they encounter.

Making a powerful impact requires introspection. Taking care of yourself is essential while striving to take care of others. If you are taking active steps to protect yourself from COVID-19, you are in turn taking active steps to help others. It’s easy to assume that one can’t change the common good, but even when few people share the same desire for protection, your decision to get vaccinated has an impact beyond measure.

Ultimately, I urge anyone who feels they don’t matter to acknowledge what they’re going through for themselves and see how it might affect others. Unbeknownst to most people, when you acknowledge the public health impact of the pandemic (we now have the highest number of COVID-19 hospitalizations since last March), you are making a difference. Start small and move on. Change doesn’t come overnight, but advocacy will save lives.

Eleanor N. Macdonald is a sophomore at Williamsport High School and a member of the Let’s end COVID! Lycoming County is currently at the Moderate COVID-19 community level. At this stage the CDC recommends wearing a mask at any time for added protection.


The views, beliefs and viewpoints expressed in this letter to the editor do not necessarily reflect the views, beliefs and opinions of the Editor. NorthCentralPa.com,

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