March 16, 2020

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – “For the Children” Weekly Column

Contact: Joe Dorman, CEO – Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy

Telephone: (405) 833-1117

Email: jdorman@oica.org

 

For the Children: A Weekly Column by Joe Dorman, CEO – OICA

 

The World Changed Last Wednesday Night with Potentially Devastating Effects on OICA, Nonprofits

In a matter of hours, the world in which we live changed last week, and that change started right here in Oklahoma.

As the NBA’s Utah Jazz was preparing to play the Oklahoma City Thunder in Chesapeake Energy Arena, one of the Jazz players tested positive for the coronavirus, also known as COVID-19. Within hours of that diagnosis, every major sporting and mass-gathering event was cancelled or postponed.

This shows we should take the warnings about COVID-19 seriously. It does not mean we should panic. Still, the precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control are a prudent pathway to reduce the transmission of the disease, preventing it from becoming as deadly as the 1918 Flu Pandemic.

Health Concerns with COVID-19

So, let’s be clear: this is no hoax. The risk is real and life-threatening. An emergency physician at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas took to Facebook to illustrate the dangers.

Dr. Cara Norvell noted that hospitals already have been running at capacity because of the seasonal flu; there simply is not enough capacity for a massive outbreak of any illness, much less COVID-19 which has the potential to spread exponentially. She noted other countries are essentially shutting down because people are dying from the disease.

For a disease with such potentially dire consequences, the way to stop it in its tracks really is quite simple. Her advice: don’t panic, stay at home, stop buying all the toilet paper, don’t stockpile water as public water supplies are not contaminated, and don’t go the emergency room “because you wanted to be checked out” when you are not actually sick. That, she noted, could really expose you to the virus and would take health care workers away from those who are sick.

Remaining a Voice for Oklahoma’s Children!

The need for child advocacy and support for children has not ended with business and school closures. OICA has adjusted to do more than just advocacy work at the Oklahoma State Capitol due to tremendous amounts of misinformation spreading even worse than COVID-19.

While we face this as a state and a nation, OICA is dedicated to sharing the facts needed to best help Oklahoma families from state health agencies and our national partnership alerts. We will also promote responsible health policies through congressional advocacy work.

You can sign up at oica.org to receive our alerts, and you can follow our social media accounts to receive daily information from trusted, reliable sources. Together, we all have tremendous power to help avoid even worse from this virus. We have to be smart, take prudent precautions…and wash our hands.

The Impact on OICA, Nonprofits

I also have to note how these prudent steps are going to impact OICA. We already have cancelled two scheduled fundraisers to prevent people from gathering in large groups. Losing these fundraisers is nothing less than a financial catastrophe for OICA, but we feel there is no other choice.

OICA is not the only nonprofit facing this challenge; every nonprofit organization making a difference in our communities is also at risk. Please consider supporting a nonprofit during this dire time, and if so inclined, visit oica.org to learn how to help us.

This week’s child statistic is sponsored by Danny and Carey Head: In 32 out of Oklahoma’s 77 counties, there are “food deserts,” areas where at least 25% of the population is 10 miles or more from a supermarket or supercenter.

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