Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste
Sir Winston Churchill said “Never Let a Good Crisis Go to Waste” in talks with Stalin and Roosevelt over starting the United Nations in the mid 1940s. The talks were held at Yalta to bring some order and calm as World War II dragged on.
Today’s Crisis is COVID
Like war, this pandemic is causing needless suffering and death. The entire world knows the pain that this invisible monster possesses. The body count continues to rise. Each day the score card screams out on how we are losing to an opponent the size of a pin head. Our game plan is to frequently wash your hands, social distance and stay home when feeling ill.
Mixed Messages For Most Vulnerable People
Ironically, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention implores the public not to visit hospital emergency departments but to stay home and use telehealth to manage their illness. How will this work for the millions of vulnerable people living alone today? Most older Americans live on fixed incomes deciding between food and medication a daily worry. Now we are adding another layer of responsibility to use a smart phone or internet connected technology for telehealth when too many are lacking the funds or access to make this a reality.
Older Americans month is coming to an end just days. We need to take bold action now.
1. Incentivize community-based organizations that serve seniors to update their client database and do outreach calls.
2. Survey all seniors and other vulnerable people living in our communities to check who has internet and/or smart technologies.
3. Educate all people on how/why to use telehealth visits through an extensive public service campaign.
4. Engage phone and internet companies to sponsor service and equipment for seniors who are now socially isolated and fearful for their safety.
5. Invite school districts create access for student now learning at home receive tutoring from seniors or invite our aging community members to become web meeting guest speakers for pertinent lessons.
6. Engage local television stations to tell the stories on how generations connect when our community comes together with public/private initiatives.
Broadband for All is Today’s United Nations
Sir Winston Churchill changed the world in the 1940s when he used the crisis of war to set up a world community namely, The United Nations. Let us follow his example and use this crisis to rebuild our local community to reach all of our citizens, especially those most vulnerable and at risk for contracting COVID. We need leaders, like Churchill, with vision of a better world to make this happen. Let those leaders be us.