Dear National Guard Association of California Members and Associates;
First, your NGAC Executive Council wishes peace and good health for all its members during this Covid-19 Pandemic. It is important to neither panic nor underestimate the gravity of our situation in these difficult times
To illustrate both the flammability of a deadly virus, as well as the life-preserving value of quarantine, I share with you the tale of two cities of the 1918 Pandemic Influenza. Per John M. Barry’s “The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History, Philadelphia’s Public Health Director Wilmer Krusen shrugged off warnings of the Spanish Flu’s infectious contagion, dismissing returning World War I soldiers’ sickness as the “old fashion flu.” The health director gave the green light to the Liberty Parade to honor the returning soldiers that drew more than 100,000 spectators. Within 72 hours, all 31 of Philadelphia’s hospitals were full and 2,600 people were dead a week after the parade.
Meanwhile, St. Luis Health Commissioner Dr. Max Starkloff imposed strict quarantines similar to those imposed on us—to include closures of schools, movie theaters, pool halls, and all public gatherings—with the outbreak of the Spanish Influenza at nearby Army barracks. The unpopular restrictions “flattened the curve” and prevented the flu epidemic from exploding overnight as it did in Philadelphia.
Barry also documents how the Spanish Influenza passed over Australia and American cities that imposed strict restrictions to contain the virus. If we all do our part, we can help ensure that our communities are among those the Covid-19 passes over. Cooperate with the authorities, watch out for your neighbors, and take care of your families. Remember, we’re in this together. Let’s unite, help flatten the Covid-19 curve, keep local hospitals empty of our veterans and their families.
Understand that social distancing of 3 to 6 feet does not equate to distancing yourself from your neighbors. A thumbs up, a smile, or a cheerful hello on daily walks is not only neighborly, but a first step in better knowing your neighbor and exchanging information that could lead to a call tree and other activities that will help unify your community.
Establish a routine at home to maintain your work discipline. Seize your opportunities for heroic virtue. Seek opportunities to apply your military camaraderie—donate to local food banks; if possible donate blood, get to know your neighbor (especially elderly members confined to homes); organize shopping co-ops where one neighbor alternates to pick up and deliver food and provisions from local retail stores for your entire block; consider assembling neighborhood telephone alert trees with frequent checks to ascertain the wellness of your neighbors; and, above all, pray. Pray for our President, our Governor, leaders of all nations, doctors, nurses, researchers, medical professionals, emergency planners, first responders and our National Guard brethren, all of whom are on the frontlines fighting to contain the virus. Pray that our medical professionals find a vaccine for this scourge, so it never becomes a threat again.
As requested by our civilian authorities, the NGAC office will be closed, but it will still function remotely for as long as necessary. Call (916) 362-3411 for your insurance needs, however, since we aren’t in the office, we will be calling members randomly for our legislative opinion survey from our homes. Knowing members’ policies for not responding to telephone numbers they don’t recognize; we will leave a message identifying ourselves and the nature of our call. Your feedback is critical for the NGAC to mount a grassroots campaign to reinstate the $1 Billion the Pentagon is proposing to withdraw from the Fiscal Year 21 National Defense Authorization Act.
COL (Retired), President
National Guard Association of California
Although there is no COVID-19 vaccination, you can vaccinate yourself with information.
Watch for symptoms:
Reported illnesses have ranged from mild symptoms to severe illness and death for confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases. The following symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure:
- Shortness of breath
- Cover a cough or sneeze in your arm instead of your hand.
- Dispose of used tissues promptly and properly.
- Wash hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds. Water temperature doesn’t matter.
- Thoroughly dry. Moist hands can breed germs. Paper towels are best for drying; air dryers are the worst.
- Don’t touch eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces like doorknobs, light switches, cell phones, computer keyboards, kitchen counters, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
- Stay home if you are sick. Keep sick children home.
- Get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, eat healthy foods, exercise and manage stress to keep your immunity strong.
- Call your medical provider if you think you have symptoms of COVID-19, especially a fever, cough and shortness of breath.
For members 65 or older unable to shop, the following nearby stores have COVID-19 plans for delivering groceries
- Raley’s special Covid-19 shopping hours and delivery for seniors (over 65)
Covid-19 and Pets: useful information
Public Health Monitoring:
- California Department of Health
- Center for Disease Control-Covid-19
More to follow asyour NGAC re-sets, re-organizes, and networks. And, send us stories, photos, and tips of our veterans’ grassroots heroic acts of virtue to help flatten the Covid-19 curve. Send to Zezodad33@gmail.com