Regarding “COVID-19 funding: Where the money goes,” we must not forget that a critical part of our efforts to reduce the impact of contagious viruses during an epidemic includes engaging vulnerable populations and reaching out to marginalized groups.
This especially means sharing information and resources with service providers in our communities including homeless shelters, food banks, community centers, and the dedicated people reaching out to folks living on the street.
These organizations operate on thin budgets and are in immediate need of the basics like soap, disinfectants, as well as guidance on how to access healthcare when people do become ill.
Partnering during public health emergencies is critically important and time-sensitive. It will require more of us to step up and offer assistance wherever we can.
Viruses don’t discriminate. We can’t hope to curtail the spread or reduce illness unless everyone in our communities has information about and the basic resources for prevention. I don’t know when the funds discussed in news coverage will trickle down to help these folks. I do know they need help immediately.
For now, while the coronavirus continues to spread, please consider donating supplies or funds to your local shelters, food banks and community organizations for the many people in need.
Dr. Rhonda Medows
Population health management