A painful cause of blindness is spread when a well-meaning adult cleans discharge from the eyes of village children with the same cloth he uses to wipe his own infected eyes.
Intestinal worms cause diarrhea and malnutrition in children all over the globe when those worms dig into the feet of kids walking barefoot in the dirt.
Deadly malaria is injected into a person’s bloodstream by a mosquito’s bite, most often while families are asleep in bed at night.
Doesn’t that make you want to shout: “Use your own cleaning cloth!”, “Wear shoes!”, or “Get some bug spray and a mosquito net!”?
I’ve seen these illnesses hundreds of times. Years ago, when I started working in underserved areas of Africa, Cambodia, and Haiti, I was confused. Why didn’t people take simple actions to protect themselves from diseases like these - all of which are incredibly common, have symptoms that range from bothersome to deadly, and can forever change the health and future of whole communities?
I soon learned something that we are all discovering right now. The challenges of controlling enduring global diseases are complicated and multifactorial. These barriers include the scarcity of both medication and medical education, expensive and potentially unsafe protective equipment, mixed messaging from authorities, and most people’s general mistrust of information from outside their own community. Sound familiar? These are the issues we face as we battle COVID-19.
Despite these challenges, there are practical ways to deal with most illnesses - including COVID-19 - that simply require a little education. Here’s one example: if you don’t know what a germ is or how it acts, then you can’t protect yourself from the spread of these invisible invaders. This concept is called “Germ Theory,” and it has revolutionized medicine in the developed world. My passion to share this information - and so much more - is the reason I became a teacher of basic medical concepts and the founder of One Good Turn. With knowledge comes understanding, then motivation, followed by action and finally, problem-solving. The result is improved health and community empowerment - outcomes I believe we will eventually see when we triumph over this new virus.
When COVID-19 first emerged, the team at One Good Turn immediately began to educate our global partners. In the at-risk, neglected communities where we work, there are no hospitals or ventilators, and there are very few doctors. So we began sharing simple, practical methods to help prevent and treat COVID-19 without fancy medicines or machines.
Suddenly, I was fielding urgent questions from friends and associates right here in America: What is this Corona thing? Who can we trust to give us accurate advice? What can we do to protect and treat ourselves? Like you, I watched in fear and astonishment as the virus spread throughout the world. COVID-19 is a global health crisis that has no boundaries.
In response, One Good Turn has now included “home” in our global health network. We review and distribute medical research. We share new developments and provide practical tips through the press, social media, and our website. We write guidelines for businesses, shelters, and families. We’ve enjoyed great engagement, which has led to inspiring questions. Clearly, people want practical information about how to cope with COVID-19. And so, just as we do with all our projects, we wrote a handbook for our new community partners: you, our friends and family here at home.
Inside the Corona Care Handbook, you will find practical action plans designed for the vast majority of us who will handle COVID-19 without ever going to a doctor, a hospital, or being on a ventilator. Someday, there will be a vaccine and other effective medical treatments. Right now, we must rely on our ingenuity and concern for one another to prevail over this pandemic.
If you are sick with COVID-19, taking care of someone who is sick, an essential worker, or you just want to keep you and your family safe by slowing the spread of this virus, the Corona Care Handbook has something for you.
Help us get this valuable information to people who need it most by signing up to be on the launch team. Launch team members will download the book (for FREE!), share the book with all your friends, family, and professional networks, and finally write us a review! Do you know someone else who would like to be on the launch team? Share the application!
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To your health,
Ann Messer, MD and the One Good Turn Team