This is a guest post from Micah Ali, of the Compton Creek (California) Mosquito Abatement District
One of the chief responsibilities of government is to educate people about the risks of exposure to—and ways to prevent the spread of—a public health crisis. I refer, specifically, to mosquito-borne illnesses such as West Nile virus and the Zika virus, potentially lethal conditions that demand a combination of civic outreach, community-based preparedness, action by individual men and women, and couples and families, as well as the engagement of schools and other institutions.
I write these words from experience because, as President of the Compton Creek Mosquito Abatement District, I know that an epidemic like the one described above—a threat that continues to spread with unprecedented speed and ferocity—requires leadership, on the one hand, and the dissemination of relevant information, on the other. I understand that, for the good of my constituents and the betterment of all citizens throughout the United States, we must make this matter a top priority.
That process begins like any other campaign to improve personal health and wellness: It operates from a foundation of intelligence and wisdom, where you must make the former intelligible so you can ensure respect for the latter; it involves patience and conversation, inviting questions about issues big and small; it includes practical steps to isolate this or that challenge; it revolves around attentiveness, from public officials, and answers, for concerned members of the public; it requires constant vigilance on behalf of achieving a consequential victory.
These rules extend to so many facets of life, because they show how they can influence the outcome of one situation and inspire positive results for a multitude of other scenarios. The emphasis, then, is where it should; where it must be—on education and in-class programs for students and teachers, which mobilize people of all ages and interests, guaranteeing that no one is unaware of—that no one is without recourse to—the solutions to avoid a crisis or stop an epidemic.
Think of these guidelines as a primer for individual safety and collective protection.
If we adopt this advice, and if we abide by these suggestions, then we will be stronger—and healthier—for many years to come.