COVID-19 has uncovered many issues in Madison, which in turn provides many lessons and opportunities. One lesson to be learned that I am not hearing much about is the coordination of relief efforts. There was much discussion at Common Council about how to disperse the millions in grants for housing/rent payments. In the end the Tenant Resource Center was awarded the majority, nearly all, of that money. Many other non-profits who support marginalized populations were left out. I get it, it was easier to put the money in one place to ensure that there was one list to operate from. That may have seemed most efficient, but was it? I wonder if the other non-profits might have been in a better position to assist the populations they represent.
Keep in mind we have not had a pandemic before so we are all learning. It is not my intent to lay blame anywhere. I want to see improvement. To me the learning in this situation is the coordination from a city perspective. With technology today, we should be able to provide the management and tracking of funds through a central portal so that more of the non-profits can particiapate. We need to get this in place to serve as the pass through for all grants from the city which should in turn allow for a broader service provider base.
The health of our community is of utmost importance. This pandemic is new for everyone and we are learning as we go. We do know that masks, distancing, and avoiding inside crowds are positive steps to take to avoid contracting COVID. To me personally, protecting myself and others is important. If I can avoid dying and complications, it only makes sense to me to try to do that.
There is a great range of opinions on COVID and everyone has to read what is available and make their own decision. As a community we need to ensure that vaccines are available to those who want one. The Governor is rolling out that plan as best he can. COVID vaccines are becoming available for the frontline healthcare workers, EMS, people over 65 and others.
Continued vigilance regarding COVID is important because we do not know the full extent of risk. According to a recent study out of the UK, “one in eight recovered COVID patients die from illness complications within 5 months.”*
Let’s be as safe as we can as we move through this unchartered territory of COVID
*Source: New York Post, January 18, 2021