The messaging about COVID19 was not reaching my school community and I was growing more and more concerned. There were first-hand reports of birthday celebrations, group gatherings, and a seeming lack of understanding of the impact of COVID19.
Our families were not grasping the urgency of the message to stay home. There was a flood of information, most not in their first language, and it overwhelmed everyone. The families were listening to familiar sources that were touting home remedies and minimizing the need for physical distancing. This created a slew of COVID19 myths that included drinking vinegar to stay well and that coronavirus was nothing more than the flu or a cold.
Candida Rodriguez is a Family Worker at Mi Casita Day Care Center, and one of my most treasured community partners. Candida shared her astute observations with me and together we brainstormed solutions to reach our school community.
For the past 5 years, we have been building relationships with the Pediatricians and health care professionals in our Camden community. We have held Community Cafes since 2016 to build bridges between parents, health care providers and school. Just this past January, we held a Community Cafe and invited Dr. Christine Sheehan, Assistant Director of Pediatrics for CAMcare Health Corporation, a Federally Qualified Health Care Center to speak to our parents.
Candida and I decided that our parents may respond positively to hearing clear messaging about COVID19 from a trusted and credible source, a Pediatrician from the community. After all, health happens in the community, so we reached out to Dr. Sheehan and asked if she would join us in creating a public service announcement (PSA). Candida provided the expert translation services for our PSA and I asked the questions that Candida and I sourced together. We also included a discussion on “Myth Busters” to clarify misinformation that was flowing through the community.
We taped our PSA on Friday, and this is the result. I am pleased to announce it will also be posted on my school district’s website.