I’m not gonna lie. I’m concerned. My kids are nervous. This uncertainty is not something I ever thought I’d see in my lifetime.
History tells us our nation has defeated severe disease and illness, and we will do it again. Before I share what’s going on in the South Carolina legislature to beat back coronavirus and stop the spread, it’s important that you know, we are all in this together. We are all learning together and banding together – just as we will recover and heal together.
This is a serious time, and we are all inundated with so much information online that I want to make sure you and our neighbors on Daniel Island know what’s open, what’s closed, and what resources are available to you and your family.
We must set an example for our kids in these uncertain times. Their anxiety is felt. I see it when they bike past each other on the island. I see it when my daughter is on FaceTime with her friends talking through their math problems. I see it in the grocery store aisles when we stock up (not stockpile) on canned goods and our fair share of wine.
In order to keep normalcy, routine is important for all of us. And in routine, we can maintain what’s important: eating right, getting physical activity and communicating with loved ones with honesty and openness.
Eat right by getting creative with your family while stuck at home. Get physical activity by doing laps around Smythe Park, identifying wildlife, going for a bike ride, and trying out new activity games with your kids. Communicate with your loved ones by FaceTiming grandma and grandpa. Be their support and make sure they have the groceries and medicine they need.
Here on Daniel Island, we are blessed to have acres and acres of open parks, outdoor areas, 25 miles of trails, and 23 miles of rivers, ponds and creeks, available to us. Remain mindful of your health and fitness at this time and prioritize it. Set an example and ask for help when you need it. We are all in this together.
Since our local businesses, restaurants and bars no longer provide dine-in services, I urge you to grab takeout from any of our local restaurants to support our small businesses here on the island. Like many, they too are facing big losses right now. Support them as best you can as they too navigate uncharted territory.
If you are a small business, the SBA is now offering South Carolina disaster assistance loans online at disasterloan.sba.gov/ela. If you’ve been laid off, lost your job or have reduced hours as a result of COVID-19, you are eligible for unemployment benefits.
Last week, in latex gloves from the balcony of the SC House of Representatives, I voted to pass an Emergency Relief Bill, providing $45 million to the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) to combat the spread of the coronavirus and help our hospitals and medical personnel prepare. Two-thirds of the funds will go to additional staffing in the Department of Health to aid in testing and stopping the spread along with providing needed equipment like masks, gloves, and other medical equipment. The remainder will go toward transportation and quarantine-related services.
At this time, our medical facilities are providing services seven days a week. Free screenings are being provided statewide by MUSC virtual/telemedicine — no appointment, no wait, accessible 24/7 — at musc.care. Roper St. Francis is doing the same at rsfh.com/virtualcare. Additionally, for more information and support, the DHEC Care Line is reachable from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week, at 1-855-472-3432.
I urge you to use telemedicine before going to a hospital or clinic to protect yourself and others, unless it is a medical emergency. The governor is lifting regulations for our medical providers so this service is more accessible to everyone. This will help decrease the opportunity for our medical providers to be overwhelmed at our hospitals and reduces the opportunity to spread infection.
I ask each of us to do our part to flatten the curve and stop the spread of infection.
We are strong. We are resilient. And we will get through this together. Today, I ask that we set aside our political differences and support each other. Please stay informed, be prudent and be safe. I am here to help and reachable at email@example.com
Nancy Mace is a Republican lawmaker who serves District 99 for the SC House of Representatives. She is running for South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District.