Avaya StaffSeptember 24, 2020

It’s Up to Us to Contain the Spread of COVID-19 - Here’s How

This guest blog was written by Zeus Kerravala, founder and principal analyst with ZK Research.

It can be argued that government mandates alone can’t stop the spread of COVID-19. Country leaders can put rules in place, but those guidelines will be ineffective if not followed by the public. Whatever a person’s beliefs are about the pandemic, the reality is that the greatest likelihood of recovery is through personal responsibility. People’s jobs, kids’ education, leisure travel and life as we know it depend on a return to “normal.” That means ensuring stability. It means acting for the greater good. It means doing our individual part. You. Me. All of us. No one is above this or exempt.

Consider if each person infected, knowingly or not, infected just one other person. On day one, one person is infected. On day two, that person infects one other person - so now two people are infected. Within two weeks, thousands are infected. Within a month, one million. COVID-19 spreads much faster than this. Increase the number to 2 or 3 and instead of one million, it’s 10 million. Here’s what each of us should be doing right now to contain the spread of COVID-19 (if not already):

Do Your Research - Seriously 

There is certainly no shortage of information available through news medias and government agencies. In fact, there is so much data out there that it’s easy to get confused with regards to the impact of COVID-19, the rules of how to act, and what to do if you test positive. Those who hear conflicting messages may bypass research altogether and resort to extremes or look to each other for cues on what is safe and dangerous (like when the public began panic buying toilet paper). Do your research. Take the time, no matter how grueling. Seeing the full picture is more important than the convenience of an incomplete or misguided view.

Cooperate with Contact Tracers Working to Proactively Advise Symptoms and Act Quickly to Contain 

Every person needs to be conscious that everyone they interact with could be a potential carrier, and should take relevant action to protect themselves and others they associate with. This is where contact tracing comes into play. The process involves reaching out to notify a close contact of exposure in order to provide health, education, and guidance to interrupt ongoing disease transmission. The CDC urges citizens to take contact tracing calls from their public health department to obtain information and help in any other way needed.  It’s important that everyone do their part to reduce the number of positive cases, and compliance with contact tracing is a big part of that.

Have Faith in Governing Processes 

Public trust in government is waning, which is concerning considering that studies have found people with lower trust in government take fewer safety measures for their health. Consider contact tracing. With no federal coordinated response, state health departments are taking a variety of approaches to implementing and managing contact tracing - which can create confusion or conflicting messages. Some strategies are being led strictly at a state level, while others by local health agencies to ramp up and continue efforts. Again, do your research. Look into your state of residence to understand what’s going on and try to have some level of trust in current processes. Falling trust makes it harder to solve the problem.

Don’t Get Tired of Doing What is Right 

We’re all tired of having to wear masks, maintain social distancing, and participate in processes we may or may not agree with. But we have to keep pushing - especially for those in the U.S., which has become the most recent epicenter of the pandemic. In a recent conversation, Chris Luxford, from The ASPIRE! Group, spoke on what’s happening on the frontlines at contact tracing facilities:

“I’ve been talking to a number of contact tracers and they’re finding that the level of resistance is going up. People used to be taking calls, but now there’s mental COVID fatigue. ‘Why are you bothering calling me?’ they’ll ask. They’ve been in lockdown for months and they’re simply tired of it. We’re seeing increasing levels of resistance to contact tracing for a number of reasons, yet workers in these facilities are pulling in 16-hour days. They’re working their butts off and doing an amazing job. They’re here to help us. We have a responsibility as citizens to cooperate and stay engaged.”

We’re all equally liable to the basic responsibilities of respect, cooperation, and participation, especially when it comes to protecting the most vulnerable members of society. You can read Avaya’s latest white paper for more information on contact tracing, which contains insights and best practices from experts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the National Academy for State Health Policy (NASHP), United States of Care and more.